Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine Couples

Italian painter
Clementina Sobiesky
ca. 1725

Italian painter
Portrait of a man in a fur-trimmed coat
ca. 1540
Metropolitan Museum of Art

The couple above are manifestly happy together, everything about their appearance (from gestures to costumes to quietly beaming faces) suggests fellow feeling and compatibility of taste and temperament. That is why their juxtaposed portraits  even though painted two centuries apart  defy those centuries and even defy the geographical separation of a major ocean to greet the viewer as the embodiment in pigment of conjoined spirits on Valentine's Day.

attributed to Joan Carlile
Dorothy, Lady Browne and Sir Thomas Browne
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Piero del Pollaiuolo
Apollo & Daphne
National Gallery, London

Anonymous silhouette artist
The Ladies of Llangollen
ca. 1810-23
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Henry Treffry Dunn
Dante Gabriel Rosssetti and Theodore Watts-Dunton
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Lorenzo Lotto
Micer Marsilio Cassotti & Faustina Cassotti

The miniatures below of married couple Peter and Anne Oliver were arranged at an early date to occupy front and back of the same frame. This visual equivalent of the conjugal connection belonged to Horace Walpole in the 18th century and was displayed among thousands of other such curiosities at Strawberry Hill, as indicated by gilt lettering on the surround.

Peter Oliver
Miniature self-portrait
ca. 1625-30-
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Peter Oliver
Miniature portrait of Anne Oliver
ca. 1625-30
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Baldassare Peruzzi
Woman & two men 
ca. 1510
British Museum

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
The Sofa
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jean François de Troy
The Alarm
Victoria & Albert Museum

Andrea Schiavone
Marriage of Cupid & Psyche
ca. 1550
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lumière Brothers
Still Life of flowers & leaves