Art Appreciation August Report

September Meeting Cancelled as there is no one to lead, Sorry.

Report on Art Appreciation Meeting August 2013

The Kiss by Rodin Parquesol Restaurant El Morche

We were all a bit surprised that this series included sculpture. I decided that we would try watching an episode on Rodin. I expected numbers to be low but we had 8 people attending and I was really delighted. This was as usual, a fantastic DVD and discussion.

When I was in Edinburgh in July, this masterpiece was on loan from Tate Modern to the National Gallery of Scotland so I had a little look. It is there until February if anyone feels a yearning to see some eye candy. Watch this DVD first before you look and it will open a new world to you. The sculpture is awesome in its beauty.

One thing I did notice was that the staining on the legs was much worse than when I saw this masterpiece about 30 years ago. I thought it was just ageing of the marble. However, the DVD explained that it was because of the way it was stored during WWW1. It is staining from the hay which was used to protect it, whilst residing in a barn. Last month, we learned that the Dutch created vaults for their works of Art and we Brits store ours in a barn with hay. Says it all really!

The first question which springs to mind, Is this erotic or romantic? I am a romantic at heart and wanted it to be romantic, but it was pointed out that the couple are undressed so it must be erotic. Another illusion shattered for me!!! Also her legs are poised as if she is about to take the next step, but is this to flee or……… These questions make this a captivating work. There is not a definitive answer only an interpretation. And my views have changed with age. What about you?

Then there are slight changes in each version and the British sculpture is better defined in the male anatomy. I am really sorry that I cannot report on this!!! The conversation was varied and heated and I will leave the answers to your imagination. Oh, we did have a good chat!!

The other amazing fact was that the concept was Rodin’s. However, he commissioned someone to do the actual carving of the marble. Now I think that is cheating. This really disappointed me. I know he oversaw the project and all that but I am disappointed in this and I wish I did not know.

Rodin was another man who had lots of affairs with his models. He had a long term affair with Camille Claudel. He refused to leave his wife Rose for her. After the affair was over she was locked away for the rest of her life by her family. 30 years spent in a mental institution. Now that is a tragedy. Thank goodness life has changed. I still cannot get over that fact.

Camille was also a sculpture and their works complimented one another’s. Many of her works were destroyed when she was ill, but the few which have survived are wonderful. I am going to look into her work more.

I didn’t realise that Rodin had many copies of the Kiss made in various media. I want one for my garden please. I know there are lots of copies of the Thinker. He was quite a mass producer and we talk about modern artists and prints. It seems that this is not a new concept.

Our next meeting, is on the October 23 at Parquesol, El Morche. We meet at 11am. Next month we are looking at Goya 3 May and Roger Martinez is leading. Please come along for a chat, coffee, watch the DVD and talk. Everyone is welcome.

Janice Galloway

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