History of Love Drawings
There are several types of love that have been depicted in drawings throughout history; these include familial love, religious and spiritual love, and of course, romantic love. The prehistoric Los Casares cave in Spain features one of the first known coitus drawings. In ancient Chinese medicinal manuscripts, drawings of sexual acts were depicted as a representation for yin and yang. The Hindu god of human love, Kamadeva, has been depicted in uncountable drawings throughout the ages. The Kama Sutra, which is a collection of texts that pertains to themes of love and pleasure, has inspired a plethora of romantic drawings and cute love drawings for many hundreds of years. In Japan, with the rise of ukiyo-e drawing in the late 17th century, drawings of erotic love (known as shunga), became very popular. A popular theme found in Medieval drawings concerns “courtly love,” which often depicts a knight who is platonically inspired to perform heroic deeds in order to impress a woman. Courtly love images can be found in dozens of illuminated manuscripts, where the knight’s love for a lady is expressed by his kneeling form at her feet; rarely does the couple physically touch. Mother and child drawings have long been a popular theme amongst artists; this most likely stems from depictions of the Madonna with Child that adorn countless religious venues across Europe. Love drawings offer the viewer a glimpse into the lives of people from ages past and present, and prove that there are some experiences shared by all humans at our most basic level.
Love Drawings Techniques
The most common medias necessary in order to execute a love and romance drawing include pen, watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper. Throughout most of history, drawings were predominantly created as studies or practice sketches for what the artist would later attempt with paint or sculpture. A variety of ukiyo-e drawings of love were created on fabric rolls. The most common drawings of motherly love stem from studies for paintings that feature Mary and Christ. These range from Madonna and Child drawings, to La Pietà drawings. The materials that are needed to create a drawing of courtly love in an illuminated manuscript include parchment, ink, gold leaf, and a variety of dyes.
Artists Known For Love Drawings
Throughout the ages, Western artists have appropriated representations of Cupid and Venus in order to represent desire, love, attraction, and affection in their drawings of love. Suzuki Harunobu was a master of drawing ukiyo-e romantic scenes in 18th century Japan. Other famous Japanese artists, such as Hokusai and Hiroshige, are known for depicting love in their drawings as well. The renowned sculptor, Auguste Rodin, created several studies drawn in chalk for his monumental sculpture, “The Kiss”. He also created a collection of erotic drawings. Vincent van Gogh drew a series of works that depicted his mistress Sien and her daughter; he took motherly love as a main theme. Pablo Picasso executed numerous drawings of his lovers and wives throughout his lifetime, including of Fernande Olivier, Marie-Thérèse Walter and Françoise Gilot.