Today is Feb. 14th!
Happy Valentines Day!
The concept of LOVE has been explored by many artists throughout history. Some of my own paintings and drawings are based on this theme.
Love is a very strong emotion, and is probably as difficult to define as art itself. There are several kinds of love – maternal, patriotism, brotherly, romantic love, etc.
Artists have interpreted this emotion in many ways, as seen in these 10 famous paintings and sculptures based on LOVE!
Famous LOVE Artwork – Paintings and Sculptures
Love - Robert IndianaLove (above) is a famous sculpture by American Pop artist Robert Indiana. There are several versions, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the one above located in New York City, USA. The original design was actually for a Christmas card (1964) for the Museum of Modern Art. The design has also been reproduced countless times in popular culture.
The Kiss - Gustav KlimtThe Kiss (1907-1908) is a much loved painting by Gustav Klimt, an Austrian painter.
The painting displays an embracing couple, surrounded by patterns in the robes. The style was influenced by the arts and crafts movement and Art Nouveau. The mediums are oil and gold leaf on canvas.
The Kiss can be viewed at Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna.
In The Garden - Pierre Auguste RenoirRenoir painted this painting in 1885, and it is now displayed at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
A couple is seen relaxing and surrounded by the beauty of the garden. The man gazes at the lady, seemingly eager to capture her attention. A bouquet of flowers lay on the table. He holds one hand and wraps the other around her waist, while she gazes at the viewer.
The love of the young man seems to be unrequited.
The Kiss - Edvard MunchEdvard Munch (better known for his painting The Scream) captured the passion of love in this powerful expressionist painting The Kiss (1897).
The faces are indistinguishable and locked together in a kiss. The image is dramatic and moody. The figures are melded together in an embrace, oblivious of anything else but each other.
The Kiss can be seen at The Munch Museum.
The Kiss – Auguste RodinThis time the kissing theme is explored by sculptor Rodin – The Kiss. This marble sculpture was created by Rodin in 1889. The concept for the sculpture originated from a relief in Rodin’s The Gates of Hell. The sculpture stirred controversy because of the erotic imagery, and first wasn’t considered appropriate for public viewing.
The sculpture now appears at the Musée Rodin in Paris, France.
Two of the several copies can be viewed at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen and Tuileries Garden in Paris.
Dance in the Country - Pierre Auguste RenoirDance in the Country is an oil on canvas painted by Renoir in 1883.
The painting depicts a dancing couple. The couple appears to be engrossed in the music and each other as they dance, accentuated by the appearance of a dropped hat and messy table.
The painting can be seen at Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.
Le Printemps (Spring) - Pierre Auguste CotThis oil on canvas painting was painted by Pierre Auguste Cot in 1873.
It depicts young love, as a young couple shares a swing. The couple is surrounded by symbols of nature’s rebirth and life associated with spring, such as butterflies, flowers and water. The couple gaze at each other, while the girl embraces the young man. The surrounding dense forest symbolizes a hidden place.
The painting symbolizes the newness of life and rebirth associated with Spring.
The painting can be viewed at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
Return of the Prodical Son – RembrandtThis painting is Rembrandt’s interpretation of the parable of the prodical son from the Bible.
The love seen here is unconditional, and is the type of love that comes from a forgiving parent. The father welcomes his son home after squandering his inheritance, while the other son stands judgementally.
The oil painting was created two years before Rembrandt’s death, and is considered by many to be one of his finest works of art.
Find the painting at Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.
The Lovers - Rene MagritteThe Lovers is a painting by French surrealist Rene Magritte, created in 1928.
The painting depicts a veiled couple embracing and kissing. Obviously symbolic, many have speculated about why the couple is veiled. Many have also interpreted the painting in different ways – the common interpretation being “Love is blind”.
Do you have any opinions about the meaning of the painting?
The Lovers can be viewed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Siesta - Van GoghSiesta was painted in 1890 while Van Gogh stayed at St. Rémy. The painting is a copy of one of Jean Francois Millet’s etchings. A couple naps in the shade of a haystack, during midday.
The brush strokes and composition is more relaxed than much of Van Gogh’s work at the time, which shows Van Gogh’s genius in capturing a peaceful moment in time.
The painting can be viewed at Musée d'Orsay in Paris, France.