“Le Penseur” by Émile Louis Picault (1833-1915)
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people”.
Such pearl of wisdom, passed on to us by Eleanor Roosevelt, contains in a nutshell Picault’s essential theory eminently expressed in his true-to-life statue “Le Penseur” (i.e., “The Thinker”).
This discerning artist’s accomplished touch succeeded in rendering all of the emotional and physical effort the thinking process generally demands.
The slight furrows on the youth’s forehead combined with his deeply meditative facial traits impart to his overall expression a unique and faithful representation of what serious and in-depth reflection habitually exacts, especially in the strenuous attempt to find a solution to some overly intricate issue.
The fingers of the youth’s left hand are slightly touching his forehead – again – to clearly signify the effortful mental exertion required by any and all earnest train of thought.
The message written on the tablet held by this young intellectual reveals the author’s initial postulation: “C’est sur les hauts sommets que le penseur médite” (i.e., “The thinker meditates on the highest of summits”).