When Auguste Rodin originally conceived The Thinker sculpture, it was to be part of a larger piece. This was to be the centerpiece of his creation, called The Gates of Hell. It was based on the work of the famous poet, Dante. While the full sculpture was never completed, The Thinker was and it became a hit in the late 19th century when it was introduced to crowds. It was a crowning achievement of Rodin's career and still is to this day.
This piece is considered a masterpiece by those who view it. People who view it in the modern world can still relate to a man who is thinking deeply. What he is thinking is left for the individual to guess. It matters not because viewers from many different cultures can relate to a man who is lost in thought but ready for action. That is the beauty of this piece; the sculptor's design touches those who view it decades later.
Another masterpiece of art is The Mona Lisa. It was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in Florence, Italy. The exact date is unknown, but has been placed as approximately 1502. This is a masterpiece because it continues to touch the lives of people who have never even had a chance to view it in person. The Mona Lisa sits in The Louvre in France. Photos of this famous painting have been circulated around the world. The woman's expression is part of the allure of this painting. It continues, even centuries later, to make people ask about her expression. Some say she is happy because she just had a son. Others claim she has a secret to keep.
Masterpieces in art touch people in many different ways. Shared experiences such as Rodin's sculpture are a way to express emotion and share it with people from different cultures. Mysteries, such as the reason for The Mona Lisa's facial expression also touch people all over the world. They keep the interest and attention of people who did not know they admired fine art.