The representations of Love in Western art are unnumerable: loving emotion, agonies of the soul, melancholy … Love is an inexhaustible subject, handled in an original way according to the perception and lives of the artists and the writers of any time.
This work chooses to give a major place to the emotion, to praise the loving happiness. By representing the theme through a hundred and twenty pieces extending from the Middle Ages to the end of the Modern period, it proves the timelessness of love.
We invite you to admire the legendary sculptures such as the Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne, Antonio Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss or Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss.
Among other mythical paintings, you will find Antoine Watteau’s The Pilgrimage on the Island of Cythera, Jean Honoré Fragonard’s The Swing or still Marc Chagall’s The Lovers in Blue. Every major artist who has celebrated the feeling of love is gathered here under your eyes.
And what is more appropriate than poetry to illustrate this picturesque panorama? From Ovid to Verlaine, the biggest names of the literature knew how to make Eros speak.
In prose or in verse, their texts crossed the time by revealing one thousand and one faces of love. From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Beaudelaire’s A Hemisphere in a Head of Hair, passing by Goethe’s To the Distant One, this book invites you thus for a discovery or for a rediscovery of the most famous passages of the Western literature.
Come! an Unseen Flute
Come! an unseen flute
Sighs in the orchards.
The most peaceful song
Is the song that shepherds sing.
The wind beneath the ilex
Ruffles the waters’ dark mirror.
The most joyous song
Is the song that birds sing.
Let no worry torment you.
The most sweet song
Is the song that lovers sing.
— Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
She Walks in Beauty
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
— Lord Byron (1788-1824)
To the Distant One
And have I lost thee evermore?
Hast thou, oh fair one, from me flown?
Still in mine ear sounds, as of yore,
Thine ev’ry word, thine ev’ry tone.
As when at morn the wand’rer’s eye
Attempts to pierce the air in vain,
When, hidden in the azure sky,
The lark high o’er him chaunts his strain:
So do I cast my troubled gaze
Through bush, through forest, o’er the lea;
Thou art invoked by all my lays;
Oh, come then, loved one, back to me!
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
From Goethe: Poetical Works, vol. 1
To get a better insight into Love, please continue this exciting adventure by clicking on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Australia, Amazon French, Amazon German, Amazon Mexico, Amazon Italy, Amazon Spain, Amazon Canada, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Parkstone International, Ebook Gallery, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google, Apple, Overdrive, Scribd, Bookmate