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English Section

Rodin’s famous sculpture 'The Kiss' to be auctioned in Warsaw

09.04.2021 16:49
"The Kiss" (Le Baiser), one of the most recognisable works by the French artist Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), will be the centrepiece of an auction of modern sculpture to be held at the Warsaw DESA-Unicum auction house on April 15.
Photo: PAP/Mateusz Marek

With its blend of eroticism and idealism, The Kiss is considered an iconic image of love and passion.

Executed in marble in 1888, The Kiss was originally conceived as part of a group of reliefs for Rodin’s monumental bronze portal The Gates of Hell. It depicts the 13th century Italian noblewoman Francesca da Rimini, who fell in love with her husband’s younger brother Paolo.

The work which is to go under the hammer in Warsaw is one of many bronze casts of the original which were made in Rodin’s lifetime. It bears the artist’s signature on the base as well as the foundry stamp.

Art expert Tomasz Dziewicki told state news agency PAP that the work is the 23rd among 109 copies of the so-called third reduction (troisième réduction), which dates from the 1901-1918 period.

An earlier copy of Rodin’s The Kiss, made in 1898 by the same foundry as part of the first reduction, is part of the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw.

Weronika Singh of DESA Unicum auctioneers told PAP that the sculpture could fetch PLN 2 million (around EUR 440,000, USD 525,000). That would be one of the highest prices ever paid for a sculpture in Poland.