Jaume Barba’s statue, El Peto de la Mort (the Kiss of Death), is one of the most intriguing sculptures in the Poblenou cemetery in Barcelona. It depicts a winged figure of death kissing the forehead of a young man, symbolizing his transition from life to death. The poem inscribed below it, written by Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer, further enhances its eerie and mysterious nature.
Barba was a renowned artist during the late 19th and early 20th centuries who specialized in funerary monuments and religious sculptures. He was born in Figueres, Catalonia in 1861 and moved to Barcelona at a young age to pursue his passion for art. Barba apprenticed under the famous sculptor Bartomeu Carbonell Canals before carving out his own niche as an individual artist. He went on to become one of Barcelona’s most celebrated sculptors, creating numerous works that were displayed throughout the city.
El Peto de la Mort is one of Barba’s best-known pieces and has become iconic due to its haunting yet mesmerizing depiction of death as well as its poetic inscription. It stands as a tribute to Barba’s remarkable skillset as an artist – not only is he able to convey an emotive message through his work but also capture a timelessly beautiful aesthetic that is both captivating and thought-provoking.
The inscription beneath the sculpture is chilling, a poem by the Catalan, Jacint Verdaguer:
“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.”
Read more about El Peto de la Mort here.
Click here to view The Kiss of Death by Veronese Designs.