Milan hosts one of the world most famous painting of Francesco Hayez called “The Kiss” and if you are an art lover, I would be very happy to escort you to discover this magnificent masterpiece.
Francesco Hayez (1791 –1882) was an Italian painter who can be put in the Romanticism historical period of mid 19 century. Coming from a venetian poor family, he was introduced in the world of art by his uncle who send him to an art restorer as apprentice: later Francesco moved to other cities such as Rome and Naples to continue his studies about antique art.
He arrived in Milan around 1830 and he took part of the cultural and
intellectual life of the city partecipating to the “Maffei Salotto”
owned by Clara Maffei: in 1850 he became director of the Academy of
Hayez was interested in history and it is possible discover in his works historical subjects as well as biblical scenes or themes from classical literature.
You and your escort can notice that, as other romantic painters, he also liked to paint semi-clothed women. He worked for the elite society painting a lot of portraits of the nobility of that time.
The Kiss is considered his best work and a wonderful example of Risorgimento style representing a deep and passionate kiss between a woman and a man, probably a young Italian solder in the act to say “goodbye” to his girlfriend.
About the interpretation, is possible see an allegory of the alliance between France and Italy considering that the historical figure of Napoleon was fundamental to create the Italian Unification: the man – wearing the colours of the Italian flag – represents Italy while the woman – wearing the colours of the French flag – represents France.
The painting, which is an oil on canvas of 110 cm × 88 cm dated 1859, was commissioned by Alfonso Maria Visconti di Saliceto and immediately became one of the most copied masterpiece in the following centuries: emotional and full of symbolisms it is characteristic for its beautiful and vivid colors such as the blue dress of the woman.
it is located in the Museum of Pinacoteca di Brera of Milan where I can escort you to see also other works of the same author.