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Valentine's Day: Love around the world

Updated : 2019-02-18 16:22:14

Forgive me for saying this on Valentine’s Day, but the heart is a mere hollow, cone-shaped lump of muscle the size of an adult clenched fist tucked in the middle of the thorax. Sitting smug at the level of thoracic vertebrae T5-T8, the heart does not pound at the sight of the beloved. Love or not, the heart knows just one rhythm - lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. That’s the real sound of a heartbeat. Science further kills the romance by naming lub-dub a dreary S1-S2 (Sound 1, Sound 2). Imagine the heart doing Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Lub-dub on February 14. Sounds boring? This Valentine’s Day, forget the cliched red heart symbol and ignore the S1, S2. Think of love as art, sculpture, painting, a story.

Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.

 Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sign : History’s most iconic Love sign was designed by American artist Robert Indiana. Consisting of the letters L and O over the letters V and E in bold Didone type, the original image was a 1964 Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art. The Love design soon featured in a postage stamp and the first sculpture of the original rendering was displayed at Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indiana, US) in 1970.
Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sign: History’s most iconic Love sign was designed by American artist Robert Indiana. Consisting of the letters L and O over the letters V and E in bold Didone type, the original image was a 1964 Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art. The Love design soon featured in a postage stamp and the first sculpture of the original rendering was displayed at Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indiana, US) in 1970.
 JFK Plaza, LOVE Park, Philadelphia (US) : Since 1970, Indiana’s Love design has been rendered around the world. Photographed here is Love Park in a plaza located in Centre City, Philadelphia, US. Officially the John F Kennedy Plaza, the park borrows its name from the LOVE sculpture which was first placed here in 1976 as part of the United States' Bicentennial celebration. Photo credit: Sartha Global, Brand US.
JFK Plaza, LOVE Park, Philadelphia (US): Since 1970, Indiana’s Love design has been rendered around the world. Photographed here is Love Park in a plaza located in Centre City, Philadelphia, US. Officially the John F Kennedy Plaza, the park borrows its name from the LOVE sculpture which was first placed here in 1976 as part of the United States' Bicentennial celebration. Photo credit: Sartha Global, Brand US.
 Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (Vienna, Austria) : The most famous kiss captured on a canvas is Viennese artist Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1908–09). Housed in Vienna’s Belvedere Palace, visitors swoon over this wildly decorative tableau that employs intense ornament on the embracing couple’s gilded clothing, so thoroughly intertwined that the two bodies seem to be one. Not surprisingly, many art lovers put The Kiss way above Mona Lisa as a piece of art. Photo credit: Belvedere Museum and Vienna Tourist Board.
Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (Vienna, Austria): The most famous kiss captured on a canvas is Viennese artist Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1908–09). Housed in Vienna’s Belvedere Palace, visitors swoon over this wildly decorative tableau that employs intense ornament on the embracing couple’s gilded clothing, so thoroughly intertwined that the two bodies seem to be one. Not surprisingly, many art lovers put The Kiss way above Mona Lisa as a piece of art. Photo credit: Belvedere Museum and Vienna Tourist Board.
 Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss (Rodin Museum, Paris) : Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss (1882–89) is one of the most iconic depictions of romantic love in Western art: a man and a woman in each other’s arms, carved from a single piece of marble. The embracing couple is the married Francesca da Rimini and her paramour, and the two are condemned to hell for all eternity, as Dante reveals in his Inferno. Rodin originally intended the pair to form part of his massive Gates of Hell, but the subject was so popular he eventually made it into a standalone artwork. Rodin Museum, where the sculpture is housed, celebrates Valentine’s Day with an evening filled with music and lights by The Kiss.  Photo credit: Cl  é  mence Goldberger, Rodin Museum, France.
Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss (Rodin Museum, Paris): Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss (1882–89) is one of the most iconic depictions of romantic love in Western art: a man and a woman in each other’s arms, carved from a single piece of marble. The embracing couple is the married Francesca da Rimini and her paramour, and the two are condemned to hell for all eternity, as Dante reveals in his Inferno. Rodin originally intended the pair to form part of his massive Gates of Hell, but the subject was so popular he eventually made it into a standalone artwork. Rodin Museum, where the sculpture is housed, celebrates Valentine’s Day with an evening filled with music and lights by The Kiss. Photo credit: Clémence Goldberger, Rodin Museum, France.
 The Kiss, Lima (Peru) : In Lima, Peru, a larger-than-life sculpture defines passionate love. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and located in the Parque del Amor in the Miraflores district of Lima, El Beso (The Kiss) statue is said to be of the artist, native Peruvian Victor Delfín, and his wife. Unveiled on Valentine’s Day in 1993, the Park is now also the site of an annual kissing contest - a competition for the couple who can sustain the longest kiss. Photo credit:  Preeti Verma Lal.
The Kiss, Lima (Peru): In Lima, Peru, a larger-than-life sculpture defines passionate love. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and located in the Parque del Amor in the Miraflores district of Lima, El Beso (The Kiss) statue is said to be of the artist, native Peruvian Victor Delfín, and his wife. Unveiled on Valentine’s Day in 1993, the Park is now also the site of an annual kissing contest - a competition for the couple who can sustain the longest kiss. Photo credit:  Preeti Verma Lal.
 Post Your Love Note (Hong Kong) : The 1,300 ft high Peak in Hong Kong is where the mighty and the monied were once carried on a varnished sedan chair by uniformed bearers. Now, one can hop into Asia’s first and the world’s steepest funicular and whoosh up in seven minutes. That’s what Clark Gable did in Soldier of Fortune (1955) film. He, however, did not mail love letters there. There was no heart on The Peak then. Now, one can leave notes in the red heart and send postcards to the future. The Peak Tower has 365 mailboxes, each marked with a different day of the year. You simply have to deposit your postcard to the mailbox on which day you want your card to be sent. Photo credit:  Preeti Verma Lal.
Post Your Love Note (Hong Kong): The 1,300 ft high Peak in Hong Kong is where the mighty and the monied were once carried on a varnished sedan chair by uniformed bearers. Now, one can hop into Asia’s first and the world’s steepest funicular and whoosh up in seven minutes. That’s what Clark Gable did in Soldier of Fortune (1955) film. He, however, did not mail love letters there. There was no heart on The Peak then. Now, one can leave notes in the red heart and send postcards to the future. The Peak Tower has 365 mailboxes, each marked with a different day of the year. You simply have to deposit your postcard to the mailbox on which day you want your card to be sent. Photo credit:  Preeti Verma Lal.
 Paul and Virginia (Mauritius) : Made out of bronze and designed by Hungarian artist Suzanna Szemok, the statue of Paul and Virginia sits in the courtyard of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi (Mauritius). First published in 1788, the love story of Paul and Virginia is set on the island of Mauritius under French rule. The short novel by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737−1814) tells the tale of two children and their love that blossoms later. To keep her away from Paul, Virginia is sent to Europe. While returning her ship is caught in a storm off the coast of the island. Refusing to take off her clothes in front of the sailors in order to get into the water, Virginia prefers to remain on the sinking ship and drowns as Paul watches. He soon dies of sorrow. This love story is now part of Mauritian folklore. Photo credit:  Preeti Verma Lal.
Paul and Virginia (Mauritius): Made out of bronze and designed by Hungarian artist Suzanna Szemok, the statue of Paul and Virginia sits in the courtyard of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi (Mauritius). First published in 1788, the love story of Paul and Virginia is set on the island of Mauritius under French rule. The short novel by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737−1814) tells the tale of two children and their love that blossoms later. To keep her away from Paul, Virginia is sent to Europe. While returning her ship is caught in a storm off the coast of the island. Refusing to take off her clothes in front of the sailors in order to get into the water, Virginia prefers to remain on the sinking ship and drowns as Paul watches. He soon dies of sorrow. This love story is now part of Mauritian folklore. Photo credit:  Preeti Verma Lal.
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