We’ve seen It in the modern painting of Tamara de Lempicka or in the cinema of Luchino Visconti. But very few know the real story of The Kiss, the iconic work that Francesco Hayez painted in Milan during the Risorgimento. Meanwhile, we forgot its full name - The Kiss. An Episode of Youth. Customs of the XIV Century. But can we really be sure they loved each other so in the Middle Ages? Fascinated by those obscure centuries like all the Romantics, Hayez set his painting in a distant epoch to take it out of the context he lived in. The passionate encounter between lovers, in fact, seems a prelude to a painful departure. Where will the youth with the plumed cap head off to? Revealing this is the dagger hidden in his cloak - along with the patriotic ideas shared by Hayez and his patron - Count Alfonso Maria Visconti of Saliceto - the weapon indicates the armed struggle of that age. Furthermore, according to some, the embrace between the two young people represents a metaphor for the Unity of Italy. But be careful - a hidden figure observes the scene from beyond the shadows outside the door. Is it a spy, an impatient comrade or a mere servant? In seeking to discover this, we can enjoy one of the great paintings of all time, which, at the dawn of the Modern Age, brought the magnificent colours of Tiziano to a whole new context.
Fragile and magnetic, a young woman stares out at the spectator beyond the canvas - not even its creator could pull himself away from the portrait of Concha Emiliana de Ossa, today in the collec-tion of the Pinacoteca of Brera.