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  • Auguste Rodin, The Kiss, 1901-04, Pentelican marble 
    Courtesy of Tate, London 2011
    Photo © Brian Moody
  • Auguste Rodin, The Kiss, 1901-04, Pentelican marble 
    Courtesy of Tate, London 2011
    Photo Nick Guttridge
  • Auguste Rodin, The Kiss, 1901-04, Pentelican marble 
    Courtesy of Tate, London 2011
    Photo © Brian Moody
Tue 4 Oct 2011 - Sun 2 Sep 2012

'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.


Teacher resource

Prepare your school's visit to see Rodin's The Kiss using our background resource for teachers, with an introduction and overview of key works.

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.'

'Margate is a good place to see the works of Rodin this summer. Why go to Paris?'

'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.'
Jonathan Jones, The Guardian

'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

Tracey Emin's homecoming exhibition She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea show work by Emin alongside erotic drawings by Rodin and JMW Turner. 

Read more here.


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Left by Lurchsprocket on Thu 12 May 2011

Wow! Itok it for granted that this beautiful work of art was going to always be in Lewes, East Sussex forever so when it went back to France I was dismayed. Now I am delighted to learn that it's back not only in Blighty but on our own fair corner of East Kent! Iam really looking forward to seeing it along with other important works of art.
Well done Turner Contemporary and heres to the future!!!!!

Left by Chris Hackett on Thu 1 Sep 2011

This work of art will be amazing to see in Turner Contemporary. Can't wait!

Left by raymond duffy-harris on Mon 19 Sep 2011

From Rodins paris Chateau a fine peice of marble moudled to a thing of beauty.
I shall look forward to seeing it in Margate, compliments to the tate for its forsight in loaning this exquiste piece