Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Kiss
The name always recalled the famous sculpture created by Auguste Rodin. Like many of Rodin's best-known individual sculptures, the embracing couple depicted in the sculpture appeared originally as part of a group of reliefs decorating Rodin's monumental bronze portal The Gates of Hell, commissioned for a planned museum of art in Paris. The couple were later removed from the Gates and replaced with another pair of lovers located on the smaller right-hand column. The sculpture, The Kiss, was originally titled Francesca da Rimini, as it depicts the 13th-century Italian noblewoman immortalised in Dante's Inferno (Circle 2, Canto 5) who falls in love with her husband Giovanni Malatesta's younger brother Paolo. Having fallen in love while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, the couple are discovered and killed by Francesca's husband. In the sculpture, the book can be seen in Paolo's hand. The lovers lips do not actually touch in the sculpture to suggest that they were interrupted and met their demise without their lips ever having touched.Rodin indicated that his approach to sculpting women was of homage to them and their bodies, not just submitting to men but as full partners in ardor. The consequent eroticism in the sculpture made it controversial. A bronze version of The Kiss (74 cm high) was sent for display at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The sculpture was considered unsuitable for general display and relegated to an inner chamber with admission only by personal application.In the year 1977 I got a chance to see the sculpture and It stimulated me like any thing. To me the sculpture is not only a relation of two individual bodies; it is a conjugation of earth and nature. During my recent visit to Bharatpur bird sanctuary the pattern of these two trees attracted me – as if they are going to embrace each other…. And ready for ‘The Kiss’.

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