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A man and woman embrace and kiss while sitting on a rocky formation in this free-standing bronze sculpture. Both people are nude, and they turn toward each other. In this photograph, to our right, the slender woman reaches her left arm, closer to us, up to wrap around the man’s neck. Her left breast is silhouetted against the man’s muscular chest. The woman’s raised arm covers most of their faces but the man turns his head down to meet hers. The man rests his right hand, closer to us, on her hip and she hooks one leg over his. His knees are angled to our left and he turns his torso toward her. The woman’s left toes brush his foot, just below hers. They sit on a textured, rock-like form. The surface of sculpture has a golden-brown patina, which darkens where the bodies fold and crease. The artist’s name is stamped into the seat, just below the woman’s hip: “RODIN.”

Auguste Rodin, The Kiss (Le Baiser), model 1880-1887, cast c. 1898/1902, bronze, Gift of Mrs. John W. Simpson, 1942.5.15

Through the Gates of Hell: Dante and Auguste Rodin

Focus: Exhibitions

  • Sunday, June 4, 2023
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • East Building Auditorium
  • Talks
  • Hybrid
  • Registration Required

In conjunction with the exhibition, Going through Hell: The Divine Dante, join senior lecturer David Gariff for a talk exploring the impact of Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy on the art and thought of French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917). Scenes from Dante’s epic poem appear in many of Rodin’s sculptures, most notably his monumental Gates of Hell and The Kiss.