ITINERARY: Le Baiser (The Kiss) is originally one of the many motifs of Auguste Rodin’s masterful work La Porte de l’Enfer (The Gates of Hell), commissioned by the French State, inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and Charles Baudelaire ‘s Fleurs du mal for the Musée des decorative arts of Paris.
A marble version of this sculpture is located at the Musée Rodin, (one of my favorite museums in Paris). But the statue in this video is entirely free to visit in the Jardin des Tuileries, facing the Orangerie. Before creating the marble version, Rodin produced several smaller sculptures in plaster, terracotta and bronze.
First called Francesca da Rimini and named after one of the characters from hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy, who fell in love with her brother-in-law. The lovers were surprised and murdered by Francesca’s husband while they were reading the story of Lancelot and Queen Guinevere together. In Le Baiser, you can see the book in Paolo’s hand. In 1888 the French government commissioned Rodin with the first large-scale marble version of Le Baiser, which first appeared at the Paris Salon in 1898.
Auguste Rodin (René François Auguste Rodin) is one of the most important French sculptors of the second half of the 19th century, considered one of the fathers of modern sculpture.
Suggested itinerary to the museum:
Grab a baguette sandwich lunch at Boulangerie du Musée, 40 Rue de Bourgogne, 75007 Paris.
Immediately walk up the street to Musée Rodin and start your visit in the gardens.
In a counter-clockwise fashion, visit the Gates of Hell, and move down towards the back of the gardens.
Find the hidden lounge chairs behind the trellis for a private picnic with your sandwich. Yes, there is a restaurant on-site, but it’s expensive, and the Boulangerie du Musée is SO good.
Continue to work your way through the sculpture gardens in a counter-clockwise fashion back to the entrance of the mansion.
And then go inside the house to finish the rest of your visit!