|Have you ever heard about “The Kiss” by Rodin ?|

Kiss by Rodin – François Auguste René Rodin (1840 Paris – 1917 Paris) was a French sculptor. Rodin is generally considered as the progenitor of modern sculpture. He was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work. He was an amazing artist and is well known for his art, worldwide, with The Kiss but also The Thinker.

Rodin and Camille Claudel

The virility of the artist, nicknamed in his time the “Sacred Goat”, provoked semi-public or private drama and is at the center of a plastic expression of sensuality, eroticism, but also pain. In 1864, he met Rose Beuret, daughter of a farmer from Haute-Marne. This seamstress worker, aged 20, will serve as a model and become his companion. He married her on January 29, 1917, at the end of their lives, while he had many lovers. In 1866, he will have a son Auguste Eugène Beuret (1866-1934), who he will never recognize. When you talk about Rodin, you must talk about Camille Claudel (8 December 1864 – 19 October 1943) who was also a French sculptor. She was the lover and co-worker of sculptor Auguste Rodin, for 10 years of passion and competition… war of ego.

The sculpture which occupies a central place in their story does not always happen serenely: learning, frustration, search for the expression, the model … but source of an inevitable and deep connivance of their minds … After ten years of passionate love, misunderstandings and mutual disappointments, Camille Claudel draws a line on their own story and never recovered from his break with him. She died in relative obscurity, from alleged mental illness, her family sent her in mental hospital the rest of her life while Rodin desired academic recognition, although he was never accepted into Paris’s foremost school of art.

The national Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine opened in 2017, and the Musée Rodin in Paris has a room dedicated to Claudel’s works.

Sad sentimental painful lives but both great artists. Let’s compare those two artists with “le baiser” (The Kiss) from Rodin and “Sakountala” from Camille Claudel. When she sculpts the entwined couple of Sakountala, he, at the same time, delivers his Kiss, vibrating echo of a shared passion.

Le baiser (The Kiss) by Rodin

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The Kiss (marble) originally represented Paolo and Francesca, characters from The Divine Comedy, poem by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Killed by Francesca’s husband who had caught them kissing, the two lovers were sentenced to wander the underworld. This couple, conceived early by Rodin, in the creative process of The Door of Hell, figured prominently at the bottom of the left wing, facing Ugolin, until 1886, when the sculptor became aware that this representation of Happiness and sensuality was at odds with the theme of his great project.

Sakountala by Camille Claudel

Sakountalâ is a poem by Kâlidâsa (4th-5th centuries ago), famous Hindu poet, telling the story of a Hindu drama representing the reunion of Sakountala and her husband to nirvana. This sculpture is a representation of what awakened this elegiac theme in the work of Camille Claudel. The Sakountala plaster was awarded an honorable mention to Camille Claudel at the Salon des artistes français in 1888. A marble translation kept at the Rodin Museum bears the name of Vertumne and Pomone. Exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1905, the bronze is called L’Abandon and edited by Blot.

Enjoy a visit at Le Musée de Rodin, in Paris.

The Musée Rodin in Paris is a museum that was opened in 1919, the Hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds in central Paris. The collection includes 6,600 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, 8,000 old photographs, and 7,000 objets d’art. The museum receives 700,000 visitors annually.