346
346

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION

Auguste Rodin
LE BAISER, 2ÈME RÉDUCTION DIT AUSSI NO. 4
JUMP TO LOT
346

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION

Auguste Rodin
LE BAISER, 2ÈME RÉDUCTION DIT AUSSI NO. 4
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Auguste Rodin
1840 - 1917
LE BAISER, 2ÈME RÉDUCTION DIT AUSSI NO. 4
inscribed Rodin and with the foundry mark F. Barbedienne. Fondeur; numbered 12 and inscribed with the letter (on the interior)
bronze
height: 59.8cm., 23 1/2 in.
Conceived in 1886; this reduction conceived in 1904 and this example cast by the Barbedienne Foundry between 1914-18. 
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This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Critique de l'œuvre sculpté d'Auguste Rodin being currently prepared by Galerie Brame & Lorenceau under the direction of Jérôme Le Blay under the archive number 2010-3232B.

Provenance

Iris & B. Gerald Cantor, New York 
Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1970s

Literature

Georges Grappe, Catalogue du Musée Rodin, Paris, 1927, illustration of the marble version p. 47
Georges Grappe, Le Musée Rodin, Paris, 1947, illustration of the marble version pl. 71
Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, sa vie, son œuvre, son héritage, Paris, 1962, illustration of the marble version n.p.
Albert E. Elsen, Rodin, London, 1963, illustration of another cast p. 63
Bernard Champigneulle, Rodin, London, 1967, illustration of the marble version pp. 162-63
Robert Descharnes & Jean François Chabrun, Auguste Rodin, Lausanne, 1967, illustration of the marble version pls. 54-55
Ionel Jianou & Cécile Goldscheider, Rodin, Paris, 1967, illustraton of the marble version pls. 54-55
Ludwig Goldscheider, Rodin Sculptures, London, 1970, illustration of the marble version p. 121
John L. Tancock, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin, Philadelphia, 1976, illustration of the marble version p. 77
Jacques de Caso & Patricia Sanders, Rodin's Sculpture, A Critical Study of the Spreckels Collection, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 1977, illustration of another cast p. 150
Nicole Barbier, Marbres de Rodin, collection du musée, Paris, 1987, illustrations of the marble version pp. 185 & 187
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Le Baiser de Rodin/The Kiss by Rodin, Paris, 1995, illustration of another cast fig. 3
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, Rodin, Paris, 1997, illustration of the terracotta version p. 48
Albert E. Elsen, Rodin's Art, The Rodin Collection of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University, New York, 2003, illustration of another cast pp. 214-15
Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, Catalogue of Works in the Musée Rodin, vol. I, Paris, 2007, no. S.2393, illustrations of other casts pp. 158-63

Catalogue Note

Le Baiser is one of Rodin's best-known and most highly regarded sculptures. Originally intended for the left side of Portes de l'enfer, the present work portrays a scene from Dante's La Commedia. These are the ill-fated lovers, Paolo and Francesca, who were murdered by Francesca's husband and Paolo's brother, Vanni Malatesta. Banished for their adulterous passion, the two lovers were doomed to spend eternity in an embrace. Among all the love stories in Dante's La Commedia, this forbidden liaison, so reminiscent of courtly love, had the greatest resonance for a late nineteenth-century audience and appeared in seminal works by artists such as Gustave Doré. Unlike more austere, contemporaneous variations of this subject, Le Baiser depicts the lovers in the throws of a passionate kiss. The sensuality of this work, enhanced by the tenderness of the figures' kiss, has made Le Baiser one of the most celebrated images in Western art. Albert E. Elsen describes the novel gesture of Rodin's Le Baiser, 'In The Kiss Rodin was still trying to show the official art world that he could compose with the best of the Prix de Rome winners. In fact, he not only outdid them in the sincerity of the lovers'expressions of mutual awareness and love, he even revived an old gesture of sexual appropriation by having the more assertive Francesca sling her leg over that of the hesitant Paolo' (Albert E. Elsen, The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin, Palo Alto, 1985, p. 78).

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote of this work, 'The spell of the great group of the girl and the man that is named 'The Kiss' lies in this understanding distribution of life. In this group waves flow through the bodies, a shuddering ripple, a thrill of strength, and a presaging of beauty. This is the reason why one beholds everywhere on these bodies the ecstasy of this kiss. It is like a sun that rises and floods all with its light' (Rainer Maria Rilke, Rodin, London, 1946, p. 26).

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