Valentine isn’t for everyone, but it still provides us with an opportunity to post a serie of artists who decided to produce work with love as their main subject. Love is beyond a doubt one of the most used themes in art, everyone has experienced it (be it in the arms of your loved one or your family). We decided to create a little, personal selection of artists we appreciate.
I chose these works because they are all so different representations of love. The first one is called ‘Vampire’ (1893). But the original title of the work was ‘Love and pain’. Pain is represented as a man, who is looking for comfort in the arms of Love, the woman. The image has a dark vibe, but still it warms my heart to see the embrace and the comfort.
Three years later he made a more optimistic picture, ‘On the waves of love’ (1896). A couple is surrounded by a sea of waves of love, the woman is in a sort of peace. It still stays in the dark tradition of Edvard Munch his work.
The last work i chose exists of more than one version. It’s called ‘The kiss’ (1879), we see a couple embracing each other and leaning in for a kiss. It’s like they are becoming one, the figures tend to merge into one another. It becomes even more clear in the woodcut. No surroundings, the focus is completly on the couple.
He was a Czechian painter and he had a love for women. They are well represented in his work.
Mucha painted everyday situations, he sketched his son, daughter and wife. Which represents the love for his family.
The first image is ‘Spring Night’. It has a touch of Old Greek and Roman art, they may be naked, but their looks give a totally different answer than it’s supposed to be. With that I mean, the look of the girl is shy and protective because of the gentleman next to her. By viewing at the painting you will get this impression. The colours are a little vague, but you can sure see a touch of spring in this one. He uses his recognizable pastel colours.
Love is about happinness and feeling secure with the person you are with. Alphonse is a master of illustrating that, he has always this urge to put flowers everywhere and make everything look so light and lovely.
The second image ‘Hearts International’ is a journal from the Hearst Corporation. The Hearts Comporation is an American multinational mass media group based in the Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
I chose these pictures, because it got my attention how detailed Alphonse could go, even in his simpliest task. These pictures illustrate the innocent, pure and shy love.
I personally love Alphonse Mucha, he is my number one inspiration for all of my works. Not that I copy him, but the styling of contours of the womans body are my favourite and that’s what I and most of artists nowadays do. Most of artists use his techniques or colours.
If Alphonse lived now in this period, I’d be sure he’d make animation or graphic novels. I would buy all of his novels. Would you? Do you like him too? You can always leave a comment.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
In 1892 French Artist Toulouse Lautrec painted a series of extremely intimate pieces of art, capturing a few moments of tenderness between a couple. What a lot of people will overlook is that this intimate moment isn’t shared by a man and a woman but two women, this wouldn’t be a surprising thing if it was painted today, but late 19th century this was a big taboo. It was shocking to the French middle class, but lets not forget that there was a whole different scene present during the late 19th century. I’m talking about the brothels, cabarets, gentlemen clubs etc. Toulouse Lautrec struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. He felt like he couldn’t talk about the world he was living in to his family because it was so special and illegal, he’d be seen as an outsider to his dull middle class family.
I love how at first sight there is nothing more to the artwork than a genuine happy couple, I think that everyone envies those moments, just laying there with your loved one. I also think it reflects part of his life and all the secrecy around it.
“All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love” – Spinoza