• Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
Click image to enlarge

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction

Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Signed Rodin
Inscribed F. Barbedienne Foundeur
Bronze with a rich brown patina
Height: 15 3/4" (40 cm)

Conceived in 1886 and cast between 1901 and 1918.
The Comite Rodin estimates there were between 105 and 109 examples in total.





Conceived in 1886. The Barbedienne foundry cast between 105 and 109 casts of this model in this size between 1898 and 1918. Rodin agreed a ten-year renewable contract for the Barbedienne foundry to produce an unlimited edition of the model in 1898. The foundry produced four sizes of this model, 72cm, 60cm, 40cm and 25cm.

Like many of Auguste Rodin’s best-known works, the Kiss was initially conceived as part of the Gates of Hell – the artist’s most ambitious sculptural project, which occupied the last thirty-seven years of his life – but was eventually omitted from the final design. The artistic inspiration for the Gates derived from Dante’s Comedy, which depicts the Italian poet’s epic journey through the Underworld. Rodin initially thought the Kiss would have to be the dominating piece of the composition, in place of the Thinker.

The subject of the sculpture is linked to an episode in Dante’s Inferno, where the poet meets Paolo and Francesca, nobles of Rimini, who shared their first kiss while reading about the Arthurian love story between Lancelot and Guinevere. This episode has received enormous attention in the History of European Art, and has been depicted by artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Ingres, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Auguste Doré.

In this circumstance, Rodin’s visual reinterpretation of the poem universalises its subject-matter, expanding far beyond the boundaries of its literary background. The two sculpted figures are fused together in an ever-lasting embrace. As the woman’s arm encircles her lover’s neck, the man’s right hand presses firmly but gently on her left thigh, enhancing the sinuosity of the composition. The stark contrast between the softness of the young lovers’ bodies and the rock on which they sit, highlights their youth and the tenderness of their gestures. The Kiss is now universally perceived as a visual epitome of passionate love.

The Kiss was prudishly received at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, where it was considered unsuitable for public display and relegated to one of the inner rooms of the exhibition. In Britain too, the reception of the piece was highly controversial. When the American collector, Edward Warren, lent in 1914 a marble version of the sculpture to the town hall of Lewes, in East Sussex, its inhabitants considered it morally unsound, first demanding to drape it and then to return the sculpture to its owner.

Unlike Britain and the United States, the sculpture was applauded in 1898 at the Salon de la Société National des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Its enthusiastic reception led the artist to sign a contract with the Barbedienne foundry, which allowed them to produce an edition of the model in four sizes between 1898 and 1917 – the year of the artist’s death. This example is one of the 25cm edition cast by Barbedienne during Rodin’s lifetime. By means of archival research, the Comité Rodin certifies that this particular example was cast by the foundry on 31 July 1914.

With its illustrious literary background, artistic flair and controversial reception history, the Kiss is one of Rodin’s most fascinating works and is one of the world’s most recognizable sculptures.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Paolo and Francesca da Rimini, 1855, TATE Britain

Auguste Rodin, The Kiss, 1901-1904, TATE Britain

Works by Auguste Rodin

Iris, Messagère des Dieux (Messenger of the Gods), Study without Head, Small Model - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Iris, Messagère des Dieux (Messenger ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Torse Masculin (Masculine Torso) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Torse Masculin (Masculine Torso)


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Buste de Victor Hugo (Bust of Victor Hugo) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Buste de Victor Hugo (Bust of Victor ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 3rd Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Eustache de Saint Pierre - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Eustache de Saint Pierre


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Andrieu d'Andres - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Andrieu d'Andres


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Jean d'Aire - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Jean d'Aire


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Jean de Fiennes - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Jean de Fiennes


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Pierre de Wiessant - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Pierre de Wiessant


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Faunesse Zoubaloff - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Faunesse Zoubaloff


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Faunesse á Genoux (Kneeling Faunesse) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Faunesse á Genoux (Kneeling Faunesse)


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Moyen Modèle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Moyen...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Main 20 (Hand 20), Petit Modèle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Main 20 (Hand 20), Petit Modèle


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Nijinsky - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Nijinsky


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the Age of Bronze) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Buste de l'Âge d'Airain (Bust of the ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Portrait de Danseuse Cambodgienne (Portrait of Cambodian Female Dancer), Princess Sumphady? - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Portrait de Danseuse Cambodgienne (Po...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Croquis d'après les Tombeaux des Médicis par Michel-Ange Á Florence - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Croquis d'après les Tombeaux des Médi...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Femme Accroupie de Face (Female Figure Squatting, Frontal View) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Femme Accroupie de Face (Female Figur...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Femme Nue aux Bras Levés Posant sur un Socle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Femme Nue aux Bras Levés Posant sur u...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Couple Saphique (Sapphic Couple) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Couple Saphique (Sapphic Couple)


