the greatest of these ... is love

This gallery focuses on the power, strength, emotion, feeling, and idea of love across a variety of cultures in different medium. Love is defined as an "intense feeling of deep affection." This affection takes form in culture and society in a variety of different ways while continuing on as a transformative topic that has evolved and morphed over the ages. In religious texts such as the Holy Bible, the greatest commandment for disciples and followers of the religion is "to love." Love has manifested its prominence in a variety of avenues over the centuries; in political arenas love has incited wars, in literature the theme of love is responsible for such literary classics such as "Romeo & Juliet". 

This colorful painting by Gustav Klimt was denoted as one of his most popular pieces. The colors of this artwork lead your eye into the middle of the artwork where the checkered pattern of the man's coat draw your eye to the kiss. This kiss is very moderate, although romantic in it's delivery the essence portrays more of an innocence and casual relationship than some of the other "passionate" displays of love painted in earlier time periods.
This artwork represents a more casual form of love. This display of love is shown through proximity and touch but is polar opposite to the more common displays of love in which proximity brings to bodies together in a more frontal approach, and where touch is in a more romantic or passionate connotation. This artwork displays openness and trust within the simple positioning of the sculptures. The illustration of having the head of one sculpture in the lap of another shows both sculptures in a vulnerable position completely open to each other as the most vital parts of their beings are completely exposed. This illustration of trust speaks to the love within their bond and relationship.
The separation of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinever is a beautiful illustration of love, shown here through touch and communicated through their emotions and somber demeanor. The portrait not only shows the affection and love they have one toward another but also provides us with insight into the emotional state and being of the two as they prepare to part ways and venture into life without one another.
Jacob and Rachel at the Well is a beautiful modest representation of a Biblical story. The beauty in this picture is found in the snapshot of time that this painting took place. In the biblical story Jacob was very much in love with Rachel and devoted 14 years of hard labor to her father in order to have the honor and privilege of marrying her.
This painting beautifully compiles a plethora of different "loves" that one could experience during their lifetime. The love ranges from the young adolescent and childhood love of a friend and relationship to the love within a marriage. The artist even illustrates a more "carnal love" by illustrating "paying for love" in the lower left hand corner of the painting. This painting highlights the idea and concept that love grows and matures through time and space as people grow and mature into their respective selves.
This image is a beautiful representation of a maternal love shown here as the child reaches to the mothers breast. As a child we are fed, nurtured, and protected by our mothers from the time we enter into this world until the time we leave for our own independence. The beauty in this image is found in the childs age and the mothers willingness to still nurture and feed the child in a warm inviting manner with a smile and a gentle touch depicted in this sculpture.
This image illustrates a passionate form of love. This form of love is the type that most people are familiar with, as shown by the commitment of both subjects in the scene. The proximity of their bodies leaves no room for doubt or misconception as to their intentions, as we see the man drawing the woman in closer in with his hand, which illustrates that this kiss was more than a casual "peck" but a passionate display of affection.
This image of love shows a side that we have seen so commonly in great works of literature, film, television: "love can be deadly". The blood red background and disconnected gazes of the subjects personifies what is already seen through the representation of the knives in their hands. Although their proximity to one another leads us to believe that they are in relationship with one another they appear to be in a type of "love" that could turn deadly as we have seen before in works like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Snapped. The woman's piercing gaze is set completely forward in a way that draws and connects the audience to her gaze and transports them into the scenario.
This image contains many abstract pieces to illustrate and illuminate the disconnected and disconcerting portions of love that come when two are connected and disconnected at the same time. The tile of this work is fitting "After Sex without Love" as it makes use of multiple eyes as if to suggest that the focus is on them, their attention is honed in on every detail, every imperfection, and every flaw of the other person. The eyes make the user uncomfortable and awkward which gives us the exact feeling of a partner in this relationship. Sex is the most intimate act you can engage in with another person and as shown here if the building blocks of love, relationship or connection are not met prior to the act it can cause disconnected, awkward, and uncomfortable after effects.
This image represents the notion that most of society still falls into today, the idea that we can "learn how to be in love". This painting depicts a lesson that takes place where two young women are being coached on what one could assume are subjects pertaining to: how to fall in love, how to find a suitable suitor. This painting shows the idea that many people thought that by chaining and modifying their behavior they could find their ideal partner when in reality love is an emotion that comes from vulnerability, trust, and courage. These three remarkable traits are only evident and identifiable when one is merely being there true self instead of an impression of one.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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