The Kiss of Death in Poblenou, Barcelona

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Posted on Mon, Mar 30 2015 15:23:10

kiss of deathThe Kiss of Death Statue, or El beso de la muerte, by an unknown sculptor, which dates back to 1930, stands on the ancient cemetery of Poblenou in Barcelona. It portrays an angel of death bestowing a kiss upon the forehead of a young man, and is hidden in one of the farthest corners of the cemetery, as if someone wanted to hide it from prying eyes.

In 1930, the Llaudet family mourned the loss of their son and soon after the funeral his grave was decorated with this original tombstone. The creator of this dark masterpiece remains unknown, which adds even more mystery to it. The work is often attributed to Jaume Barba, but not everyone agrees with this and some believe it was created by Joan Fontbernat. The sculpture comes across as both eerie and erotic – the angel of death is portrayed as a winged skeleton, and the youth looks like it welcomes death as his partner, combining the decay and romance in one.

The epitaph on the tomb is the lines of the great poet and priest Jacint Verdaguer, who was later considered a heretic and was deprived of dignity for his mystical poetry. It reads:

"His young heart is thus extinguished. The blood in his veins grows cold. And all strength has gone. Faith has been extolled by his fall into the arms of death. Amen."

This sculpture instills both horror and admiration into the ones who see it, along with the infinite questions about eternity. It is believed that this sculpture inspired Ingmar Bergman while he was contemplating about the making of The Seventh Seal film.  

Gallery: The Kiss of Death in Poblenou, Barcelona

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