Rodin's The Kiss Sculpture   

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August Rodin, French - (1840-1917)

Rodin has been appreciated for decades as one of the pre-eminent Realist sculptors of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century.
Rodin's goal, as he put it, was "to render inner feelings through muscular movement." He achieved this aim by joining his profound knowledge of anatomy and movement with special attention to the body's surfaces, saying, "The sculptor must learn to reproduce the surface, which means all that vibrates on the surface, soul, love, passion, life...Sculpture is thus the art of hollows and mounds, not of smoothness, or even polished planes." To this end, his detailed modeling and energetic poses are strikingly vigorous and lifelike...even one hundred years after they were created.
The Kiss Sculpture was inspired by Dante's tale of Paolo and Francesca, lovers entwined for eternity in the Inferno, this statue was initially part of Rodin's Gates of Hell. Of the many couples sculpted during his tumultuous liaison with Camille Claudel, The Kiss is the most sensuous. The poet Rilke compared it to "a sun that rises and floods all with its light."
One of the original castings of Rodin's The Kiss resides at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Wrote the poet Rainer Maria Rilke of this masterpiece: "One has the impression of seeing the delight of this kiss all over these bodies; it is like a sun which rises and its light is everywhere." 
By Tom Irvine


Rodin : Sculpture & Drawings
by Catherine Lampert
Paperback (February 1987) Yale University Press
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August Rodin was one of the foremost sculptors of the modern age, influencing every sculptor who came after him. This handsome book by Catherine Lampert offers new insights into the creative processes of this great French artist.