'The isolated grandeur of this sculpture's display in Margate is a bit like the solitary splendour of Michelangelo's David in its immense niche in Florence, and it powerfully focuses attention on the greatness of Rodin.'
Jonathan Jones, The Guardian
Auguste Rodin’s life-size marble sculpture The Kiss (1901-04), on loan from the Tate collection, is on show in our Sunley Gallery.
One of the most iconic images of sexual love, The Kiss was voted the nation’s favourite work of art in a 2003 poll. The embracing couple come from a true thirteenth century story of forbidden love, which was immortalised in Dante’s Inferno and by many artists since.
The couple are the adulterous lovers Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, who were slain by Francesca’s outraged husband. They appear in Dante’s Inferno, which describes how their passion grew as they read the story of Lancelot and Guinevere together. At the time, the perceived eroticism of Rodin’s sculpture was controversial leading to instances where the work was removed from public view.
Read more about The Kiss in our leaflet, written by Curator and Art Historian Catherine Lampert.
Find more schools resources here >
What the papers say
'Rodin's sculpture somehow looks bigger, more eternal than it usually does when it is exhibited as part of the Tate collection.'
'Perhaps the power of The Kiss in Margate lies in the Romantic void of sea and sky you see behind it. The operatic vista is the equivalent of showing the sculpture with Wagner playing loud. It reveals that, like Wagner's genius, Rodin immerses us in the twilight of Romanticism.'
'The modern setting of the Sunley gallery, with the backdrop of yellow lines framing a circular window to the sea as part of Daniel Buren’s work Borrowing and Multiplying the Landscape, offers a remarkable new way of looking at this iconic statue from another era.'
Kent on Sunday
Rodin works in Tracey Emin exhibition
Read more here.