I love it when I have a free afternoon around town, and I can wander into my local art gallery to walk through the walls of paintings. I'm looking for rustic pictures of couples and ordinary people doing everyday things. I prefer artworks with life and realism rather than just clean religious scenes.
So today, we will be looking out for some iconic couples in paintings in the hopes we, too, can catch our bit of romantic love walking around the art galleries in our wake. Who knows, maybe we both want the same thing, and it's true love?
Le Printemps (Springtime), by Pierre-Auguste Cot, 1873).
This piece is just gorgeous in both color and subject matter. It reminds me of Peter Pan and holding on to the carefree nature of one’s youth. It shows young love, which is uncomplicated by the brutal vice of living. How they conveyed love's detail, beauty, and truth is beyond masterful.
The Jewish Bride, by Rembrandt (1665).
This beautiful couple is Issac and Rebecca, who are impossibly rich nobility. They intimately hold each other, yet they also flirt with each other's gaze and the viewer as they refuse to make direct eye contact. Someone once said that many had been reduced to tears by this piece, including Van Gogh himself.
The Surprise, by Jean-Antoine Watteau (1718).
This dynamic piece is genuinely one for the ages! We witness the rough and tumble of a couple in a deep physical passion with a watching bard who is almost invisible to the couple entranced by each other. It is poetically simple in the subject but deeply rooted in meaning as we see the way love can make us blind to the world around us.
Niwatori to Danjo, by Harunobu Suzuki (1767).
This Japanese print depicts not just an iconic couple but a quirky story from this frozen frame caught in time. We have the couple looking forward to a long night of sleep and passion, but to ensure that they are not woken up early, they are getting their cock drunk on sake. It is so ordinary and makes me chuckle as I think about the efforts couples go to spend quality time with each other, even in today’s climate.
The Dancing Couple, by Jan Steen (1663).
This scene depicts ordinary people enjoying a fine afternoon in town around a banquet of food and song. We have the central couple that all other people watch from the sidelines as they dance. Despite the hard times of life, we are known here that we can enjoy a good song and dance every so often. It captures this mentality perfectly as we as a view gush over the romantic nature of it all.
Interior Scene With An Old Couple Eating Next To A Window by (after), by Frans Van The Elder Mieris (c1841 - 1846).
We have an interior snapshot into the ordinary life of a Dutch elderly couple of the peasantry class. There is no showing off here; we see the pair going about their routine as they sit at a table enjoying each other’s company. They were possibly reflecting on their efforts to create the life they have for themselves now in old age. They live simply, but they look happy and content with each other.
Dance in the Country, by Pierre Auguste Renoir (1883).
A couple of people dance under a chestnut tree at a ball, and the man is Paul Lhôte, a close friend of the artist. And the woman he dances with? Who looks right at the viewer with passion? This is Aline Charigot, who later became Renoir’s wife. We have an interesting dynamic here as although we know the subject is not a real couple, it shows their love despite this. Whether it be romantic or love. The pair deeply admire each other and trust as they dance close. However, we see the true love between the viewer and the woman as she looks right at us.
Garden with Courting Couples: Square Saint-Pierre, by Van Gogh (1887).
Van Gogh is one of the most prominent figures of our time. So, of course, he has an iconic painting depicting lovers! His soft pallet reflects a spring afternoon with couples joined together in private spheres of their own. It represents an ideal moment or date.
Although Van Gogh struggled his whole life with finding love, he could still depict these feelings of passion, and his works inspire us today to always look for the beauty in life.
To catch some of that mystique, you should check out our wedding band based on ‘Starry Night’: The Starry Night | Blue Burl Wood Ring | Thorum.
Stroll, by Van Gogh (1887), Via Couple Out for a Stroll, 1887 - Vincent van Gogh - WikiArt.org
I love dreaming about the magic of life through paintings, whether through my own rare brush application to a canvas or wandering through a gallery. Paintings have gifted us many iconic couples and moments caught in the moment of love, dramatically or through subtle glances during everyday affairs. We can learn a lot from the silent subjects that adorn our walls.
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