Love
Art of Emotion 1400–1800

Free entry

NGV International

Ground Level

31 Mar 17 – 18 Jun 17

OPEN 10AM–5PM DAILY

Love: Art of Emotion 1400–1800 draws upon the NGV’s diverse permanent collection to explore the theme of love in art, and the changing representations of this complex emotion throughout the early modern period in Europe.

While popular conceptions of love tend frequently to focus upon romantic love, Love: Art of Emotion explores love’s varied manifestations across the realms of human experience, including familial relationships, religious devotion, friendship, altruism, patriotism, narcissism, materialism and nostalgia. The exhibition presents depictions of love’s many variations in painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, as well as non-representational and functional objects such as costume, furniture and religious artefacts.

Featuring more than 200 works from the NGV’s International Collection, some of which have never been displayed before, the exhibition demonstrates the balance between modest and grandiose, civic and domestic, micro and macro, from Vivarini’s grand-scale, much-celebrated painting The Garden of Love to tiny pieces of jewellery, worn against the body as love tokens or in memoriam. Through these diverse objects and images, the exhibition explores notions of public display and private emotion, ostentation and intimacy, of performance and of feeling.

The exhibition also considers love in relation to its associated emotions such as desire, wonder, ecstasy, affection, compassion, envy, melancholy, longing and hope, as well as the ways in which these combine and intersect. Bringing together a diverse array of works from the Medieval to the Romantic period, Love: Art of Emotion examines the shifting, multifaceted expressions of this rich and perennially relevant subject.

This exhibition is produced in collaboration with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and The University of Melbourne.

Programs & Events

Members Book Club is an opportunity to come together and discuss classic and contemporary literature over a cup of tea and examine art through a…

This exhibition draws upon the NGV’s diverse permanent collection to explore the theme of love in art, and the changing representations of this complex…

While popular conceptions of love tend frequently to focus upon romantic love, Love: Art of Emotion 1400-1800 explores love’s varied manifestations…

Why do we love and how important is love to the human experience? What makes this emotion such an enduring inspiration and subject of artistic…

Love, a complex emotion to say the least, has inspired artists and creative practitioners for centuries, generating countless artworks, objects, poems, books, musical compositions and…

Love, a complex emotion to say the least, has inspired artists and creative practitioners for centuries, generating countless artworks, objects, poems, books, musical compositions and…

Love, a complex emotion to say the least, has inspired artists and creative practitioners for centuries, generating countless artworks, objects, poems, books, musical compositions and…