Whether it’s your favorite excuse to be romantic or it’s just another Hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day is here! To celebrate, here are some of my favorite lovey-dovey artworks that you can use to woo your future significant other.
The Kiss, Gustav Klimt, 1907
We obviously can’t leave this painting out, so we might as well start with it. One of the most recognizable pieces of art ever, The Kiss was initially considered pornographic before becoming a stereotypical favorite of college students. The painting is slightly less romantic if you interpret it as the final kiss between Apollo and Daphne, who literally turned into a tree to reject Apollo.
The Embrace, Egon Schiele, 1917
Klimt’s student Egon was known for his expressionist depictions of erotic bodies. This painting is really the only nude he did that you wouldn’t be ashamed to bring home to your mother.
Noon: Rest From Work, Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
While Van Gogh wasn’t so lucky when it came to love, he was certainly no stranger to the feeling. He once said, “I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
In Bed, The Kiss, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892
The original #goals. Am I talking about the bed or the kiss? You decide.
We Rose Up Slowly, Roy Lichtenstein, 1964
While Lichtenstein reproduction of DC’s romance comic panels tend to be women crying over men, here’s a rare one of a couple actually having a good time together.
Maybe it’s about long distance lovers. Maybe it’s about two people who feel distant despite being close to each other. Maybe Baldessari just likes cutting images up. Who knows???
Love 310, 311, and 312, Andy Warhol, 1983
Keep your eyes covered, kids! Buuuut it’s really not that graphic when you keep in mind that Warhol directed Blue Movie, the first adult film to actual depict sexual intercourse on screen, and Blow Job, which… well, you can probably figure that one out.
Love Is a Pie, Andy Warhol, 1953
A special edition cover designed for Maude Hutchins’ 1952 collection of stories and plays titled Love is a Pie.
Slow Dance, Kerry James Marshall, 1992
Cue Etta James: “At laaaast, my love has come along… my lonely days are over and life is like a song!”
Dark Heart Cake, Wayne Thiebaud, 2014
Love doesn’t have to be a pie, it can be a chocolate cake too!
LOVE Installation, Damien Hirst, 2015
Those love pills look way more appealing than candy conversation hearts.
Untitled (Heart), David Hammons, 1994
You can celebrate both Valentine’s Day and Christmas with this one!
I Love You, Louise Bourgeois, 2007
Because sometimes the best display of affection is the simplest one.
Illustration for Fourteen Poems by CP Cavafy, David Hockney, 1937
Hockney often used inspiration from writers like Walt Whitman and CP Cavafy for his artwork openly depicting gay love.
After Love, Marcel Duchamp, 1968
Believe it or not, Duchamp created more than just upside down urinals and obscene portraits of the Mona Lisa. After Love was drawn not too long before Duchamp’s death.
Love is in the Air, Banksy, 2003
Who knew it was possible to be both edgy and romantic at the same time?
If you’ve ever left your house, you’ve probably seen this. There are over fifty of these sculptures worldwide!
Dancing Heart, Keith Haring, 1982
Street artist Keith Haring passed away two days after Valentine’s Day in 1990.
Love is something you fall into, Barbara Kruger, 1990
Fingers crossed Supreme doesn’t steal this for Valentine’s Day-edition streetwear.
Rest Energy, Marina Abramovic, 1980
Abramovic called this four-minute performance piece one of the hardest pieces she has ever done, saying it was about “complete and total trust.”
Love Is What You Want, Tracey Emin, 2011
You’ve most likely stumbled across Tracey Emin’s neon phrases while scrolling through Tumblr or Instagram. Emin recently married a rock so you know she’s a pro when it comes to love.
Sienna Projection, Jenny Holzer, 2009
Holzer also had this phrase printed onto condom packages that are part of the Kemper Art Museum collection in St. Louis.
Shadow Kiss, Diane Arbus
“Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.”-Diane Arbus.
Summer Evening, Edward Hopper, 1947
Ah yes, the awkwardness of young love.
In the Luxembourg Gardens, John Singer Sargent, 1879
For someone who never married, or even maintained an actual relationship, Sargent sure knew who to paint a romantic portrait.
Love and Pain, Edvard Munch, 1893
Also known as Vampire, this painting might have unintentionally inspired the Twilight series and every other young adult series with a supernatural love interest.
The Lovers IV, Rene Magritte, 1928
Nothing quite like kissing a floating, disembodied head.
I guess French kissing is out of the question here, huh?
The Lovers, Jacob Lawrence, 1946
How can there be so much peace and comfort and love in one painting?
As abstract and confusing as love itself.
Chagall was so in love with his wife Bella that he did a whole bunch of wedding-themed paintings featuring the two of them. We can only hope the oversized rooster wasn’t based on anything real.
The Battle of Love, Paul Cezanne, 1880
Because what’s more romantic than a drunken orgy fest?
Chez le père Lathuille, Edouard Manet, 1879
True love is when your partner listens to you instead of mansplaining.
The Lovers, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1875
Get someone who looks at you like this.
The Happy Lovers, Gustave Courbet, 1844
Forecast calls for gloomy weather and cuddles.
Do you think she left him on “read?”
Love can be pretty destructive… or maybe that’s just Cupid being a jerk.
Cupid’s a lot bigger than we thought.
Feel bombarded by love yet? No? Good! Go look at some of the most romantic artist couples of all time!