Auguste Rodin's The Kiss will auction in Paris on February 16

A bronze cast of Auguste Rodin's The Kiss will be offered at Drouot in Paris on February 16, with a valuation of $1.7m-2.2m.

The work, which depicts Paolo and Francesca from Dante's Divine Comedy, is one of Rodin's most celebrated.

Rodin The Kiss
Rodin's The Kiss was hugely controversial when it was unveiled

This example was actually produced 10 years after Rodin died, albeit from the original cast.

It's the first time a version of the sculpture has been offered for sale in a century and is thus poised to sell for substantially over its estimate.

The most famous version of The Kiss is the example from 1889 made from white marble, although the work originally appears in Rodin's Gates of Hell.

Its powerful eroticism made it hugely controversial when it was unveiled. Today it's considered Rodin's masterpiece, along with The Thinker, although he never thought so - once describing it as "a large sculpted knick-knack following the usual formula."

The sale will also include four other small scale bronze sculptures by Rodin.

One, titled L'eternal Printemps, is valued at $338,145-450,860.

The work was inspired by a love affair with fellow sculptor Camille Claudel.

Another cast of L'eternal Printemps sold for $1.5m at Bonhams earlier this month.

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