Author(s): Serge Bramly
This charming homage to the kiss features artistic depictions of love in iconic works of painting, sculpture, and photography. The most eloquent silence; that of two mouths meeting in a kiss. Whether delicate and tender or passionate and intense, the kiss transcends time, cultures, moral boundaries, and sometimes even life itself. Although undoubtedly the art world's best known contributors, Rodin and Klimt are certainly not the only artists to have dedicated their work to this theme. A symbol of passion, but equally of transgression and death, the kiss has been widely depicted throughout the history of art. Found in decorative patterns dating from the antiquities and in the most diverse forms of contemporary art alike, it represents one of the greatest legendary motifs. The kiss is hardly ever depicted without a subtext, and this work explains the ardent undertones of some 200 of the world's greatest masterpieces: Hayez's medieval kissers clutched in a stormy embrace; Klimt's iconic symbolist painting; Picasso's ethereal cubist couple; Rodin's exquisite sculpture depicting Dante's infamous Paolo and Francesca; Brancusi's abstract statue of two unidentified figures; or Andy Warhol's celebrated film of kisses shared by couples of all orientations. This handsome volume, featuring stunning reproductions of the works explored, spans the ages, demonstrating how the concept of the kiss is common to all humanity. Renowned essayist Serge Bramly's erudite text is analytical and evocative, and is enriched with both scholarly descriptions and poetic anecdotes.
Serge Bramly is a photographer and author of numerous works; he received the prestigious Prix Interallie in 2008. Jean Coulon is an art collector, film producer, and member of the board of directors of the Musee Maillol in Paris.