The National Museum of Western Art

Auguste Rodin [Paris, 1840 - Meudon, 1917]

The Kiss

Datec. 1882-87 (model)
Materials/Techniquesbronze
Size (cm)87 x 51 x 55
InscriptionsSigned upper back of base: A. Rodin; foundry mark lower right back of base: Alexis RUDIER / Fondeur. Paris
Credit LineMatsukata Collection
Standard ref.M1252
CategorySculptures
Collection NumberS.1959-0004
The Kiss
Photo by (c) Norihiro Ueno

This work recalls the tragic love of Paolo and Francesca in Dante's Divine Comedy. Its silhouette can be found in the study plaster for The Gates of Hell. The Kiss as an independent sculpture from The Gates, however, represents the universal love, apart from the story of Paolo and Francesca. This couple did not burn in the hell fires of carnal love. Instead Rodin used them to symbolize the triumph of pure passionate love. Rodin commented "Love is the Flower of Life" as he posed a young couple in this pose in his studio to capture a realistic effect. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 136)

Provenance

Bought from Musée Rodin by Kojiro Matsukata, Kobe through Léonce Bénédite, ca. April 1919, as ‘Baiser’(Fr. 25,000) [see several letters between Bénédite and Suzuki & Co., April 1919, in Archives of Musée Rodin, Paris; copy in NMWA curatorial files]; sequestered by French government, 1944; vested in French government under San Francisco Peace Treaty, 1952; transferred from French to Japanese government, 23 January 1959; entered into NMWA, April 1959.

Exhibition History

1960
The Masterpieces of the Ex-Matsukata Collection, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 14 May 1960 - 10 July 1960, S-4
1962
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Hakutsuru Museum, Kobe, 20 October 1962 - 5 November 1962, S-004
1962
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Art Gallery of Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, 17 November 1962 - 9 December 1962, cat. no. 59 (当館記録による)
1963
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Ishibashi Museum of Art, Kurume, 26 October 1963 - 10 November 1963, S-004
1963
The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Shimane Prefectural Museum, Matsue, 5 October 1963 - 20 October 1963, S-004
1964
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Nakajima Sports Center of Hokkaido Prefecture, 22 August 1964 - 13 September 1964, cat. no. 70
1965
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Okayama Prefecture, Okayama, 20 October 1965 - 7 November 1965, cat. no. 60
1965
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, Kanazawa, 22 September 1965 - 10 October 1965, cat. no. 60
1966
Rodin, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 23 July 1966 - 11 September 1966, cat. no. 63
1966
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Wakayama Prefectural Museum of Art, Wakayama, 15 October 1966 - 4 November 1966, cat. no. 58
1966
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Oita Prefecture, Oita, 12 November 1966 - 27 November 1966, cat. no. 58
1967
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Kagoshima Municipal Museum of Art, 28 April 1967 - 21 May 1967, cat. no. 58
1968
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art, Hiroshima, 26 October 1968 - 17 November 1968, cat. no. 67
1968
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Niigata Prefectural Museum, Niigata, 14 July 1968 - 4 August 1968, cat. no. 67
1969
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Ibaraki Prefecture, Mito, 22 November 1969 - 21 December 1969, cat. no. 68
1970
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, Nagasaki Prefectural Museum, Nagasaki, 18 October 1970 - 15 November 1970, cat. no. 73
1971
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Toyama Prefectural Center, Museum of Art, Toyama, 2 October 1971 - 24 October 1971, cat. no. 68
1972
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Shinano Museum of Art of Nagano Prefecture, Nagano, 12 October 1972 - 5 November 1972, cat. no. 73
1973
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Kochi Prefecture, Kochi, 28 October 1973 - 25 November 1973, cat. no. 78
1974
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Saga Prefectural Museum, Saga, 16 November 1974 - 1 December 1974, cat. no. 76
1974
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Cultural Center of Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka, 13 October 1974 - 10 November 1974, cat. no. 76
1975
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Yamagata Museum, Yamagata, 1 November 1975 - 30 November 1975, cat. no. 76
1976
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Tottori Prefectural Museum, Tottori, 9 October 1976 - 7 November 1976, cat. no. 62
1977
[Tour Exhibition] The Matsukata Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, The Nara Prefectural Museum, Nara, 15 October 1977 - 13 November 1977, cat. no. 62
1978
[Tour Exhibition] Masterpieces from the National Museum of Western Art, The Art Center of Oita Prefecture, Oita, 20 December 1978 - 31 January 1979, cat. no. 68
1988
[Tour Exhibition] Rodin, The Kurayoshi Museum, 13 May 1988 - 12 June 1988, cat. no. 21
1989
Rodin et la Porte de l’Enfer (Rodin and the Gates of Hell), National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 21 October 1989 - 17 December 1989, cat. no. 14
1990
Kindai Chokoku no Nagare, Asahikawa Museum of Art, 29 September 1990 - 4 November 1990, cat. no. 2, repr.
1996
Camille Claudel, The Bunkamura Museum of Art, 1 June 1996 - 14 July 1996, Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, 20 july-18 August, cat. no. 79, repr.
1997
Resonating Love and Life: European Art from National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, The Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Nagaoka, 12 April 1997 - 18 May 1997, cat. no. 35
2000
Tanka at the National Museum of Western Art: An Encounter between Poet and Art, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 25 July 2000 - 29 October 2000, cat. no. 5
2001
Rodin et le Japon, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, 28 April 2001 - 10 June 2001, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, 22 June-19 August, cat. no. 190, col. repr.
2012
Traces of Hands: Sculpture and Drawings by Rodin and Bourdelle from the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 3 November 2012 - 27 January 2013, cat. no. 38
2015
Japan's Love for Impressionism: From Monet to Renoir, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, 8 October 2015 - 21 February 2016, cat. no. 86, col. repr.
2017
[Traveling Exhibitions Presenting National Art Museum Collections, Fiscal 2017] Muse: Women before the Artists' Eyes: From the Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art, 22 April 2017 - 2 July 2017, Akita Museum of Modern Art, 15 July-18 September, cat. no. 68
2019
The Matsukata Collection: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey: Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11 June 2019 - 23 September 2019, cat. no. 81, col. repr.

Bibliography

1966
Nakamura, Denzaburo. Nihon-Chokoku-si no naka-no Rodin. Mizue. no. 739, 9 1966, pp. 49-63, repr. p. 55.
1990
The Old Matsukata Collection. Kobe City Museum, ed. Kobe, "Matsukata Korekushon Ten" Jikkoiinkai, 1990, cat. no. S-18.
2006
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2006 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 136, repr.
2009
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2009, no. 136, repr.
2013
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 135, col. repr.
2019
The Matsukata Collection: Complete Catalogue of the European Art. Kawaguchi, Masako; Jingaoka, Megumi, eds. vol. 2: Sculpture, Drawings, Prints and Decorative Arts and Other Works, Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2019, cat. no. 1252, col. repr.

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