The Kiss is a bronze statue that was sculpted from marble in 1882 by the French craftsman Auguste Rodin. The kissing, erotic couple portrayed in the sculpture made its debut part of a collection of exemptions decorating Rodin’s important literary sculptured portal, The Gates of Hell, designed for the proposed artistic store in Paris. The couple were subsequently eliminated from the gates and exchanged a different spouse on the lower right-hand panel. In producing this work, Rodin focused on his intuition to catch the tone of a specific moment and succeeded in establishing a feeling of elegance and romance (Gallery Intell, 2014). Rodin borrowed the artistic work from his experience of Dante’s epic poem and, specifically, the narrative of Paolo and Francesca, an unfaithful couple from Italy in the thirteenth century. Dante finds the couple in the second circle of Hell, and Rodin picked the time that the couple’s first met, right before Francesca’s husband was fatally assassinated.
Rodin preferred to create lovers in the nude, thinking that incorporating specifics such as clothes would detract the audience from the raw emotion they could feel when gazing at a sculpture. Like other artists of his day, Rodin saw the development of sculpture as the accumulation of minds and depended solely on the abilities of his assistants. Managing a large workshop, Rodin carefully supervised the development of his sculptures, building on the knowledge he had acquired in industrial workshops during his childhood. Rodin’s way of creating giant sculptures was to hire assistant artisans to replicate a smaller representation he had crafted of a medium that was simpler to deal with than stone, in most cases, clay. If they had done, Rodin himself might have applied the final touches on the larger edition.
Gallery Intell. (2014, April 8). The Kiss by Auguste Rodin. Retrieved from https://galleryintell.com/artex/kiss-auguste-rodin/