1905. Carrara marble, 169 x 154 cm.
A representation of the first amorous encounter of a youthful couple. In a style some have called lyrical, Blay transmits the soft warmth of adolescent figures modeled with exceptional realism. They are seated on a group of boulders alongside a tree trunk bearing leaves and flowers. The scene of tender intimacy is very beautiful and intensely emotional.
The subject is somewhat linked to the innocence at the beginning of the fable of Daphnis and Chloe: the adolescent discovery of love and sexuality in a bucolic setting. Most of all, it is related to the iconography of Paolo and Francesca, which was so successful in nineteenth-century painting, particularly the less-customary approach to this subject, where, rather than adopting a protective posture, the male figure appears enthralled by his companion's beauty. In its design, this work's far-from-explicit presentation of the scene differs greatly from Rodin's suggestions of sensuality and passion.
It was presented in plaster at the Paris Salon of 1905, where it obtained the Second Medal. The following year, the carved marble version was presented there, and in 1907, it was part of the International Art Exhibition in Barcelona, where it received the Exceptional Diploma. After it received the maximum award "the Medal of Honor" at the National Exhibition of fine Arts in 1908, an extraordinary credit was approved by Royal Order of 22 July, allowing the Museo de Arte Moderno to acquire it (Text drawn from Azcue, L.: Solidez y belleza. Miguel Blay en el Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2016, pp. 29-30).