Kiss of Death

This life size statuary known as the Kiss of Death sculpted in white marble was erected in 1930 and is located in Poblenou Cemetery, Barcelona, Spain.

The sculpture is attributed to Jaume Barba who has his signature on another statue in the cemetery: a full-sized angel placing a wreath on a cross. However, for unknown reasons the name of the sculptor is disputed, and an alternate sculptor, Joan Fontbernat, has been suggested.

The statuary is a memorial to textile manufacturer Llaudet Soler as inscribed on the sarcophagus although all online references state the name to be Josep Llaudet Soler. I found a notation (unverified) which infers that the statue was a memorial to his son who died in youth.

The memorial shows the robust figure of a naked young man on his knees in the act of dying. A winged skeleton (a dual symbol of mortality and resurrection) supports the body as it places a tender kiss on the left temple.

An inscription on the plinth is taken from a poem written by Jacint Verdaguer, one of Catalan’s greatest poets, translates as: 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

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