Expressions of love through art

by | Feb 28, 2024 | Trend

Painting of a woman laughing

Hi friends,

This Wednesday is Valentine’s day. It’s the love holiday that brings about lots of mixed emotions and opinions. Whether you like the holiday or not, it’s a good opportunity to remember that love is present in many ways besides the ones we see advertised on the 14th of February.

To learn and appreciate more about the many expressions of love, we can look to art. So I’m going to do something a bit different today and share with you various famous pieces of art that we can use to deepen our connection to love in its many forms.

 

 

“Interior, 31, Mornington Crescent, London” by Spencer Gore, 1910 (left) and “Roses. Marie Krøyer seated in the deckchair in the garden by Mrs Bendsen’s house” by Peder Severin Krøyer, 1893 (right)

A woman reading outside in the garden

Self-love is just as important as the love we give to anyone else. When we’re alone, say, sitting by a fire reading a book or outside lounging in our garden…we must relish in this solo company. How lucky and lovely to have a space that is our own little corner of the world? These quiet moments surrounded by the things that make it our space…this right here is love of what is, and love of what we already have.

 

“Laughing Girl” by Raffaello Sorbi, 1844–1931

Painting of a woman laughing

Together or alone, laughter brings love into the soul. We don’t know if the woman in this picture just heard a funny joke from a friend or did something silly and made herself laugh. What we do know is that she has allowed her whole self to be enveloped with the joy and love of laughter. Looking at her, we can’t help but let a smile come to our face as we remember the exhilaration of such laughter ourselves.

 

“Almond Blossoms” by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890 (left) and “The language of love” by Francesco Vinea, 1845-1902 (right)

Almond blossom treeWoman playing the violin

The gift of art itself can be an expression of love. According to the Van Gogh Museum, “The painting was a gift for his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo, who had just had a baby son, Vincent Willem.” The love and care we feel for our family can be shared through a piece of physical art, a hobby, or a passion, like music. Celebrating a new life, a new love, or a milestone with whatever form of art we cherish most, is another great expression of love.

 

“A Mother and Two Children Playing Blind Man’s Bluff” by Lorenz Frølich, 1835–1903 (left) and “Which Do You Love Best” by Frederick Morgan, 1847 – 1927 (right)

Mother playing with kidsGrandfather playing with kids

If we want to instantly find love, look to children. Playing with kids enables us to connect with our inner child, which opens the way to a pure and innocent love. With children there are none of the same worries and judgements and caveats we have in order to love. They just simply live from one moment to the next with an unconditional love that we ought to tap into as we age.

 

“Cooking; The Cook” by Édouard Vuillard, 1934 (left) and “Still Life with Cheese” by Floris Claesz. van Dijck, 1615 (right)

Man cooking in the kitchenStill life of food including cheese, apples, and grapes

For many, cooking for others is a form of love and care. We all need to eat, and just as food is sustenance for our bodies, cooking is a way to nourish our relationships. When we make a meal for someone else, we show our effort to care for their well-being. So whether we’re cooking for a big celebratory occasion or just another regular dinner night, let’s remember to appreciate this act of love.

 

Le Béguin (The Crush)” by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, 1921

Sketch of pensive, sad looking woman

Love can be crushing. Sometimes we are crushed by heartbreak, by a one-sided infatuation, or by simply being misunderstood. Nevertheless, we can take comfort in knowing these are universal emotions that we all experience at one point or another. It’s ok to feel them. In fact, it’s what makes us human and reminds us that we are alive and capable of the greatest gift of all: love.

 

“Two Shoeshine Boys with a Dog” by John George Brown, 1900 (left) and “Sleeping Child with Dog” by Elizabeth Strong, 1887 (right)

Two boys with a dog on one's lap A young girl sleeping on  a couch chair with a dog looking at her

The love of our furry companions. The connection between humans and animals is a special one. If we are lucky enough to have the chance to share our lives with them, we should take it. Whether that’s just for a visit or for their lifetime. As most animals live shorter lives than we do, it’s a reminder of the finite time we have to love and be loved at all.

PS Here’s the newsletter version of this blog post.

 
 
 

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