Romance In Paintings: Art That Depicts Love

A painting of couple, hugging each other with love and sadness. The image is about the romance in paintings.

Experience romance in paintings through these beautiful and Awe worthy artworks.

“Romance is dead,” they say, but I disagree. How could it be with the existence of these romantic artworks?

Romantic paintings that will make you sight with longing and leave you with butterflies in your stomach. 

Love in art has been the subject of inspiration for many artists throughout history,
capturing the sensual qualities; be it with a tender embrace or a kiss.

Paintings on love from great artists like Gustave Klimt, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roy Lichtenstein, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and many more.

Still back and reel-in the romance in paintings.

1. The Kiss by Gustave Klimt (1907–1908)

A painting of a couple in deep embrace and kissing. This iconic painting is of Gustave Klimt and is called as The Kiss.

“All art is erotic”

 – Gustave Klint

Embraced in a never-ending kiss, this painting by Klimt is considered the most romantic painting ever.

The gently erotic kiss, adorned with a decorative richness, is a timeless image that will never lose its human relevance is what makes this romantic painting top this list.

The kiss is an oversized artwork that has succeeded in evoking a moment of intense sensual pleasure, within a sharply stylized and flattened composition.

2. We Rose Up Slowly by Roy Lichtenstein (1964)

A romantic painting - We Rose Up Slowly by Roy Lichtenstein

“I’m never drawing the object itself; I’m only drawing a depiction of the object – a kind of crystallized symbol of it.”

― Roy Lichtenstein

Very few names on this list go beyond the theme of romance in paintings but this sure does.

At a glance, this pop art painting of classic American beauty and the squared jawed hero in love with his heroine seem the perfect romantic notion.

But it’s all a mockery of the superficiality of love that is depicted in the mainstream media.

It also dives deeper with its take on the social divide by showing how people see being white, attractive, and blond as the “perfect look”.

3. In Bed, The Kiss by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1892)

A lesbians couple in a loving embrace, kissing each other. A iconic romantic painting know as - In Bed, The Kiss by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

“I paint things as they are. I don’t comment.”

― Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Romance in paintings can be all glitz and glamour making it hard to connect with the audience.

But this painting of two women tangled in a passionate embrace, bared with anything out of the ordinary allowing their intimacy to speak for itself.

True to his words;

‘I have tried to do what is true and not idea’

4. The Lovers by René Magritte (1928)

The Lovers by René Magritte, A painting of two couple sharing an intimate movement but have their faces covered with veil.

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist”

― René Magritte

This Oil painting depicts romance in its raw form, it makes us wonder if we want to be fully seen and understood in a love affair?

Its shows how we see each other through obscure veils, hiding our core and not revealing our true nature.

It also makes us realize that maybe this is what falling in love is really like.
It’s blind, it’s absurd, urgent, and beautiful.

A romantic painting that brings out the not-so-dreamy part of the love.

5. Danse à la Campagne by Pierre Auguste Renoir (1883)

Danse à la Campagne by Pierre Auguste Renoir, A painting of a couple dancing happily.

“Art is about emotion; if art needs to be explained it is no longer art.”

― Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Renoir is known for portraying emotion in his paintings and this romantic painting on love is no exception.

The love in this painting shines through the woman’s face as she is swept in a tender embrace of her lover.

This famous romantic painting makes its viewers seem as if they are in with the loving couple that is lost in their own world, dancing on cloud nine looking content in the movement.

Romance in paintings cannot be described better by any other art than this painting.

6. The Honeysuckle Bower By Peter Peter Paul Rubens(1609)

“My talent is such that no undertaking, however vast in size… has ever surpassed my courage.”

― Peter Paul Rubens

This portrait has everything a romantic painting should have, it’s sensuous, effortless, and conversational.

This self-portrait of Rubens and his wife, Isabella Brant is seated hand-in-hand amongst honeysuckle blossom.

Both leaning into each other, looking comfortable and relaxed contrary to other marriage portraits from the 17th century that was rigid and formal.

7. The Jewish Bride by Rembrandt (1665)

The Jewish Bride by Rembrandt.

“Painting is the grandchild of Nature.”

 ― Rembrandt Van Rijn

This seventeenth-century painting on love comes with its own sets of theories as the identities of the subjects are unknown.

But often referred to as the portrait of a Couple as Isaac and Rebecca.

The romance in paintings is usually shown by an embrace or a protective touch.

But here despite having both and sharing such intimacy, the couple does not look at each other or the viewers, it’s as if they are alone at this moment.

Almost like the observers as spying on an intimate moment of this couple.

8. Le Printemps (Springtime) by Pierre-Auguste Cot (1873)

Le Printemps (Springtime) by Pierre-Auguste Cot.

The romance in paintings has never been more prominent than this very artwork.

