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Art that moves me (1)
I thought I might post from time to time about works of art, which I love.  Just to share them and remind me how beautiful things made by people can be.  Feel free to share or comment.
Ok, so the first thing out of all the paintings, sculptures, furniture, ceramics and other objects that springs to mind is this.  Even though there are many versions of Rodin's "The Kiss" I linked to this image because the marble version at the Rodin museum in Paris is the one I am most attached to. 

During my time in London I became very familiar with the one in the Tate museum, however there is something about the domestic setting of the Rodin museum which is far less austere.  Here you can go up to the large scale couple and almost touch their cold, alabaster skin (hey, getting a bit Twilight here!)  Despite the material used, this sculpture for me is on fire.  It is simultaneously sensual, gentle, erotic and like all his works for me, tinged with sadness.  Not surprisingly really as it has links with Dante's "Inferno" and his monumental work "The Gates of Hell". If you have not stood in front of these massive bronze doors I suggest you do so if you ever get the opportunity.  They are breathtaking in their execution and heartbreaking in subject. 

I think the secret is Rodin's approach to what are generally quite classical subjects for sculpture.  His style is what I can only describe as plastic, it is like he moulds all his material like the clay he uses for his studies.  Bronze has the elasticity of plasticine, marble is shaped like putty and figures are revealed effortlessly as if the material falls away from them like trickling water.

He was also progressive in the way he depicted women as participants in love and ardour (resulting in scandal and general disgust at the time).  Women were meant to be submissive or better still, objects in the art of the day.  They were there to admire, lust after or worship depending on their role in the work of art.  Rodin's approach was far too voyeuristic - the female figure in "The Kiss" is fully involved in the moment, captured in a moment of passion and surrender.  The male is not a dominant partner here, instead they are equals.  This is reminiscent of the Impressionists who caused such scandal with their empowered women (think Manet's "Olympia" who is disarming in her direct gaze - she looks at the viewer, who is looking at her - unimaginable in the male sphere of art.)

However while Olympia is challenging in her gaze (and she has a right to be as a courtesan supposedly addressing her client), the woman in "The Kiss" is unaware of the viewer making this a much more tender and disarming work of art for its vulnerability and as mentioned, voyeuristic qualities.  This is more in line with the domestic works of Mary Cassatt (eg "The Bath"), where the viewer is not invited into the female sphere and so is made to feel uncomfortable by the tenderness.

On a more personal note I love the memories "The Kiss" holds for me.  I saw it on a perfect Winter's day in Paris with A.  He politely listened to me whitter on about art and things and acted duly impressed, which is always nice and then we just stood there, as the weak midwinter sun streamed through the window of the old house onto the sculpture, and enjoyed its beauty together.

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I do not think you have actually linked to the things you think you have linked to. The links appear to have no hrefs.

I did but LJ is being a bit broken. You could always google from my refs but will try and fix it.

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