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Petite Figure Accroupie (Small Crouching Figure) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Petite Figure Accroupie (Small Crouch...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Femme Nue a la Jambe Droite Soulevée (Nude Woman Raising her Right Leg) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Femme Nue a la Jambe Droite Soulevée ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Mère et Enfant (Mother and Child) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mère et Enfant (Mother and Child)


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Petit Modèle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Petit...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 2nd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 2nd Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

The Kiss, 4th Reduction  - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

The Kiss, 4th Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring), 4th Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring),...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Balzac, étude type c (buste) 3ème version, grand modèle - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Balzac, étude type c (buste) 3ème ver...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Faunesse Debout (Standing Faunesse), version with simple rock - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Faunesse Debout (Standing Faunesse), ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Eve, Small Model - Model with a Square Base and Flat Feet - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Eve, Small Model - Model with a Squar...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Pas de Deux - Movement de Danse Type G - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Pas de Deux - Movement de Danse Type G


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Faunesse Debout (Standing Faunesse), Version au Rocher Simple - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Faunesse Debout (Standing Faunesse), ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring), 3rd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring),...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Fugit Amor, Large Model, Second Version - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Fugit Amor, Large Model, Second Version


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Masque de l'Homme au Nez Cassé (Mask of A Man With A Broken Nose) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Masque de l'Homme au Nez Cassé (Mask ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Maquette for the Burghers of Calais - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Maquette for the Burghers of Calais


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Bather with Sandals - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Bather with Sandals


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Right Hand 27 - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Right Hand 27


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Penseur (The Thinker) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Penseur (The Thinker)


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Browse By Artist

Gustinus Ambrosi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Ambrosi, Gustinus

(Austrian, 1893-1975)

Michael Ayrton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Ayrton, Michael

(British, 1921-1975)

Gilbert Bayes, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Bayes, Gilbert

(British, 1872-1953)

Pietro Calvi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Calvi, Pietro

(Italian, 1833-1884)

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Carpeaux, Jean-Baptiste

(French, 1827-1875)

 Carrier-Belleuse & Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Carrier-Belleuse & Rodin

(French, 1824-1887 and 1840-1917)

Lynn Chadwick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Chadwick, Lynn

(British, 1914-2003)

Charles Henri Cordier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Cordier, Charles Henri

(French, 1827-1905)

Aimé-Jules Dalou, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Dalou, Aimé-Jules

(French, 1838-1902)

Francis Derwent Wood, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Derwent Wood, Francis

(British, 1871-1926)

Alfred Drury, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Drury, Alfred

(English, 1856-1944)

Sir Jacob Epstein, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Epstein, Sir Jacob

(British, 1880-1959)

Pierre Félix Fix-Masseau, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Fix-Masseau, Pierre Félix

(French, 1869-1937)

Emmanuel Fremiet, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Fremiet, Emmanuel

(French, 1824 - 1910)

Sir Alfred Gilbert, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Gilbert, Sir Alfred

(British, 1854-1934)

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Gérôme, Jean-Léon

(French, 1824-1904)

Frederick James Halnon, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Halnon, Frederick James

(British, 1881-1958)

Adrian Jones, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Jones, Adrian

(English, 1846-1938)

Fritz Klimsch, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Klimsch, Fritz

(German, 1870-1960)

Gerald Laing, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Laing, Gerald

(UK, 1936-2011)

Henri Laurens, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Laurens, Henri

(French, 1885-1954)

Frederic Lord  Leighton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Leighton, Frederic Lord

(English, 1830-1896)

Jacques Lipchitz, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Lipchitz, Jacques

(French American, 1891-1973)

Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

McKenzie, Robert Tait

(Canadian, 1867-1938)

Ivan Mestrovic, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mestrovic, Ivan

(Croatian, 1883-1962)

Constantin Meunier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Meunier, Constantin

(Belgian, 1831-1905)

George Minne, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Minne, George

(Belgian, 1866-1941)

Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Moore, Henry

(English, 1898-1986)

Edward Onslow-Ford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Onslow-Ford, Edward

(English, 1852-1901)

Eduardo Paolozzi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Paolozzi, Eduardo

(British, 1924-2005)

Pablo Picasso, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Picasso, Pablo

(Spanish, 1881-1973)

Enzo Plazzotta, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Plazzotta, Enzo

(Italian, 1921-1981)

Hiram Powers, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Powers, Hiram

(American, 1805-1873)

Jean-Jacques Pradier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Pradier, Jean-Jacques

(Swiss, 1790-1852)

Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Reid Dick, Sir William

(English, 1879-1961)

Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Rodin, Auguste

(French, 1840-1917)

Eric Stanford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Stanford, Eric

(British, Born 1932)

Alfred Stevens, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Stevens, Alfred

(English, 1818-1875)

Arthur Strasser, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Strasser, Arthur

(Austrian, 1854-1927)

Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Thornycroft, Sir William Hamo

(English, 1850-1925)

Thomas Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Thornycroft, Thomas

(British, 1815 – 1885)

Robert Wlerick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Wlerick, Robert

(French, 1882-1944)

Ossip Zadkine, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Zadkine, Ossip

(Russian/French, 1890-1967)