Marc Quinn and Figurative Sculpture

Inspiration: Auguste Rodin

The Kiss
The Kiss or Le Baiser (1901-04) was commissioned from Rodin by the Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris. It was originally intended to be part of the monumental sculpture, The Gates of Hell, which illustrates characters from Dante's Inferno. The Kiss depicts the tragic passion of Paolo Malatesta for his sister-in-law, Francesca de Rimini. Its blend of eroticism and idealism makes it an iconic image of love.
 
Rodin decided not to include The Kiss in the finished composition, but presented it to the public as a sculpture on its own. The work was an immediate success and was reproduced in marble and bronze in different sizes. However, Rodin considered it overly traditional, calling The Kiss a large sculpted knick-knack following the usual formula.
 
Rodin aimed to show emotion through his work. He studied anatomy and paid particular attention to the surface of his figures, showing muscles and tendons in an accurate depiction of movement.
 
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. - Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
 
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Document icon Learning article provided by: Museums Sheffield: Graves Gallery | 
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