I don’t know that I have or haven’t because all my experiences with love have been very transcendent; of time, age and gender roles. I was thirteen years old and I stood in front of a massive Hussain painting. The colours flowing and the bold brushstrokes challenging me to criticise them. And I remember standing there and crying. I think that’s when I fell in love for the first time.
The love between Van Gogh and his brother was so deep that a few months after his untimely death, Theo, who was so in love with his older brother surrendered to the heavy burden that he carried after Vincent's death. Some say it was syphilis, others believe it was heartache.
At least to my understanding, love is a very central theme in most art forms; much like in life.
Is life worth living if you can’t fall in love with everything around you? I love the colours of the sunset, the sounds that the koel starts making at 3 am, the fact that my dad tells me I’m looking nice today, even if I’m not dressed up, I love the amazon delivery guy, he’s seen me at my happiest and I love how rain sliding down my cheeks makes me feel like I’m in a Bollywood movie.
I hate how the concept of love has been reduced to just romantic arousal by mainstream media when in reality, it’s so much purer than that.
Speaking of love, I was in the 8th grade when I learned about Leonardo Da Vici and his relationship with the infamous Mona Lisa. I remember our teacher telling us how he worked on her until the day he died. Nearing on obsession, he fell in love with his own painting, constantly needing to touch it up, and build on it. Since that day, many more have fallen in love with the mysterious smiling woman.
I always marvelled at the fact that if he had worked it for so long, how could he have missed the eyebrows?
When a love as pure as that between Da Vinci and his Mona Lisa, gets leaked into the world, it drives people insane. If you’ve visited the Louvre, you’ll know how little the painting is, and how large the amount of security around her is.
I was reading up about this painting and the security part of this mysterious artwork, and I came across something very intriguing.
August of 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris.
Like most crimes, this was that of passion. Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian man who believed with conviction that the Mona Lisa should be returned to Italy, where it rightfully belonged. He worked as a handyman and was hired by the Louvre to make some protective cases for a few of the paintings, including the Mona Lisa.
Here’s when things become a little like a Scooby-Doo episode, Peruggia planned on taking the painting with him, in his jacket, out the exit door. So he hid in a nearing closet overnight, and while everyone left, what he didn’t account for is that they would also lock up. He came out of the closet, took the painting in his jacket and tried to escape, but the door was locked.
As if in a movie, and an unsuspecting coworker saw him struggling to leave and unlocked to door for him.
Vincenzo Peruggia had escaped with the Mona Lisa.
It took the authorities 24 hours to even realise that the painting was missing, and the painting was discovered 2 years later in Florence, in 1913.
Some believe that Pablo Picasso was behind the abduction of the painting, but those are just theories.
I think it is extremely interesting how art can make a person feel so strongly, how the strokes of colours have the power to play with your emotions. I hope someday a little girl stands in front of one of my paintings and cries her heart out because she’s never fallen in love like that before.