Springtime exemplifies the theme in just a glance.

The flirtatious duo is lovingly gazing into each other eyes, giving us a glimpse of their young love.

The sensual woman hangs from her lover’s neck with their gaze locked with each other, while his arms hold tightly to the ropes, which supports them.

This tender image has stirred the emotion of love in the hearts of millions over the last 125 years.

9. Lovers in the Snow under an Umbrella by Suzuki Harunobu (1764–1772)

Lovers in the Snow under an Umbrella by Suzuki Harunobu

Romance is paintings are often quite poignant and the lovers in the snow under an umbrella by Suzuki Harunobu is no different.

Love is an emotion that often comes with a sense of melancholy.

This Ukiyo-e style woodblock print is a famous artwork about the love of this artist.

This tranquil scene depicts a couple walking together in the snow sharing an umbrella.

The print illustrates the beauty of simplicity and stillness. 

10. The Fisherman and the Syren” by Frederic Leighton (1856–1858)

The Fisherman and the Syren" by Frederic Leighton

“We have within us the faculty for a range of emotions of vast compass, of exquisite subtlety, and of irresistible force, to which Art and Art alone amongst human forms of expression has the key.”

― Frederic Leighton

The rich imagery and allegory of this painting have not failed to awe its viewers.

It’s impossible to look away from the scene of a fisherman in a deep embrace with a mermaid.

The mermaid’s unforgiving embrace and enchanting gaze represent the seductive and destructive power of female sexuality.

The painting is marveled at for its rich imagery, extensive depth, and attention to detail.

11. The swing by Jean Honoré Fragonard (1767)

 The swing by Jean Honoré Fragonard

Fragonard’s most known work, delectating a playful and mischievous scene between Baron de Saint-Julien and his mistress.

The painting is not only appreciated for the complex and beautiful scene it portrays but also its style.

The swing is admired for the drama created by heightening contrasts in light and shade. 

12. A Stroll on the Canal at Quimperle by Henri Le Sidaner (1912)

A Stroll on the Canal at Quimperle by Henri Le Sidane.

This classic Impressionist style painting is depicting a couple relaxing beside the water in a beautiful French town.

The moonlit display of this romantic painting captured the quiet and intimate scene just as the Night sets upon the canal at Quimperle.

Le Sidaner has masterfully used the light to depict this night scene with a wide array of colors, illuminating both the water surface and the buildings in the background.

13. Idyll By George Quaintance (1952)

A romantic painting, depicting gay love. Idyll By George Quaintance

George Quaintance is known for making a homoerotic painting that idealizes male bodies of rugged, muscled, and nude male cowboys, Indians, and Greek gods.

His work was the foundation of the ‘macho stud’ stereotype and a pioneer of the gay aesthetic.

It is a romance of homosexuality upon a canvas.

His works existed in a time when homosexuality was still shunned by society. Decades before the first gay pride took place.
George Quaintance’s works are astonishingly ahead of their time and deserve the recognition that it has today. 

14. A Romance by Santiago Rusiñol (1894)

A Romance by Santiago Rusiñol

A famous Spanish painter whose art style has inspired legends such as Pablo Picasso, who was touched by his modernist style of romantic paintings.

This romantic artwork depicts a portrait of a woman playing piano while a man stands next to her.

The painting’s backdrop is in a simple domesticated setting where the woman is entirely engrossed in her music and the man is lost as he listens to her tunes.

It has a calm and relaxed atmosphere which one might consider unusual for romantic artwork from that time.

Here the love between the two is the music and the love is so strong that we can imagine the music flowing through the painting.   

15. Romance By Thomas Hart Benton (1931)

“I paint every day. Sometimes I hate painting, but I keep at it, thinking always that before I croak I’ll really learn how to do it – maybe as well as some of the old painters.”

 ― Thomas Hart Benton

Painting about love has been painted for centuries but rarely includes people of color in our history.

But Romance by Thomas hart Benton has done it beautifully.

This famous painting of lovers on a walk looks composed and content in their act and life.

There is an ease in walk and posture, giving them a love-like disposition.

Romance portrays love and beyond with this simple and yet impactful artwork of a black.

Benton often used his art to bring social awareness and political reforms and this panting is no exception.

16. The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis by Jacques-Louis David (1818)

The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis by Jacques-Louis David

“In the arts the way in which an idea is rendered, and the manner in which it is expressed, is much more important than the idea itself.”

 ― Jacques-Louis David

This painting is a tale of young love, Jacques manages to capture the tenderness of their love but also the misery of their situation that won’t be lasting.

It is loosely based on characters from the Odyssey, Telemachus, a young prince and the son of Odysseus fell in love with the beautiful nymph Eucharis.

And could not stay with her as he had to go on a search for his father.

