Kisses in artworks for Valentine’s Day

Posted on February - 14 - 2018

Marc Chagall. Courtesy: Phaidon

Marc Chagall. Courtesy: Phaidon

Another year comes and the day where love and couples are celebrated is upon us. While flower and chocolate sales skyrocket and it’s more challenging to get a table in your favorite restaurant than any other day, at the core of this festivity is the celebration of love and romance. Fleeting love, lasting love, friendship love, self-love, or all of the above, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to welcome all the shapes and forms of love. Whether you’re spending the day with a special someone, family members or single friends, in Scoop Art we salute the lovers and love and present you with a short gallery of some of the most memorable art kisses of the past century.

Constantin Brancusi, The Kiss (1907–08)

Made as a commission for Brancusi’s patron John Quinn, the work is the most geometric of all Brancusi’s variations of the theme. As the forms fuse together, the couple is caught in an eternal embrace where the reductionist style reflects Brancusi’s awareness of Cubism and owes to primitivist works of Paul Gauguin.


Marc Chagall – The Birthday (1915)

A characteristic that can describe most of Chagall’s work is his certain joie de vivre, a playful demeanor that is palpable in his lively compositions. In The Birthday, Chagall conveys a real-life episode and celebrates the romantic love between a couple. Painted close to the date of their marriage, Chagall depicts his muse and wife-to-be Bella and conveys his transcendental devotions towards her, as his love tests the limits of gravity.

Rene Magritte – The Lovers (1928)

What list would be complete without the enigmatic strangers, melting in each others arms in anonymity and oblivion? In a time where Hollywood was on the rise, and people were starting to confuse fiction with reality (sound familiar?), Magritte played on our voyeuristic pleasure of watching people locked in romantic passion. Hid behind a mask, the Surrealist artist covers their identity, and their act can be seen as a frustrated attempt to consume their desire.

Courtesy: Rene Magritte

Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville (1950) by Robert Doisneau

Back in the 1950’s alongside Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau was a pioneer in photojournalism and street photography. This image is one of his most famous pictures, as two lovers come together in peacetime in the city of love, while life continues to pass around them. The truth is, and to the dismay of many that the famous kiss was staged, but it doesn’t fail to depict a scene of intimacy and passion.

Courtesy: Wiki Art

Tino Sehgal- The kiss (2010)

I will never forget the day when in the Jumex Museum while attending an exhibition, a friend, bewildered by what she had just seen, muttered to me: “the security guards are kissing in the middle of the exhibition room.” Sehgal is known for causing confusion, discomfort, bewilderment and many other sensations on the public viewing his work. In his work Kiss, which has taken many shapes over the years, two people are interlocked in a passionate kiss, whether they are either dancers or security guards, the “interpreters” surprise the viewers who witness something that usually takes place in privacy. What first started with dancers, the performance was a choreographed sequence of positions and embraces.

Which one is your favorite, or you think would be a good item to add to the list?

By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz

Courtesy: Art Rabbit