There are several different works called The Kiss, created by different artists. Auguste Rodin, Constatin Brancusi, and Gustav Klimt all have their own version of the work. While Rodin and Brancusi created a sculpture, Klimt created a painting. These artists conveyed many different emotions for their viewers to perceive. These works of art also have several things in common. It is important to learn about each artist in order to learn the ideas and thoughts that come from their works. Auguste Rodin was French sculptor, known to be innovative and to put much spiritual and emotional depth into his works.
He lived from November 12, 1840 until November 17, 1917. He was considered to be a realist and the originator of modern sculpture. Rodin was not accepted into school of art in Paris, so we wasn’t schooled traditionally. He received much criticism throughout his career for his sculptures. While he was aware of the criticism, his style remained the same. As he created more work, he began to gain more acceptance. Instead of his works being traditional and based on mythology and allegory, they embodied character from the human body. One of his prominent works is a marble sculpture called The Kiss, made in 1889.
It has been at its current location, the Musee Rodin, since 1918. The sculpture shows two fully nude lovers’ embrace. They are sitting with their arms wrapped around each other, gazing into each others’ eyes. This sculpture is said to depict an Italian woman who falls in love with her husband’s brother while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere. They were discovered and killed by the woman’s husband. I believe that the sculpture The Kiss by Brancusi is quite different from the sculpture by Rodin with the same name. These two artists had quite a different style. Brancusi showed modernism and abstraction.
While Rodin also portrayed modernism, he used realism and a representational approach. They are both sculptures containing a couple kissing but have a different meaning. In Brancusi’s sculpture the couples’ lips meet and a unity is shown. The couple is facing directly at each other with only their heads ands upper torso is being shown. In contrast to that, Rodin’s The Kiss, was very erotic and had a story behind it about two lovers. Alternative to Brancusi’s, in Rodin’s sculpture, the couples lips do not actually touch. It is suggested that they were interrupted and did not get to kiss.
Their interpretations of embrace are completely different. It is said that Rodin’s work expresses the feelings of love, while Brancusi expresses the idea of love. (1) Their mediums are also quite different. One being limestone and the other marble. Constantin Brancusi, known as the patriarch of modern sculpture, was born in Romania on February 19, 1876. He studied in a variety of places including Bucharest, Munich, and Paris. In his studies, he worked with Auguste Rodin. He strayed away from Auguste Rodin because his style contained geometrical abstraction and symbolism compared to Rodin’s representational approach.
He soon became widely recognized in France. Through his distinct style, Brancusi pioneered modernism and abstraction. Modernism was displayed in his sculpture The Kiss, which was his first major work. He began working on this sculpture 1907. It was created from a solid block of limestone. He used the process of directly carving into the limestone, called direct carving, which he could turn natural forms into abstraction. This sculpture is a rectangular shape that has strong geometric and symmetrical lines. It is of a couple embracing in a kiss.
The couples’ faces are completely touching, making them seem to form into one being. This shows a sign of perfect unification. Constanin Brancusi’s The Kiss is now at The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection -- Philadelphia Museum of Art. The work The Kiss, by Gustav Klimt can compare to this work. Although it is a painting, and not a sculpture, similar qualities are shown. Both artists used abstraction and geometrical lines in their versions of The Kiss. While Klimt uses randomly placed rectangles, circles and swirls to create a pattern, Brancusi uses symmetrical lines.
Klimt’s purpose of the painting is known to show a kiss in an erotic way, with much details, while Brancusi’s sculpture is simple and to the point, expressing the idea of love. Gustav Klimt, a member of the Vienna Secession movement, was an Austrian painter known as a symbolist. Gustav Klimt trained at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts as an architectural painter from 1876 until 1883. His talent was shown at a very early age. He primarily produced paintings, murals, and sketches in which he continuously focused on the female body.
Klimt was known to have an obsession with women, especially red heads. Many of his paintings have a hidden sexual meaning. Klimt steered away from traditional allegory and symbolism. His painting “The Kiss” is from his prominent ‘Golden Phase’ which was known for its success. During this period he often used gold leaf. He began working on one of his most famous paintings, The Kiss, in 1907. Some of the mediums used were oil pant and gold leaf on an oil canvas, 180x180cm. The use of gold leaf has links to both the Bronze Age art and Western Art from the use of spiral patterns and decorative tendrils.
In this painting, he depicts a couple embracing covered in elaborately decorated robes in a field of flowers. The mans robe is gold, covered black, white, and red rectangles and circles. The woman is wearing a dress with different sized circles forming a pattern similar to a flower. She has red hair that is pulled up with flowers placed on the top. Controversy was made from this painting due to the sexuality and eroticism between the man and woman. The painting contains organic lines, contour, and an extravagant pattern which has ties to the Art Nouveau and to the Arts and Crafts movement.
Through The Kiss, Klimt showed the power that love has on art. The painting is now located in the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere museum, in the Belvedere palace, in Vienna, Austria. Although the form and the content are quite different, I believe that this painting is similar to The Kiss, by Auguste Rodin for a number of reasons. When creating these works, both artists strayed away from traditional allegory. Instead, the artists showed an emphasis on the human body, which was new to the time period. Klimt showed a sexual and erotic side, while Rodin embodied character.
These artists showed a new way to portray artwork. Both artists had much controversy from the sensuality that their works portrayed. Obviously the mediums that the artists used were quite different. Rodin used marble, while Klimt used gold leaf and oil paint on canvas. They were also both created in the same time period. Both artists expressed much feeling and emotion through their versions of The Kiss. These three works are all titled The Kiss. The three different artists had similar qualities in their works, but a different approach to express meaning in them.