Love through the ages

by Carrie Pazcoguin

Remnant of the oldest scroll known, "Sumiyoshi Monogatari" is one of Japan's most legendary love stories brought to life through this piece by Sanjonishi Sanetaka. The legend of a military man searching for and eventually finding his love after she ran away from her home is depicted here. The story is brought to life by subtle use of color, horizontal lines that guide viewer along storyline, and simple use of space to create the feeling of distance between the man and his love interest. Accompanied by a recreated version of music from that era called Sharibe (Nezasa Ha).
Carvings in stone of Mathunas, loving couples, were common figures in 13th century temples. They were a symbol of love, passion, and some say a desire for a closer relationship with God. This particular sculpture, found near a temple in Northeast India, is beautifully carved by an unknown artist. Intricut details draw the audience into the center and to the closeness of the couple. By overexaggerating the features, one can easily see delight and pleasure filled expressions of these two people in love. Accompanied by traditional music at
Manuscript by unknown French artist around 1460-1470 displays moods throughout by brilliant use of color and facial expressions. This work tells of daily mundane life at court, all while building a forbidden love story between two characters. Musical choice for this piece is Se La face Ay Pale, Ballade For 3 Voices: Chansons, by Reniassance musician Guillaume Dufay.
This painting, although monochromatic, offers rich detail and flow throughout. By Israhel van Meckenem, who was a German artist known for this style of painting. Depicted is a couple assumed to be in the Garden of Love. The woman holds a dog in her lap and an apple in her hand. Musical choice for this piece is found at
Beautiful depiction of Cupid tying Mars and Venus together in love. Excellent use of light in the overal dim scene brings the eye to the importance of Cupid's action. Italian Renaissance Painter Paolo Veronese originally painted this piece as part of five pieces in a collection for Emperor Rudolf II in Prague around 1570. Musical choice for this painting is
Simon Vouet, French painter known for bringing Baroque influence to France in the 1600s, exhibits emotion in this rendition of Venus and Adonis. The viewer can tell the longing Venus has for Adonis, who is preparing to leave her for a time. Vouet's use of vibrant colors bring intensity to the scene. Audio fitting for this scene
Dutch painter Bartholomeus van der Helst presents a wealthy couple in a life sized portrait in excellent form. Van der Helst took special care to illuminate the expensive details in the garments to boast to the wealth of the couple. The husband seems to gaze adoringly at his wife, creating a warmth for the audience.
Baroque painting by French Artist Antoine Watteau shows great use of space by the artist in how the background creates depth in the scene. The people depicted in the scene all seem to be melancholy and happy in their situation. Love is in the air and there seems to be courtship between figures throughout. The relaxed atmosphere created by the almost lazy body language throughout the scene puts the audience at ease.
This is the second piece in a four piece set by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a French Roccoco artist. This one, titled "The Meeting", shows a young couple stealing away to meet secretly, the forbidden love story. Implied anxious behaviors of the couple brings the viewer into the excitement of the moment. Also, the hint of storms on the horizon by clever use of color imply turmoil for the two in the distance.
Tragically famous love story between Paolo and Francesca, who were brother and sister-in-law, as painted by English Artist Dante Gabriel Rosseti. The audience gets a sense of rushing from the posture of the couple, almost as if they only have a moment to steal a kiss. The focal point, the kiss, is illuminated by use of light striking Francesca's face.
Sensual sculpture by French Artist Auguste Rodin in the 1880s is a well-known and often immitated depiction of two lovers embracing. The way the figures are entwined with one another draws attention to the center focal point where they are the closest. To make that connection even more intense, Rodin left the figures nude in order to not distract the viewer with other details. The importance of their magnetism is thus amplified.
Perhaps the very oldest love story known to man is displayed in bright colored, obscure view of the couple in the Garden of Eden. Lithuanian painter, Vilmantas Marcinkevičius created this work for viewer interpretation, as he was known to do. He later recreated alternate, and more clean focused versions of this scene.
Powerful message in this painting by Korean Artist Chang Hong Ahn titled "One Love". Great color saturation in the background makes an important statement about the subject matter at hand. One almost gets the impression that the couple has a "Love/Hate" relationship. Ahn is known for his bold works such as this.
This unique piece by Bum Su Kim, a Korean artist, illustrates many different kinds of love. The creation has light coming from behind the piece that immediately grabs the eye. A wonderful display of creative thinking on behalf of the artist.
Powerful creation through necessity in this work. Korean artist San Keum Koh was stricken by temporary blindness which brought about the creation of works such as this. In the attitude of brail, the artist used pearls and other beads in works like this to make the words on the paper. This piece is a love song depicted in such form.
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