L'Eternel Printemps (Eternal Spring)
After Rodin had become famous as a result of both his sculpture and the frequent controversies surrounding it, he was hired, as one of the rare fine artists to have begun his career as the graduate of a school for artisans, to sculpt a pair of giant doors for a planned museum of decorative arts. These became his famous project, The Gates of Hell (though, like the museum, they were never completed). However, Rodin used these designs for the doors to experiment with and the sculptures originally created with The Gates in mind are among his most famous. His original concept was to base them on Dante's Inferno. L'Eternel Printemps probably began, like The Kiss, as a take on the story of Paolo and Francesca. Fairly quickly, however, Rodin decided instead to model it upon the myth of Cupid and Psyche and it was under that title that it was first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1877. Rodin later changed the name to L'Eternel Printemps or Eternal Spring because he wanted its lovers to be a universal symbol of both the lyricism and eroticism of first love and so they have been perceived ever since.