Auguste Rodin Cathedral Clasping Hands Sculpture Statue reproduction Reproduction after Museum Original – Rodin Museum, Paris, 1908 Throughout centuries, the hand has been seen as a symbol of power and creative force. Not surprisingly, the hand, with its rich iconography and affective power, took on great importance for Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917). It offered him a way to explore pure form without meaning or create designs with meaning related to the abstruse imagery of the symbolist movement, with which he had an affinity. The human hand clearly absorbed his attention. Visitors to his studios described drawers filled with hundreds of tiny plaster hands in an amazing variety of expressive gestures. Rodin assiduously examined the specific form of the hands and the expression of the facial features before applying them, often as separate pieces, to the model of a full figure. “Rodin is the sculptor of hands as Verlaine is their poet”, said Gustave Kahn. The Cathedral Hands of 1908 is an assemblage of two right hands shaping the void into a Gothic arch.