Art for the Heart

In case you didn’t get enough romance on Valentine’s Day (I, for one, had dinner with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law. Lovely, but the opposite of romantic.) let me help! Things are about to get steamy at Nice and Easel. If you are a blusher, hold on to your Victorian-style hand fan and get ready to cool yourself, because we’re looking at romantic pieces of art today.

Rodin’s marble sculpture: “The Kiss” Their love was solid.

Before there were soap operas, there were scandalous sculptures. Auguste Rodin wasn’t impressed with his sculpture. He called it a “knick-knack following the usual formula.” The Kiss features a marble Francesa da Rimini, having an affair with her brother-in-law. Rodin was commissioned to create bronze doors for a new museum in Paris. The Kiss was going to be part of the cast, but Rodin decided against it. Instead the sculpture sat half-done for a decade in his studio. When he did release it, people went nuts because it’s hot. Less hot: da Rimini and her BIL were murdered by her husband when he found out about their affair. Dante meets them in the second circle of hell. You might say it’s one hell of a sculpture.

I wonder how many couples have gotten engaged here? Love it!

I know you know this one. Robert Indiana did an entire series of LOVE sculptures that have become iconic. He created about fifty of them around the world in different variations, but always with that Indiana flavor. In the same way Rodin wasn’t enamored with The Kiss, Indiana didn’t “love” the LOVE series. I mean, he was probably just sick of making it over and over, right? Plus, he became known as a bit of a one-hit wonder. He lived out his last years as a recluse on an island off the coast of Maine.

By artist Antonio Canova. Hot name. Hot sculpture.

Last week my eight-year-old came home from school and confessed she and her friend got hushed by the teacher because they couldn’t stop saying “stupid cupid” and they were cracking themselves up. Of course I played Mandy Moore’s song for her right away. Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss is one of my favorite romantic pieces of art. It’s so soft and dreamy and tender. Cupid is saving Psyche’s life (she stupidly opened a flask from Venus despite warnings) with a kiss. Later the gods give permission for the two to marry, making Psyche the goddess of Soul. Sigh. 

I hope your Valentine’s Day was less scandalous than da Rimini’s inter-family affair, fun as Indiana’s LOVE icon, and romantic as Cupid’s kiss. XOXO

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