Art and music inspired by love

Happy Valentine’s Day! A day celebrating love, it has become a vehicle for flowers and chocolates, grand gestures and that insane movie where Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift are dating. But who can blame the producers for wanting to capitalize on their off-screen relationship? After all, love has inspired some of the most iconic and moving art in the Anthropocene.

Love is a complicated subject, as it can be the best and the worst thing in a person’s life. It can be brief, burning bright and fizzling quickly. It can be quiet and steady. Most romantic art captures a snapshot, only a piece of a couple’s love story. What is good love, the right love? Maybe it doesn’t matter, as long as it inspires great art. ;)


The real-life love story between Alexander and Eliza Hamilton was fraught and tenuous, and the central personal tale of Hamilton in the musical. Though swept away with his love for her, he is unfaithful. Ultimately, their love is strong, and Eliza ensures her husband’s legacy outlives him.


Much Ado About Nothing

Romance and comedy can go hand in hand, and when two people are just meant to be together, it’s always entertaining watching them try to deny it. The hijinks, manipulation and holding back just sweetens the ending.


Barefoot in the Park

Opposites attracting is one of the oldest tropes in the book. Flighty and whimsical Corie and her straight-laced husband Paul have to find a middle ground between their impulses, or decide their brand-new marriage might have been a mistake.bare

Swan Lake

A tragic love story is no less sweet. Odette and Siegfried are meant to be, but when their circumstances and a terrible spell mean they can never be together, they decide to move to the next life together.


Rodin - The Kiss

Once considered too intimate for a public audience, it is now one of the most recognized sculptures in the world. In fact, the two embracing subjects are Francesca and Paolo, who were both married to other people in Dante’s Inferno.


Klimt - The Kiss

The famous painting depicts a woman, tenderly encircled with the abstract geometry and bright, warm colors of the design. A departure from his usual style of portraying women as objects of desire, this painting features her as the whole story.


Indiana - LOVE

An icon since the sixties, this simple but powerful message has endured and become a top site for Instagrammers visiting New York. All you need is Love, after all.


Magritte - The Lovers

What are the hoods representing between the kissing lovers? It’s up to you to decide.



Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

Brahms’s Six Pieces Op. 118 were dedicated to Clara Schumann, with the following:

‘My Beloved Clara, I wish I could write to you as tenderly as I love you and tell you all the good things that I wish you. You are so infinitely dear to me, dearer than I can say. I should like to spend the whole day calling you endearing names and paying you compliments without ever being satisfied.’

Andante favori - Beethoven

Beethoven wrote the moving and romantic Andante favori for Josephine Brunsvik as a declaration of his love. When he met his young piano student, the two were smitten with each other but unable to be together because of their social standing. Sometimes unrequited love and pining makes for great art.

Adagietto - Mahler

When Mahler was working on his symphony, he met Alma Schindler. Two months later they were engaged. The fourth and final movement of the symphony was composed during that short courtship, with the Adagietto as a love song to Alma.

What is your favorite fine or popular art inspired by love?