For The Love of Art and Culture
A Look at Love Inspired Art and Local Valentine’s Events
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and within the theme of this holiday is an opportunity to appreciate emotional inspiration within art and culture. Specifically, we are talking about Love. Perhaps the most interesting talking point about this particular emotion is the many timeless attempts to capture it visually, through cuisine, through song, and just about any other creative or artistic medium.
Much like the difficulty that is seen when trying to capture any intangible emotion through a physical or auditory medium, love is portrayed in an endless variety of styles, subjects, and mood. All in an attempt to subjectively convey what love looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like, and what it tastes and smells like. Artists struggle, just as anyone else, when trying for example: to make a painting about hunger, to make a song about heartache, or to make a culinary dish that represents happiness. However, this is what truly inspires uniqueness and one-of-a-kind art, an opportunity to capture more vividly than what anyone else has done before.
While the air is filled with thoughts of love for those closest to you, it seems only appropriate to feature favorite love inspired art and fun local events for you and that special someone.
Love Inspired Art
The original image, with green and blue spaces backing red lettering, served as a print image for a Museum of Modern Art Christmas card in 1964. The design soon appeared as a popular US postage stamp. The original rendering in sculpture was made in 1970 and is displayed in Indiana at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.”
Intersting Fact: Mental Floss magazine quotes an autobiographical piece stating “The word love was connected to Indiana’s childhood experiences attending a Christian Science church, where the only decoration was the wall inscription God is Love. The colors were an homage to his father, who worked at a Phillips 66 gas station during the Depression.”
Boy and Girl Gazing at Moon – Normal Rockwell
Pictured is Boy and Girl Gazing at Moon published on the cover of Saturday Evening Post on April 24, 1926.
I know now that all I need in my work is at hand. The commonplaces of America are to me the richest subjects in art. Boys batting flies on vacant lots; little girls playing jacks on the front steps; old men plodding home at twilight, umbrellas in hand all of these things arouse feeling in me.
The work is composed of oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, an aspect that gives it its strikingly modern, yet evocative appearance. The painting is now in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, and is widely considered a masterpiece of the early modern period.
Painted between 1908 and 1909 the square canvas shows a couple in embrace, their bodies entwined, influenced by an Art Nouveau style and Arts and Crafts gold leaf technique.
This Impressionism piece shows a man with the hand of a woman, in whom he is romantically and emotionally focused on. Her look gazes unto the onlooker and it seems as if she is focused on her thoughts and the moment.
In all love scenes, Renoir showed a woman with whom he was involved, or wanted to be. However, he always painted a stand-in for himself. The male partner in this picture is another artist, Henri Laurent.
Renoir’s paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated color, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid compositions. The female nude was one of his primary subjects. In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.
The Kiss is an oil painting on canvas completed by the Norwegian symbolist artist Edvard Munch in 1897. Part of his Frieze of Life, which depicts the stages of a relationship between men and women, The Kiss is a realization of a motif with which he had experimented since 1888/89: a couple kissing, their faces fusing as one in a symbolic representation of their unity. Exhibited as early as 1903, this work is held at the Munch Museum in Oslo.
The Kiss originally represented Paolo and Francesca, two characters borrowed from Dante’s Divine Comedy. No visible details identify the characters, so it was originally called The Kiss by the French public.
Intersting Fact: Having fallen in love while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, the couple are discovered and killed by Francesca’s husband. In the sculpture, the book can be seen in Paolo’s hand. The lovers’ lips do not actually touch in the sculpture, suggesting that they were interrupted and met their demise without their lips ever having touched.
A beautiful young maiden hangs from her lover’s neck, coquettish and devoted. She smiles warmly to meet his protective gaze. The two are seated on a swing, hanging on heavy ropes suspended from unseen branches in a thick forest bathed with glowing primordial light. Her gown, diaphanous and white, more than slightly reveals her perfect sensual form. His arms hold tightly to the ropes that support the swing.
Springtime is arguably the single greatest image of young romantic love ever conceived, poignantly touching the hearts of millions over the last 125 years.
