Valentine’s Day Kisses

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought people would like to look at Flavorwire’s article, “The 10 Best Art Kisses of All Time.” My two favorite pieces that are highlighted in the article are Rodin’s The Kiss (1889) and Brancusi’s The Kiss (1908 version found through link).

I would have also included Canova’s Cupid and Psyche (c. 1787-1793, see detail here) on the list. Even though technically the figures have just kissed or are about to kiss (depending on who you ask), it’s a much more beautiful sculpture than that horrid drawing by Picasso (listed as #9 in the article). Ugh.

Do you know of any other works of art which are appropriate for Valentine’s Day?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Dr. F says:


    I may be old fashioned but my favorite is the kiss of Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gate in Giotto's Arena chapel in Padua.

    Happy Valentine's day.


  • M says:

    Oh, I think that's a great example, Frank! I should have thought of that one; it's such a sweet, tender kiss. For anyone who is interested, you can see an image of Giotto's "Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gate" (c. 1303-06) here and a great detail image here.

  • heidenkind says:

    I can't BELIEVE they didn't include Cupid and Psyche in that list! (full disclosure: that's one of my favorite sculptures of all time) And the surrealists were way over-represented in that article.

    As for Picasso, you know how I feel about him…. 😉

  • courty lynne. says:

    i was just going to say, until i read the first comment, joachim and anna in giotto's arena chapel! it's a real kiss teeming with love. but i'm a lot a bit old fashioned too…

  • Benjamin (Ben) says:

    How about a version of Paolo and Francesca? Lots of different ones, but Ingres's is probably the most famous:

  • e says:

    I really liked the Man Ray photograph. That was a lot of fun and I liked his quote with it.
    And, of course, Rodin can do no wrong. I love everything he has done.

  • Benjamin (Ben) says:

    One more to consider (also a favourite). Oldenburg's Clothespin proves that sometimes a kiss is not just a kiss:

  • M says:

    Thanks for the comments! I agree with what everyone has said. (And "Cupid and Psyche" is one of my all-time favorite statues, too, heidenkind!) I also like the Man Ray photograph, e. (No surprise that you liked that one, since you're a photographer!)

    Ben, you've got two great suggestions (especially the Oldenburg "Clothespin" – ha ha!). And I think you're right: Paolo and Francesca scenes are always appropriate for Valentine's Day. Rodin's "The Kiss" is probably the most famous depiction of those two, but I this Ingres painting is just as festive and holiday-oriented: Francesca's red dress looks quite festive with Paolo's pink tights, don't you think?

  • H Niyazi says:

    Interesting post M! I must admit I can not name a favourite painting on this topic. Caravaggio's 'Kiss of Judas' came to mind, but that isn't very romantic!

    There was actually a book released on this very topic late last year by Getty Publications:

    The Art of The Kiss by Marta Alvarez


  • Annette says:

    M, what a delightful post. I, too, think of Rodin immediately, but it feels trite to say so. To defend myself, I'll explain that when I first saw the original model in the Musee' Rodin in Paris, it moved me to tears. The clothespin sculpture in Philly is fantastic, as is the Man Ray photo. Thanks.

  • Ridhi Web Expert says:

    Would you rather have a Valentine Card or hugs & kisses every morning you wake up?

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This blog focuses on making Western art history accessible and interesting to all types of audiences: art historians, students, and anyone else who is curious about art. Alberti’s Window is maintained by Monica Bowen, an art historian and professor.