The Kiss of the Death

The Kiss of the Death in Spain

Country of the crafting: Spain
Region of the crafting: Catalunya
Type of the crafting: Marble, stone and plaster

1. Geographic Area
The sculpture is located on the grave of the textile entrepreneur Josep Llaudet Soler. This marble sculpture entitled “El Petó de la mort” (The Kiss of Death) is located in the Poblenou cementery, probably the most artistic and creative neighbourhood in Barcelona.It personifies the moment when we take the step from life to the beyond in the figure of a winged skeleton kissing a young man in his last breath.The story of this incredible work dates back to 1930, when the Llaudet family, filled with sadness over the death of their son, commissioned the sculpture for his grave. the sculpture has been attributed to Jaume Barba, although others attribute it to Joan Fontbernat. the sculpture shows death in the form of a winged skeleton kissing a young man.

2. Craft characteristics
It is the story of claws that have been digging into young flesh for almost a century. A winged skeleton that kisses the forehead of a young and handsome man.The truly frightening thing about “The Kiss of Death” is not death itself, but the frightening thing about sweetness. – the possibility that death is not traumatic. – the possibility that death is not what it is. and that it is not when it comes to a person as young as he is in the sculpture. That death is a partner, a repentant figure who approaches it little by little, asking for forgiveness.

3. Tecnique
The work of art basically represents the scene in which death, personified in the dismal figure of the skeleton, goes to look for this young man and takes him to his kingdom by means of a kiss, which contrasts with the allegorical and classic image of death itself which, represented by a hooded skeleton carrying a scythe, goes to look for the living when their time has come and with this tool implacably cuts the link between man and earthly existence.The sculpture evokes different responses to the people who see it: it is the ecstasy in the face of the young man or the renunciation of life.The eroticism of the kiss is difficult to conceal, the sculpture shows the welcome to death as a partner. the sculpture is both romantic and terrible, leading to the different points of view of the people who see it. Attracting and repelling at the same time, the need to touch combines with the desire to flee.

4. Materials
The sculpture is made of marble and is about instead of choosing a winged angel to describe death, the sculptor chose a skeleton. the eroticism of the kiss is palpable from the moment it is interpreted as the young man’s welcome to death as a couple. the sculpture is romantic and terrifying, which leads to different points of view in those who see it. It attracts and repels at the same time, the impulse of touch is mixed with the desire to flee. the sculpture represents death, in the form of a winged skeleton, planting a kiss on the forehead of a young and athletic man, an image that can evoke both the ecstasy on the face of the deceased on leaving this world, and the sadness of giving up existence in the prime of life.

5. History
The Kiss of Death, (El Petó de la Mort) in Catalan is a marble sculpture, which can be found in the Poblenou cemetery in Barcelona. The sculpture of “The Kiss of Death”, is without a doubt the best known and most outstanding composition of the cemetery.It is believed that the sculpture was created by Jaume Barba, although others claim that the idea was conceived by Joan Fontbernat.The commission was given to Jaume Barba’s workshop, which has always been responsible for creating the sculpture, but given that the master was 70 years old when it was made, it seems more accurate to say that the work was done by Joan Fontbernal, who was the son-in-law of the master and most qualified sculptor in the workshop.The sculpture is on the gravestone of the textile businessman Josep Llaudet Soler.

The Kiss of the Death crafting Presentation

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