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The Kiss

The Kiss is an 1889 marble sculpture by the French sculptor, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). This sculpture has a interesting story to it. it depicts the 13th-century Italian noblewoman immortalized in Dante’s Inferno, who falls in love with her husband, Giovanni Malatesta’s, younger brother Paolo. Having fallen in love while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, the couple are discovered and killed by Francesca’s husband. In the sculpture, the book can be seen in Paolo’s hand. The lover’s lips do not actually touch in the sculpture to suggest that they were interrupted, and met their demise without their lips ever having touched. When critics first saw the sculpture in 1887, they suggested the less specific title Le Baiser (The Kiss).

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