Valentine’s Day Quiz: Famous Couples in Art

At a Valentine party earlier this week, I took a quiz to test my knowledge of famous couples in history. As a group, the party members did pretty well – except we missed one question about Aspasia and Pericles.

The quiz got me thinking about some famous couples that are depicted in art. So I decided to make a quiz of my own. See if you can name any of the famous couples in the following works of art:

This one is a little tricky. Hint: look at the knife in the woman’s foot. You might be more familiar with another variation of this story, where this woman slashes her thigh to show her loyalty to her husband.

How many couples did you guess? Check your answers in the comments section of this post. You get extra points for every artist that you can name, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • M says:

    1) Couple: Abelard and Heloise. Depiction from Roman de la Rose (14th century manuscript)

    2) Couple: Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) and Nefertiti. Depiction is limestone relief of Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti with their children, 1370 – 1353 BC

    3) Couple: Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine. Painting by Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Napoleon, 1805-07

    4) Couple: Marc Antony and Cleopatra. Painting by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, Antony and Cleopatra, 1883

    5) Couple: John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. Painting by N. C. Wyeth, John Alden and Priscilla, 1940-45. Wyeth has done a lot of depictions of Alden and Priscilla. I particularly like this one.

    6) Couple: Brutus and Portia. Painting by Michelle da Verona, Brutus and Portia, c. 1500-50

  • Emperor of EUtopia says:

    Well I at least recognized most of the names once I read them! That's a huge accomplishment for me. HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY!

  • columnist says:

    I only got Napoleon & Josephine, but I knew it was by David, too!

  • heidenkind says:

    I thought Abelard and Heloise was Luther and that nun he married. Doh!

  • Jon says:

    I missed 5 and 6 on which I was WAY off.

  • Carrie says:

    So exciting that the Valentine's quiz inspired you to do one on your blog. LaRue and I got Nefertiti and Cleopatra, but probably only because I'd just done the other quiz.

  • ixoj says:

    I scored miserably, as usual. I think I need some private tutoring, friend.

  • M says:

    Hmm. I think I made a quiz that's a little too difficult!

    (I also realized that the John Alden and Priscilla Mullins question isn't really fair for anyone who lives outside the United States, unless one is familiar with the Longfellow poem that mentions the couple. If you're interested, you can read more about the couple and poem here and here.)

    Anyhow, thanks for playing!

  • joolee says:

    oooh, i didn't do so hot either! but I still LOVE your quizzes! (oh and I picked up those grey tights at FM…i ADORE them) 🙂

  • e says:

    Um, I completely and totally failed.
    BUT, I loved reading the answers and having an "ah-ha" moment!

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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.