If you happen to be in Milan before January 26, 2014 be sure to include a visit to the Palazzo Reale for the Rodin. Il Marmo, la Vita (Rodin. Marble, Life) exhibit.
This exhibit will include more than 60 works of Auguste Rodin. The original title of this exhibit was: Rodin, Flesh and Marble as the first portion of the exhibit deals with Rodin’s work of sculpting the human form in stone.
One famous piece included in this exhibit is, The Kiss.I had seen this piece before in Paris, and it is obviously well-known. What I did NOT know, however, is that the piece was originally entitled: Francesca da Rimini referring to Francesca from Dante’s Inferno. In Inferno, Francesca falls in love with her brother-in-law Paolo and the ill-fated lovers spend eternity in the second circle of hell. In this sculpture, the couple’s lips are not actually touching. Is this to represent their circumstance in Dante’s hell? I mean, how frustrating to be so close to that sweet and passionate kiss only to be stopped short? If that is not hell, I don’t know what is! Or is it that they were just about to kiss, before being surprised by Francesca’s husband and never got that last, great kiss in before being killed?
Which leads me to another discovery – that Francesca and Paolo were true, historical figures. Francesca, a contemporary of Dante, was betrothed in marriage by her father for political reasons to Giovanni Malatesta, who was a cruel and well…ugly man. She then fell in love with Giovanni’s younger and handsome brother, Paolo. The two carried on a relationship for years, until they were caught by Giovanni and killed. No one really knows the true story of this situation as apparently there are no records of a double murder or of an adulterous relationship. Whatever the true story, the couple has been immortalized in Rodin’s moving sculpture.
Rodin, Dante, adulterous lovers! A lot of passion going on! So back to the original purpose of this post. If you are in Milan, Go and see this exhibit! Below is the info:
From October 17, 2013 – January 26, 2014
Palazzo Reale – Piazza del Duomo, 12, Milan
Monday: 2.30AM to 7.30PM Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday: 9.30AM to 7.30PM Thursday and Saturday: 9.30AM to 10.30PM
Full ticket cost: 11 Euro