An example of a neoclassic style of painting that uses saturated reds and blues to contrast with flesh tones and combined with a clarity of line, this is what makes this painting stand out.

Romance in paintings is never free from drama, and The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis is no exception.

17. Self Portrait as a Tehuana by Frida Kahlo (1943)

A self portrait of Frida Kahlo with Diego drawn on her forehead. officially known as the Self Portrait as a Tehuana by Frida Kahlo.

“There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the train the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.”

 Frida Kahlo

A self-portrait as a Tehuana is also addressed as “Diego in My Thoughts” and “Thinking of Diego”.

Frida started this painting in the year 1940, which is also the year she divorced her husband Diego Rivera, an accomplished artist.

With this double portrait, Frida speaks of her agony of loving Diego, thinking about him, and not being able to move on from him despite his numerous extramarital affairs.

 She is wearing a traditional Mexican dress that was loved by Diego and leaves that spread like the web seem like she is trapped in both the picture and the obsession.

And by the time Frida Kahlo finished this painting in 1943, they remarried.  

18. Kissing coppers by Banksy (2004)

A painting of two cops kissing each painted on wall by Banksy, known as the Kissing coppers

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

― Banksy

This painting by Banksy of a couple caught up in a moment was painted on the wall of Prince Albert Pub in Brighton, England.

It depicts two cops, fully dressed sharing an intimate moment.

This mural’s strategic placement is a crucial factor for understanding the significance of the painting.

Brighton is often considered the LGBT Capital of the UK and the home to the largest gay pride in the city.

The painting was subjected to repeated vandalism, which led the pub owner to sell the artwork and that decision amounted to backlashes from the community. 

19. Love Letters by Jean Honore Fragonard (1770–1773)

Love Letters by Jean Honore Fragonard

“If necessary, I would even paint with my bottom”

– Jean Honore Fragonard

This image exemplifies that jean Honore’s excellent use of light and sense of color and the theme of romance in paintings.

This art on love is mysterious, beautiful and griping the viewers as the coy woman, holds a love letter drawn from a posy.

Jean has managed to capture a fashionably dressed woman and her inexplicable look with such fineness and details.

20. A Huguenot by John Everett Millais (1852)

A Huguenot by John Everett Millais, a painting of a romantic couple in a sad and loving embrace.

A man refusing to Shield Himself from Danger by Wearing the Roman Catholic Badge.

This painting refers to the historical event of the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in 1572.

During the French Wars of Religion, some Huguenots were being massacred in Paris

While some managed to escape from Paris by wearing white armbands, shielding themselves from danger by showing Roman Catholic symbols.

This romantic artwork depicts a loving come in an affectionate embrace, on looking carefully at the dramatic details, the girl is trying to get her lover to wear a white armband, in a desperate yet gentle attempt to save his life.

While the man refuses to wear it by gently pulling it off with his left hand, the very hand he has used to embrace her.

21. Slow Dance by Kerry James Marshall (1992–1993)

Slow Dance by Kerry James Marshall

“If I go to the museum and see white bodies, black bodies, Asian bodies, Latino bodies, then I will expect to see those things every time I go. That matters a lot.”

― Kerry James Marshall

This painting about love depicts an affectionate African -American couple in a colorful and vibrant setting in their domestic life.

The representation of black people in such a way was rarely seen then.

The couple is shown slow dancing in their living room, surrounded by comforting objects representing their Yoruba and Haitian culture.

The image is trying to establish normalcy of the black presence that isn’t traumatically conditioned to associate with racism.

22. Les Baigneuses (The Bathers) by Leonor Fini (1972)

Les Baigneuses (The Bathers) by Leonor Fini. A painting depicting women bathing themselves in water body.

Fini is A self-taught leading surrealist painter; inspired by Italian Renaissance and Mannerist styles along with her contemporaries like Max Ernst, Picasso, Georges Bataille, Salvador Dalí, etc.

She is also said to be the first woman to paint an erotic male nude and is known to depict powerful women enjoying all manner of pleasure.

In this painting, they are shown delicately caressing each other and luxuriating in the water.

They appear relaxed and tranquil, floating through a clear, flower-filled body of water – through time and space.

Endnote:

love brings joy but also it brings pain and hurt, our love-drunk artists bring all faces of love ‑ affectionate and ferocious, monogamous and polyamorous, fleeting and timeless.

Romance in art throughout history is rich and comes with the ability to stir emotion in many.

If you are wondering whether will you ever have your own romantic painting? Well, look no further, with PortraitFlip you can get your romantic moment painted from a photo in just a few clicks.

Dear reader,

What does love really look like? You may never know until you experience it.

But throughout history artists have used love as their inspiration and painted their version of love.

It’s beautiful, messy, dreamy, heartbreaking, and wistful.

I hope the romance in paintings has warmed your heart, comforted you, and showed your different interpretations of love. 

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