If you type in the words “romantic love” to the google images search bar, many images of hearts, red roses, and couples embracing pop up immediately. However, these cliché images are not sending the message about romance that older art does. Artistic expression of love has always been around, but modern art does not capture the small romantic details that paintings from past centuries do.
The above painting, entitled “The Kiss,” was done by artist Gustav Klimt in 1908. Its symbolism and vibrant colors capture the radiant allure of a couple truly in love. The man’s gold robe wraps around both the man and the woman together in embrace, portraying that they are “one” in love. The man is depicted gently kissing the woman’s neck, as a way of tenderly showing his affections. Pieces of art, such as Klimt’s painting, show a deeper side of romantic love than just a pretty red rose.
Modern culture has somehow distorted society’s perception of romantic love – not only through art, but also through music. Music has transcended us over time. Romantic Love has always been a theme of musical art throughout all of time. In the years past, love was portrayed as something wonderful and something to aspire for. Both men and women would sing about being in love, love lost, and the feelings that accompany love. An example of this would be Frank Sinatra’s, The Way You Look Tonight. In this song, Sinatra sings “there is nothing for me but to love you.” Another example is Ritchie Valens, We Belong Together. In this song, Valens sings “You’re mine and we belong together.” As you can see, in these oldies, love is portrayed in a way for something to long for and aspire for. It is something delicate and beautiful.
Today, there are still songs that represent love in this way. Song such as Mumford and Sons, I Will Wait, where they sing “I fell heavy into your arms,” and later “I will wait for you.” This shows that no matter what, the one in love will wait for his lover as long as it takes. This shows that the love will prevail. But, love is also portrayed in a negative way in today’s society as well. This is seen in songs such as Enrique Iglesias’s Tonight I’m F**king You. You can even see in the title how blatant he is. Love has become much sexualized in today’s society. Songs sing of sex and drugs and have diminished what true love really means.