The Kiss by Rodin was acclaimed as a masterpiece when it was first exhibited in Paris in 1877 and even today it is still one of the most well-known and admired pieces of sculpture in the world. This statue originally represented Paolo and Francesca, two characters borrowed from Dante’s Divine Comedy: slain by Francesca’s husband, who surprised them as they exchanged their first kiss, the two lovers were condemned to wander eternally, through hell.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), was a famous French sculptor, whose work had a huge influence on modern art and he is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture; however he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was traditionally schooled, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition. He applied at the age of 17 to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, but was rejected twice, and in fact, he was never accepted into Paris's foremost school of art.