Monday, 23 December 2013

The Kiss in Milan

Nope, not a rock band. Rodin is in town and without much exaggeration this is one of the most gorgeous exhibitions I have been this year and my most favorite in Milan of 2013 that is about to end. 

The curator Aline Magnien was very lucky getting Sala Della Cariatidi which un-finishness made this exhibition so special and magical. Rich decay of the walls incrustrated with antique patina mirrors, pillars surmounted with broken sculptures which shapes only vaguely reminded their original look of topless ladies, and  extensive floral decoration of the ceiling enchant me every time I am in the room. But usually the room always remains a stronger art of itself than the exhibited items. With Rodin sculptures' exhibition, however, the interior was a whole entity. This unity together with how the items were exhibited gave a feeling of sneaking in the sculptor's workshop. Over 60 of the pieces from Rodin Museum in Paris were placed on metal carcasses and untreated wood planks. Curtains from white gauzy fabric was a great alternative to habitual walls or other exhibition fixtures keeping the room open, light and airy allowing a visitor an opportunity to glimpse over the whole exhibition and be simply astonished by its beauty. Selection of Debussy's music pieces, especially my favorite Moon Light, was a good choice to immerse the visitors into romantic mood of Auguste Rodin's world. 

The Kiss in marble, one of four sculptures created in Rodin's studio (the others are in Copenhagen's Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Pennsylvania's Rodin Museum and London's Tate gallery), was in the center of the room visible from almost all the point of the room. Also known as Francesca Da Rimini or Paolo and Francesca, this sculpture is inspired by Dante Alighieri's Inferno (Circle 2, Canto 5) and originally was planned to be a central piece of The Gates of Hell commissioned for a museum of art in Paris. The sculpture was very popular and few hundreds copies in bronze and marble of different sizes have been produced, also after Rodin's death, however, according to the law of 1978, only first twelve copies are considered original. 

NB: If you want to learn more about this piece, keep on reading the post.

The Kiss aka. Faith of Love As Deep as Graves aka. Paolo and Francesca, ca. 1882
 Danaid aka. The Source, 1889
  Last Vision aka. The Morning Star aka. The Wreck, 1902
  Aurora (bust of Camille Claudel), 1895-1897
The Convalescent aka. Silence aka. Melancholy (bust of Camille Claudel), between 1907-1914

When walking along the aisles with sculptures, I had unexorcized feeling of Rodin being inspired by Michelangelo's Pietà Rondanini, the most difficult to complete and thus remained unfinished work of the master which currently is the jewel of Milan's Castello Sforzesco collection. 

Michelangelo Buonarotti's Pieta Rondanini that he worked on for 14 years. Reworked many times, this sculpture, 
depending from the angle perspective may seem like Jesus holding Mary vs. Mary cradling Jesus.  

I have seen most of the works in Paris and while still was impressed by each work and overall enjoyed my museum visit, I was not feeling so light and so impressed like I did when visiting the temporary exhibition in Milan. In my opinion, this is the finest example of involving every single element to participate and to tell a story, yet none of them (maybe with the only exception of The Kiss due to its position in the room that highlighted its importance in Rodin's career and art history) were not overgrowing the rest of the ensemble

The Kiss from all possible angles


The bonus for scrolling all the way down are the two videos on Rodin. The first is BBC's Private Life of a Masterpiece - The Kiss while this link is the masterpieces on its own - visual artist Quayola's Matters inspired by Rodin's sculpture Le Penseur/The Thinker (click here).

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