5 romantic paintings from Europe

February: it's the month of romance. At present, it is still not encouraged to set off on a city tour of Europe with your partner, which is why we've decided to put together a list of five paintings of European artists instead – so you can travel even while you're stuck at home. To keep stoking the romantic mood, we chose 'love' as the theme. When everything is back to normal, you'll be able to see them in real life – and try out our other travel tips, too.
Garden with Courting Couples - Vincent Van Gogh

1. Netherlands: Garden with Courting Couples – Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh's famous pointillist style shines through in this work. The painter wasn't especially lucky in love, but he did love to portray women in his paintings. At the end of the 19th century, he joined a group of young artists in Paris who focused on getting the vibrant street life of Montmartre down on canvas. This work is from that period, and shows two couples in love strolling around.

The work is available to view at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

A travel tip for the future:

  • Travel to Paris and go for a romantic stroll around Montmartre – just like the lovers in the painting.

2. Germany: Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon - Caspar David Friedrich

Be honest: is there anything more romantic than watching the sunset with the love of your life? Caspar David Friedrich didn't think so, which is why he dedicated one of his works to this scene. He originally painted two men watching the moon together. Not until later did he paint a version featuring a man and a woman. It is believed Friedrich and his wife served as the models for this painting.  

It can be viewed at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

A travel tip for the future:

  • More works by Caspar David Friedrich are available to view at Hamburger Kunsthalle, an art museum in Hamburg. The city is definitely worth a visit, too.
Man and Woman contemplating the moon - Caspar David Friedrich
Au Lit - Toulouse-Lautrec

3. France: In Bed – Toulouse-Lautrec

In the 1880s, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec flourished to become a true painter of city life. This work is part of a series where the painter shows lesbian couples in an intimate environment. Being part of this series, it is clear that the two figures in the painting are women. It's worth mentioning this, as at first sight it looks as though they might be two boys or a heterosexual couple waking up together.

The work can be viewed at Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Travel tip for the future:

4. Austria: The Kiss - Gustav Klimt

This painting is suffused with love. Two lovers stand in an intimate embrace in a flowery meadow, with the man leaning in to plant a kiss on his lover's cheek. Look closer, though, and it seems as though they are standing on the edge of an abyss. Is it a goodbye kiss? This work became famous during the 'flower power' era. The work continues to be widely reprinted on postcards and posters today.

The painting can be viewed at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna.

A travel tip for the future:

5. Belgium: The Lovers – René Magritte

'The Lovers’ is a work that some consider to be a visual manifestation of ‘love is blind’. The Belgian painter liked to use veils, a symbol for mystery that he incorporated into a number of his paintings. Some claim his use of this trope refers back to a traumatic event in his youth – the suicide of his mother. When her body was pulled out of the Maas river, it was found that her face was covered by her dress.

The work is part of a private collection in New York.

A travel tip for the future:

  • Take the train to Brussels, the heart of Europe. There, you can check out an extensive selection of works by Magritte at the Musée Magritte Museum.

BONUS. Norway: The Scream - Edvard Munch

If you are single and reading this blog.... You are probably thinking: "Oh God, is it that time of the year again?". By the way, did you know that Edvard Munch made this painting after a breakup? He got the inspiration for it when he was walking back to Oslo with his friends. Munch was suddenly struck by the beauty of the landscape, the sky and the setting sun.

Admire the work in the National Museum of Art in Oslo.

Travel tip for later:

The Scream - Edvard Munch