AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
Torse Masculin du Baiser,
51 x 41.8 x 34 cm (20 x 16 x 13 in)
Markings: Signature, number and inscriptions: 'A Rodin, no. 04/08 © by Musee Rodin 1996/E.Godard, Fondeur Paris'.
The male torso is Paolo’s, the man who, with Francesca, constitutes one of the most famous couples of the history of art, the one for Le Baiser. The torso is a striking example of the complete shift in perception, fragmentation can bring to a well-known work. When the spiralling composition of the ensemble disappears, even when Paolo’s hand, ready to be on Francesca’s leg, being the original work’s point of focus, no longer exists, new elements, previously ignored, now become visible: particularly the classic model of the torso and the left hand. Rodin’s choice to keep in the fragmentation means that he can include certain elements that originally belonged to Francesca’s body in order to createa new work, there is the arm which now rests like a stump on the man’s neck, is altogether revealing of the sculptor’s work. From what he considered to be a ‘big sculpted knick-knack’, he made it into an excessively modern work by its audacity.