Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Art Matters Blog

All’s fair in love and art

February 4th, 2019

A young girl with black hair and a yellow shirt cuts out pink paper hearts, one says Happy Valentine's Day on it.
Image by the AGO.

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is almost here. To celebrate the season of love, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite romantic works from the AGO Collection to inspire your next love story. Take a look:

“Stair-crossed” lovers

Image by the AGO

Do you believe in destiny? Come to Walker Court and find the perfect spot to bump into your fated love. There you’ll find our famous spiral staircase, designed with romance in mind by architect Frank Gehry. Not only does it curve around you like a giant hug, but Gehry narrowed it in places, naturally forcing people to bump into each other and (hopefully) fall in love. Take a walk up the steps, and maybe you’ll bump into the person of your dreams.

Finding love

Alex Colville. Soldier and Girl at Station, 1953. Glazed tempera on hardboard, Unframed: 40.6 × 61 cm. The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. © A.C. Fine Art Inc. AGOID.103990

Maybe you’re like artist Alex Colville and have already found your forever love. Take a look at his painting, Soldier and Girl at Station, where he invites us into a very intimate scene. The moody lighting from the street lights is almost like a candlelight glow, giving the setting a romantic feel. In the foreground, we see the soldier and woman sharing a loving embrace. It’s said this may be a self-portrait of the late Colville and his beloved wife Rhoda. Colville met her in art school and she remained his muse for the next 70 years as they grew old together. You can witness this tender embrace on Level 2 in the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art, Gallery 206.

Staying in love

Dogon peoples. Seated Couple, possibly 19th century or earlier. Wood with applied coatings, copper alloy, ferrous metal, Overall: 58 x 31 x 14 cm. Gift from the Frum Collection, 1999. © Art Gallery of Ontario 99/472

Maybe you and your partner are beginning to think alike, talk alike and even look alike. This couple from the Dogon tribe in Mali can certainly relate. As part of their artistic tradition, the Dogons created symmetrical male and female forms, emphasizing equality between the two. Learn a thing or two about equality by visiting this 19th century Dogon sculpture on Level 2 in the Murray Frum Gallery, Gallery 249.

Are you an AGO Member? After a romantic time spent looking at the lovely art, book your Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea at the Norma Ridley Members’ Lounge and feel all the love AGO has to offer.

Are you an AGOinsider yet? If not, sign up to have stories like these delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Comments are closed.