Paolo and Francesca
Paolo and Francesca is one of only two direct references in The Gates of Hell to the “Inferno” portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Dante encounters the couple in the second circle of Hell, where carnal sinners are punished. There, the condemned and slain pair, whose love was unconsummated, are together forever, constantly reminded of their first kiss but unable to satisfy their most passionate desires. Francesca confesses to Dante that there is “no greater grief than to recall a bygone happiness.” Rodin accentuated their eternal frustration by inserting a mass between their writhing bodies.
For Paolo’s yearning and tender face, Rodin reused his small Head of Sorrow (seen nearby).
before 1886, cast 1981
11 3/4 x 23 1/4 x 10 5/8 in. (29.8 x 59.1 x 27.0 cm) (show scale)
On base, below female figure's buttocks:
".Georges Rudier./.Fondeur. Paris."
On shelf supporting male figure's extended foot: "© by Musée Rodin 1981"
Behind male figure: "A. Rodin No 4"
This item is not on view
Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917). Paolo and Francesca, before 1886, cast 1981. Bronze, 11 3/4 x 23 1/4 x 10 5/8 in. (29.8 x 59.1 x 27.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, 86.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.1_SL1.jpg)
overall, 86.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.