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Love and Romance in Art

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Arts +1 Age Levels Post-Secondary, Adults

Throughout history, the interpretation of love and romance has changed and has become the imagery we see today. Considering how society feels about love and romance continuously changes, this collection's intention is to see if there are any links between early societies and modern societies interpretations of love. This collection seeks to discuss how the interpretation of love has changed from the very beginning of the mesopotamian era to modern times. I will also discuss how the interpretation of love and romance changes through cultures and time periods through art and also through music. Additionally, I will use art works from various museums and various art forms that specifically show how that respective society views love and romance. 

Love and romance have always interested me because I am very interested in films. It is interesting to see how we went from being unable to see couples in the same bed, or having only married couples act in movies to more explicit visuals such as Game of Thrones. I am hoping in this collection I will see where the transition was made and how we went from a more conservative interpretation of love to a open more sexually charged version. We have typically always seen the female form in art, but never saw it in film. 

Culturally, many popular icons have used love as a way to express their emotions, therefore this collection will also find how romance has become a popular theme and will explore some of the most commonly used symbolism from various time periods.

Love and Romance in Mesopotamia

Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul

Egyptian Romance

Egyptian National Museum, Cairo, Egypt

Love in Ancient Greece

Symposium scene at an attic red figure tondo of a kylix Yale University

Love in Ancient Greecian Culture

Altes Museum - Statuengruppe, Amor und Psyche

Love in Roman Art

Portrait of Paquius Proculo

Love in Roman Culture

Scena di banchetto

Marriage in the Middle Ages

A medieval couple being married by a clergyman. Central miniature, folio 102v. Book IV by Henricus von Assia (13th century). Chapter Archive of Tarazona, Spain. (Photo by PHAS/UIG via Getty Images)

Love in Byzantine via Rings

National Archaeological Museum, Athens

Love in the Middle Ages

Codex Manesse Folio 164v Leuthold von Seven

Love in the Italian Renaissance

Marco del Buono Giamberti (Italian, Florence 1402–1489 Florence)

The Reformation's Reform on Marriage

Martin Luther with his family. German theologian, religious reformer 10 November 1483 Paul Poetzsch // Lebrecht Music & Arts / AKG-IMAGES

Marriage during World War 1

Unknown - Couple Post WW1

Marriage in the 60's

Associated Press

Modern Day Marriage

New York Times