the Kiss by Rodin  

The Kiss is a sculptural group made around 1882 by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917).

The subject of this work is inspired by the story of Paolo and Francesca as told by Dante in his Divine Comedy.

The kiss was initially conceived by Rodin for his Gates of Hell, a majestic (and unfinished) masterpiece inspired by Dante's Comedy and conceived as a complex reflection on the themes of love and damnation. The artist subsequently decided to make this love scene an independent subject. The marble group was sculpted in 1888 and presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889. There are two other autograph versions of this work, also in marble, a third posthumous marble and other bronze versions.

The man and woman, naked and seated on a rock, are caught in the moment before the kiss. The man's body, energetic and vigorous, delicately approaches that of the woman, who abandons herself in the embrace of her beloved, reciprocally returning her embrace.

The faces of the two lovers, hidden, seem to merge into each other, they are on the verge of disappearing because their individuality seems to give way to that union that will condemn them and be indivisible for eternity

Although the group was conceived to be admired from all sides, the pyramidal structure of the composition prevails. The unfinished rock, a tribute to Michelangelo's art, contrasts with the smoothness of the two nudes.

This masterpiece, now well known and celebrated all over the world, caused a sensation at the time of its creation: it was the first time that a sculptor abandoned the Neoclassical language, which provided for an absolute politeness of the works, to represent, above all, a scene from such a strong erotic charge, considered excessive and inappropriate at the time.

(G. Nifosi - Unveiled Art)

Reproduction of the sculptural group on

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