The Hand of God

Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)

1896 ?


H. 94 cm ; W. 82.5 cm ; D. 54.9 cm


Marble, 1916-1918
Marble carved by Séraphin Soudbinine

Unsigned, Undated

A large right hand, itself emerging from a very roughhewn block of marble, holds a clod of earth in which two struggling emergent figures, Adam and Eve , have been modelled. The hand of the original Creator is also that of the sculptor.


Numerous features – the contrast between the highly polished areas and the rough marble, the posture of the woman reminiscent of Dawn in the Medici Chapel, San Lorenzo (Florence) – recall the work of Michelangelo. For the latter, a sculpture was buried in the marble and had to be extracted from it through the artist’s skill, but Rodin was a modeller, which implied a different approach. The Hand of God seems to be a synthesis of these two very dissimilar methods. The Hand of the Devil forms a companion piece, while its Symbolistic title links it to a whole series of works made during the 1890s, such as The Cathedral and The Secret.

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