Fall in New York City is one of the most romantic times of the year. The season’s warm, golden light casts a mood that is best enjoyed with someone special. Simply put, it’s a wonderful time to be in love!
The idea of love has fascinated artists through the ages. Our greatest creative minds such as Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and Picasso sought inspiration in love, using the emotion to make works of art so beautiful and passionate, they stand the test of time, resonating in the universal heart of mankind.
We can’t think of a better way to keep the amorous vibe flowing than spending a weekend afternoon strolling the corridors of a museum hand-in-hand. And lucky for us, New York City’s museums are home to some of the most romantic artworks ever created!
Springtime by Pierre-Auguste Cot at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Painted in 1873, Pierre-August Cot’s Springtime caused a sensation when it was exhibited at the Paris Salon. Illuminated by ethereal light, a maiden wraps her arms around her shadowed lover perched on a forest swing. Spend only a few minutes in front of this painting and you’ll see why it is one of art history’s most celebrated images of young love.
The Lovers by René Magritte at The Museum of Modern Art
Surrealist René Magritte’s depiction of a woman and man embracing behind veils is as unsettling as it tender. Art is subjective and this work is mysterious and provokes thought. You two will definitely have something to talk about later over drinks.
Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme painted the moment when the goddess Venus brought to the sculpture of Galatea to life, thus, granting Pygmalion’s wish for a wife as beautiful as the sculpture he had created. Notice that sneaky cupid in the background with raised bow about to fire an arrow at the embracing couple.
LOVE by Robert Indiana at the Corner of 6th Ave and 55th St
One of the most iconic representations of love, Robert Indiana’s pop art sculpture is a must-visit photo stop for NYC tourists and residents alike. Bearing symbolic meaning that intermingles the personal and universal, the sculpture has been reproduced in Hebrew, Chinese, Italian, and Spanish. And don’t be surprised if you see a bride and groom there taking wedding photos!
Birthday by Marc Chagall at the Museum of Modern Art
So taken by the love he had for his first wife and muse, Bella, Marc Chagall painted Birthday and forever immortalized the couple’s deep bond. In his tender depiction, the artist floats above his wife, head twisted and bent to meet her lips with a kiss. The intimate room is adorned with objects Bella actually gave Chagall as gifts for his birthday.
Mars and Venus United by Love by Paolo Veronese at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dating to the 1570s, this painting by Italian master Veronese depicts cupid binding Mars to Venus with a love knot. The God of War looks weary from battle at Venus sooths him with her touch. Sumptuous fabrics, a nude goddess with luminescent alabaster skin, and Veronese’s striking articulation of light and color impress a sensual picture of love.
The Oxbow by Thomas Cole at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
We’ve all witnessed Mother Nature’s majestic beauty at least once. No artist expressed this feeling in art better than Thomas Cole. Widely considered a masterpiece of American landscape painting, The Oxbow stirs a passionate emotional response that rivals any literal image of love. The work is like a sublime dream so be sure to set aside solid viewing time.
Love is unique for everyone. And it’s fascinating to see how differently artists have expressed the idea of love in their work. So grab your dearest, make it a date, and go see these romantic works of art together!