Monday, 2 March 2015

Mini History Blogs: Kiss of Death

Memorial to Josep Llaudet.

At first, as most of us would, I found this statue quite frightening, its a potent reminder of death. The longer you look at the statue the less distressing it becomes. It is highly expressive, there is no anguish, distress or pain on the boys face only comfort and relief. The skeleton holds the body with tenderness, he kisses the face tenderly too. Maybe the sculptor tried to portray that death can be welcoming for those whose final illness has been painful and whose life has been hard.
The statue, as you can see here is a winged skeleton placing a kiss on the forehead of the young man, it is called the Kiss of Death and was created in 1930 and bears the words of Spanish poet, Jacint Verdaguer:

“And his young heart can not help;
in his veins the blood stops and freezes
and encouragement lost faith embraces
fall feeling the kiss of death”

The Llaudet family were involved with the manufacture of cotton yarns and in 1901 had founded Llaudet Yarns one of the main Catalan textile manufacturers owning several factories in Spain. They also were involved with sport, Eric Llaude, Josep's son chaired Barcelona football club between 1961 and 1968. Josep and his son are now both deceased, Eric died in 2003.

The date of Josep's death is not known but his tomb can be found in Poblenou Cemetery in Barcelona is magnificent piece of art work.

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