Last week, I got to check out a beautiful piece of work, likely inspired by one of these romances; Il Bacio (The Kiss) by Francesco Hayez. This passionate painting also happens to be the Expo in Città’s symbol for June (BELoved). Il Bacio is currently on exposition at Pinacoteca di Brera, a surprisingly extensive museum, tucked away in the beautiful artistic and bohemian district of Brera, occupying space with the art school Accademia di Brera.
You are first greeted by a stone courtyard, dotted with art students and surrounded by stone pillars and various statues.
Courtyard at Pinoacoteca di Brera
Climb to the second floor and you’ve got a fantastic look over the courtyard and the entrance to the gallery. One of the first things I noticed after entering the museum, was a stunning library. I may be a nerd and love the comforting quiet and smell of old libraries and books, but I think anyone could agree that this place was really beautiful.
Oh the beauty and fantastic smell of an old library.
After wandering through the many different colored corridors, through centuries of art and history, I finally came up our lovely subject, Il Bacio.
One of the many brightly colored halls of the Pinacoteca di Brera.
If you don’t look carefully, you might miss it like I did the first time! But it is worth the find.
Francesco Hayez’s “Il Bacio”
A little history on the beauty, it was painted in 1859 by Francesco Hayez, an oil on canvas smaller than I’d imagined, at 110 cm by 88 cm. The size does not affect the passion of the photo, which emanates the true symbolism of Italian Romanticism. At first glance, the painting seems to merely portray a couple kissing, however there is much more symbolism than meets the eye if you just know a bit of history. The light blue color of the woman’s dress is a symbol for France, who in the same year as the painting (1859), was making an alliance with Italy’s Sardinia and the Kingdom of Piedmont, which later would sanction the unification of promontory southern states of Italy, into a new kingdom.
Il Bacio has also made appearances and had it’s influence throughout the years in other works of art. Italy’s famous chocolate brand “Baci” took a number from the painting’s book, with it’s similar blue colored box, “kiss” name and a picture of the two lovebirds. The painting also made an appearance in the 1954 Italian classic movie, Senso, where director Luchino Visconti took influence from the painting for one of his leading scenes.
A close up of the passionate smooch.
At any rate, this painting’s powerful passion and messaged undertones makes it definitely worth the view! Get inspired for your summer romance and Expo in Città’s June themed month of BEloved, with more info at www.brera.beniculturali.it/