Love, the romantic kind, is a very common theme for music and film. It is something that easily appeals with the intended audience. For other forms of art, however, it is not that common. Famous painters are not very fond of depicting romance. Sculptors can be very creative but their works are not as frequently inspired by romance as they are by other deeper subjects.
Nevertheless, there are still many love-themed art creations that have become iconic, showing how love is indeed a universal theme in the arts.
1. LOVE (The Pop Art Image and the Sculptures)
Created by American artist Robert Indiana, the iconic LOVE image has become well-known in pop culture. It features of the four letters L, O, V, and E in a distinctive arrangement – the first two letters L and O stacked on top of V and E, with O tilted to the right. The original sculpture version of this iconic design was created in 1970, in COR-TEN or weathering steel, and put on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
For Museum of Modern Art historian Deborah Wye, the LOVE image exudes “erotic , religious, autobiographical, and political underpinnings.” This, accordingly, makes the artwork complex in meaning but still accessible. The inspiration for the original LOVE design is said to be derived from the childhood experiences of Robert Indiana. The word LOVE is from the “God is Love” decoration at the Christian Science church Indiana used to attend when he was a child. The colors are believed to be from the Phillips 66 gas station where Indiana’s father used to work.
2. Dance in the Country by Pierre Auguste Renoir
This 1883 artwork is an oil on canvas painting featuring a couple dancing in what appears to be a party. This interesting art features a relatively chubby lady smiling as she dances with her partner, a bearded man in a suit. It is a classic depiction of a couple in love, enjoying each others’ company. It may not be one of the most stunning paintings ever but it is certainly filled with the right emotions the artist wanted to convey.
3. The Kiss by Auguste Rodin
This marble sculpture, created in 1889, is said to have originated from a relief in The Gates of Hell. It is an erotic depiction of love between a (presumably) couple – well very erotic at the time it was made public. It was even dee
med inappropriate for public viewing that it had to be relegated to an inner private chamber. Access to which was limited to those who personally applied to view the piece. Currently, the marble sculpture is being displayed at the Musée Rodin in Paris. There is also a bronze version of “The Kiss.”
4. The Kiss by Edvard Munch
From the painter behind the famous “The Scream,” Edvard Munch, “The Kiss”is an expressionist painting that shows a powerful representation of love through a kiss. Similar to “The Scream,” it is an art meant for expression more than impression. It shows two faces locked together in a kiss and embrace, giving no care to the world around them as they focus their full attention to each other.
This painting is currently on exhibit at The Munch Museum.
5. In The Garden by Pierre Auguste Renoir
Painted in 1885, “In the Garden” is a picture of a couple that would probably strike most people of this generation as something reminiscent to the advertising media or product packaging of the 30’s through the 60’s. It looks classic and somewhat commercial but is very effective in conveying the message of love. It shows a man approaching the woman, who appears to be acting a little demure to not easily give in the to the advances of the man.
These are just some of the well-known depictions of love in art. Forgive the indulgent topic for those post. It’s the season for love after all. Just like equine art, love-themed art is also one of this season’s favorite subjects. If you know of other artworks that powerfully symbolize or depict romance, be sure to drop us a comment.
Attribution for image 1 / featured image – By Hu Totya (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons