The Art of Pain(t)

Although Valentine’s day is all about love and happiness for relationships, it is quite the opposite for people without a significant other. This holiday could even be a reminder of heartbreak and loneliness, but you’re not alone. Artists are able to express pain in their pieces in different ways, whether it be by directly telling a story or abstractly.  Take a look at these paintings that you may be able to relate to.

Love’s Melancholy by Constant Mayer (1866)

Image result for Love's Melancholy by Constant Mayer, 1866

Love’s Melancholy is an oil painting by Constant Mayer in 1866 right after the Civil War. The painting, at first glance, gives off the cold feeling of sadness, as the girl in the painting looks down. She is dressed in dark colors and holds flowers, hinting she is mourning the loss of a dead lover. One can easily feel the pain the girl is feeling as the painting creates a somber atmosphere.


Ashes by Edvard Munch (1894)Image result for ashes edvard munch 1894

Edvard Munch is well known for his most famous painting, The Scream. In 1894, Munch made Ashes, centralizing on burnt-out love. The title refers to a metaphor, suggesting that the fire of romantic love is always bound to transform into ashes. Both characters in the painting are in clear distress, as the man hides his face in his hands with grief while the woman stands in front of him with an expression of misery. 


Charred Landscape by Lee Krasner (1960)Image result for lee krasner charred landscape

From afar, Krasner’s piece seems nothing more than chicken scratch on a canvas. Although, a closer look at the piece can unveil its true meaning. In this abstract painting, one can see two  faces colliding. Charred Landscape displays pain mixed with free, released energy. This painting was inspired by the death of her husband, Jackson Pollock, and the heartbreak that came with it. 


The Meeting on the Turret Stairs by Sir Frederic William Burton (1864)Image result for the meeting on the turret stairs by sir frederic william burton, 1864

The Meeting on the Turret Stairs depicts the sad, yet tender departure of a girl and her personal guard. Burton was inspired by a Danish ballad by Whitley Stokes from 1855. For preface, the girl had fallen in love with her guard despite her father’s disagreement with the situation. The watercolor painting is supposed to be set moments before the guard, Prince of Engelland, was to be killed by the girl’s seven brothers.



After looking at these paintings you may have felt comfort in knowing you are not alone when feeling these heartaches. Art is an incredible form of expression to show others how you feel.  Maybe you can paint something for yourself that depicts how you feel.