• Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
Click image to enlarge

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 4th reduction

Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Signed Rodin
Inscribed F. Barbedienne Fondeur
Bronze with rich brown and green patina
Height 10" (25.2 cm)

Conceived 1886 and cast in July 1914. The Comité Rodin states that between 93 and 103 examples were cast from 1898 and 1918

Comité Rodin certificate available on request


Provenance
Private collection, France
Public auction, Paris, Hotel Drouot, Hoebanx-Couturier study, 6 February 1994, lot 83
Private collection, France
By descent


Conceived in 1886. The Barbedienne foundry cast between ninety-three and one hundred and three casts of this model in this size between 1898 and 1918. This example was conceived in 1898 and cast on 31 July 1914. 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

TEFAF Maastricht 2019

March 16, 2019 - March 24, 2019

TEFAF Maastricht 2019 March 16, 2019 - March 24, 2019

Désespoir de la Porte (Despair, from the Gates of Hell) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Désespoir de la Porte (Despair, from ...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Victory - Sir Alfred Gilbert, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Victory


Sir Alfred Gilbert

(British, 1854-1934)

Maternité à la Draperie (Motherhood with Drapery) - Pablo Gargallo, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Maternité à la Draperie (Motherhood w...


Pablo Gargallo

(Spanish, 1881 - 1934)

Mouvement de danse F - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mouvement de danse F


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Mouvement de danse E - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mouvement de danse E


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Angel of Life - Helaine Blumenfeld OBE, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Angel of Life


Helaine Blumenfeld OBE

(British, Contemporary)

Comedy & Tragedy: 'Sic Vita' - Sir Alfred Gilbert, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Comedy & Tragedy: 'Sic Vita'


Sir Alfred Gilbert

(British, 1854-1934)

Small Seated Figure - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Small Seated Figure


Henry Moore

(English, 1898-1986)

Sea Torso (Bronze) - Emily Young, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Sea Torso (Bronze)


Emily Young

(British, Born 1951)

Head of a Sleeping Baby - Aimé-Jules Dalou, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Head of a Sleeping Baby


Aimé-Jules Dalou

(French, 1838-1902)

Le Chinois (Bust Of A Chinese Man, 2nd Version) - Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Chinois (Bust Of A Chinese Man, 2n...


Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

(French, 1827-1875)

Buste D'enfant (Bust Of A Child) - Aimé-Jules Dalou, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Buste D'enfant (Bust Of A Child)


Aimé-Jules Dalou

(French, 1838-1902)

Othello - Pietro Calvi, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Othello


Pietro Calvi

(Italian, 1833-1884)

Tête de Femme (Head of a Young Woman with Flowing Hair) - Jules Desbois, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Tête de Femme (Head of a Young Woman ...


Jules Desbois

(French, 1851-1935)

Jardinière des Titans (Vase of the Titans) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Jardinière des Titans (Vase of the Ti...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

 Le Frère et la Soeur (Brother and Sister) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Frère et la Soeur (Brother and Si...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

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

Giganti, Torse Masculin (Torso of Gig...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Étude pour le Secret (Study for the Secret) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Étude pour le Secret (Study for the S...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Le Passage du Rhin (The Rhine Crossing) - Aimé-Jules Dalou, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Le Passage du Rhin (The Rhine Crossing)


Aimé-Jules Dalou

(French, 1838-1902)

Dancing - Edward Onslow-Ford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Dancing


Edward Onslow-Ford

(English, 1852-1901)

Salome - Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Salome


Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal

(Australian, 1863-1931)

Folly - Edward Onslow-Ford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Folly


Edward Onslow-Ford

(English, 1852-1901)

Torse Masculin (Torso of Je Suis Belle)  - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Torse Masculin (Torso of Je Suis Belle)


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)

Nu Se Dévoilant (Nude Unveiling) - Jean-Léon Gérôme, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Nu Se Dévoilant (Nude Unveiling)


Jean-Léon Gérôme

(French, 1824-1904)

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

Éternelle Idole (Eternal Idol), Petit...


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

Femme Assise (Seated Woman) - Pablo Picasso, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Femme Assise (Seated Woman)


Pablo Picasso

(Spanish, 1881-1973)

Perseus Arming - Sir Alfred Gilbert, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Perseus Arming


Sir Alfred Gilbert

(British, 1854-1934)

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

Le Baiser (The Kiss), 2nd Reduction


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

L'Éternel Printemps (Eternal Spring), 2nd Reduction - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)

 La Naissance de l'Amour (The Birth of Love) - Ossip Zadkine, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

La Naissance de l'Amour (The Birth o...


Ossip Zadkine

(Russian/French, 1890-1967)

La Vérité Méconnue (Truth Revealed), Moyen Modèle - Aimé-Jules Dalou, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

La Vérité Méconnue (Truth Revealed), ...


Aimé-Jules Dalou

(French, 1838-1902)

Main Droite 27 (Right Hand 27) - Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Main Droite 27 (Right Hand 27)


Auguste Rodin

(French, 1840-1917)