Pierre August Cot painted Springtime in 1873. It was showed at the Paris Salon that year where it was a sensation. In the years that followed Springtime became a virtual icon of 19th-century sensibilities and taste, with fame so widespread that most westerners still recognize the image, if not the artist. – ArtNet.com
Common themes and motifs among Magritte’s art include frustration, desire, surrealism, and veiled faces. All are seen in this particular piece. When asked about the meanings of the mystery in the works, Rene replied:
My painting is visible images which conceal nothing, they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does it mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.
The Meeting on the Turret Stairs (Hellelil and Hildebrand) – Frederic William Burton
This richly colored watercolor painting depicts the ill-fated lovers Hellelil and Hildebrand, meeting on the stone stairway of a medieval tower. The princess and her bodyguard had fallen in love but her father regarded the young soldier as an unsuitable match for his daughter and ordered his sons to kill him. The painting captures the couple’s poignant final embrace.
The artist was inspired by an old Danish ballad about the ill-fated lovers. The poem had been translated into English in 1855 by Whitley Stokes.
Local Valentine’s Events
- 8101 East Belleview Avenue Unit A80, Denver, CO 80237
- February 13th at 6:30PM
- Join us for a night of fun, art, and painting! When the two canvases of Love Is In The Air are paired together, they spell LOVE.
- 8101 East Belleview Avenue Unit A80, Denver, CO 80237
- February 14th at 2:00PM
- 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
- Collection close-up Feb 13, 2016 12:00PM – 2:00PM
- If you’d like to share your love in more than 140 characters, turn to the past for some handwritten inspiration. Browse archival documents—including a letter from Colorado’s first territorial governor, William Gilpin, that asks his future father-in-law for his sweetheart’s hand in marriage—from as far back as the 1870s. Explore other romantic items from the archives, including valentines, marriage proposals, and love letters.
Winter Snowshoeing Getaways – Footpaths of The World
- “Winter is a wonderful time of year in Rocky Mountain National Park and our favorite way to explore it is on snowshoes. To get the best snowshoe experience you need a guide. Combine Estes Park’s favorite grand lodging at the Stanley Hotel, beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery and our superb guide service and we have the perfect getaway winter trip.”
- 1500 Wynkoop St #101 Denver, CO 80202
- Friday 2/12 & Saturday 2/13 (5pm – 1pm)
- Sunday 2/14 (5pm – 10pm )
- “Skip the candlelight dinner crowds and opt for this midday rendezvous instead. After all, nothing goes better with banana-chocolate flapjacks, shrimp and grits, and Squeaky Spritzes (Aperol, Prosecco, and seltzer) than a little nostalgia.”
- 1881 Curtis Street, Denver, Colorado 80202
- “Whether celebrating a milestone anniversary or simply indulging during a relaxing getaway, this couples journey lets you spend quality time with your loved one. As the last treatment of the day, this service gives you and yours the rare opportunity to have the spa to yourselves. The two-part experience launches with 50-minute side-by-side massages in our Couples Massage Room. The second hour is dedicated to one-on-one time, allowing the two of you reconnect and experience the quiet comfort of the spa as a couple.
- 2001 Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO, 80207.
- “An exhibition developed by The Field Museum tells the story behind chocolate–a story as rich and captivating as the sweet itself. Emphasizing the long relationship between humans and nature, the exhibition highlights the many threads that are woven to create this story. Chocolate explores the lush environment in which the cacao tree originated, how the Maya used its seeds in a favorite drink, how the Aztecs elevated it to the level of treasure, and how chocolate became a commodity in the world marketplace.”
- Denver.org Things To Do: Valentine’s Day
- 5280 Magazine Valentine’s Day Event Calendar
- Westword Valentine’s Day Event Calendar
- Denver Post Events Calendar: February 14th
So while you are taking time to maybe find a gift for that significant other, spending time with your family, or taking a solo trip without worry of the holiday, enjoy some of the local events and world-renowned art that is inspired by this thing called LOVE. Appreciate those around you, the relationships you have formed in the past, present, and future, and the opportunity to show someone that you care.
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