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Rodin Kiss and Tell Ipswich

The story behind 'the kiss'

Not a great lover of culture? We challenge you to rethink your priorities now Rodin’s ‘The Kiss’ is in town as a new exhibition gets underway: Kiss and Tell: Rodin and Suffolk Sculpture at Ipswich’s epicentre, Christchurch Mansion.

Believe it or not, this landmark sculpture is on loan from the Tate, created by whom many believe to be the originator of modern sculpture; Auguste Rodin, born in Paris in the 1840s.

Whether you’re in need of a cultural hit or like to indulge in your artistic side, this winter we urge you to join us in Ipswich, East Anglia’s cultural capital, for a once in a lifetime journey of discovery to celebrate the history of sculpture.

Rodin's Kiss and Tell IpswichThere's a story behind every kiss...

Some would question why Rodin’s ‘The Kiss’ is so remarkable. Well, for a start, it’s a life-size marble sculpture of the human figure – one of the most enduring themes in art - and based on a work of literature: Dante’s Inferno, from the epic poem Divine Comedy. It tells the journey of Dante through Hell guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. It represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the ‘inferno’ describing the recognition and rejection of sin.

‘The Kiss’ was originally commissioned as one of two sculptures to pose at the entrance for a Decorative Arts Museum which was never built, and instead became part of a body of Rodin’s masterpiece collection.

Alongside this iconic piece are several of Rodin’s other sculptures, inspired by movement and dance; portraits of French novelist Honoré de Balzac and a bronze maquette of Pierre De Wissant - one of the figures from ‘The Burghers of Calais’.

Christchurch Mansion

 Take a journey back in time inside Christchurch Mansion

Behind the walls of Christchurch Mansion

Whether you’re here for outstanding works by Rodin, Christchurch Mansion and Park is worth the journey by itself; a Tudor mansion donning some 500 years of history and set within 70 acres of pretty public parkland. However, it's what's inside Christchurch Mansion that interests most. The house contains rooms preserved in time, a collection of pottery and glass, a contemporary art gallery and the largest collection of works by Constable and Gainsborough outside London.

Christchurch Mansion in IpswichSpot a Constable masterpiece at Christchurch Mansion

Visit East Anglia's Waterfront Town

Being England’s oldest continuously inhabited town is pretty impressive. But what really attracts us is quirky undercurrent of homegrown art and cultural experiences, as well as a smorgasbord of great eats from around the world – a place that truly embraces what it is to be cultural. Topped with a burgeoning hub for independent shops and smart coffee houses - what is not to like?

Ipswich waterfront question markModern art on Ipswich quayside

best time to visit

The Kiss & Tell: Rodin and Suffolk is on at Christchurch Mansion until 28 April 2019, so there’s still time to plan your day or take a mini-break in Ipswich. (visiting hours Tue – Sat 10-4, Sun: 11-4pm).
Christchurch MansionAt the heart of Ipswich sits the magnificent Christchurch Mansion in Christchurch Park


Explore our county town further with our Top 10 Things to Do in Ipswich. Or visit our general guide to the town.
St Peter's Street in IpswichShopping on St Peter's Street in Ipswich


What strange and interesting things do you know about Suffolk? Let us know via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.