Rodin, Auguste
The Kiss (Paolo and Francesca). 1886

This is a smaller variant of the composition inspired by images from Dante's Divine Comedy and intended for the monumental ensemble of The Gates of Hell. Lovers embracing, the intertwining of two bodies, was a new sculptural motif in Rodin's art, a complex plastic task which he solves brilliantly in this famous work. The theme of love, which grants brief oblivion in the maelstrom of life, acquires a new ring in Rodin's oeuvre. Such subjects were usually treated allegorically in sculpture, but Rodin shows love as strong, passionate emotion.

Rodin, Auguste

1840–1917