A sculpture by Auguste Rodin, the Kiss is derived from a detail on his larger work, The Gates of Hell. In that work, which was originally designed to be the entrance to an Arts museum in Paris which was never built, the figures, a male and female embracing, represent Paolo and Francesca, the doomed lovers from Dante's Inferno.

When this detail group, executed in bronze, was first exhibited in 1886 however, critics called it "Le Baiser" (The Kiss), distancing it from its literary roots, and that is the title has been known under ever since.

Rodin began an enlarged version, in marble, in 1888, but it was not completed until 1898, when it was shown at an exhibition for which Rodin was responsible for the sculpture section -- the Salon de la Société national des Beaux-Arts.

The work is incredibly detailed and is often described as a masterwork of the sculptor's craft. It is certainly one of the most widely recognised pieces of sculpture in the world.

The Kiss is currently exhibited at the Musée Rodin.