- Presented by the New Zealand Government from the New Zealand Fund in France For Cultural Development, 1964
- 320 x 228 x 228mm
The embracing couple was a motif sculptor August Rodin returned to throughout his career. Here, a man adopts a posture of ardent reverence, kissing a woman on the stomach while kneeling with his arms held behind him. She appears to pull him closer with one hand, while the other touches her own lifted foot. This fluid bronze embodies the values of the Romantic movement of the nineteenth century, which emphasised sensual impact and personal expression. The apparent mutuality of attraction and power balance expressed here can be contrasted with how heterosexual couples were often depicted in the classical art tradition, with female figures as passive muses or powerless victims of sexual aggression.
(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )