How wrong I was.
For starters, the image had to be not only a romantic image, but also an image about romance. It's not good enough that I feel all warm and dizzy looking at it, Lord knows I get a bit like that on a regular basis looking at the oddest of things, but the subject of the picture should be love. Also, I immediately crippled myself by stipulating that the scene should be all sweet and no bitter. I didn't want some pretty image of a kissing couple if immediately afterwards they would die or be plunged in hell or go mad. You know, the usual stuff.
Oh, and it had to be good.
Now the field had been well and truly narrowed I realised that most, if not all of my favourite romantic pictures come a cropper by being tragic in some way. For example, take this beauty...
|La Belle Dame Sans Merci Frank Dicksee|
|Paolo and Francesca da Rimini (1855) D G Rossetti|
|The Black Brunswicker (1860) J E Millais|
|A Huguenot on St Bartholomew's Day (1852) J E Millais|
|Romeo and Juliet (1867) Ford Madox Brown|
Will everyone just stop dying! I'm trying to get romantic! This is ridiculous. I even began to worry about what certain choices of 'romantic' art said about me. Should I be concerned that all of the pictures I thought of as being romantic involved people being murdered or dying miserably? I think the worst moment was when I tried to recall a particularly romantic picture I had seen and when I looked it up, it turned out to be this...
|Ajax and Cassandra (1886) Solomon J Solomon|
There must be something, surely one good romantic picture came out of the nineteenth century, without anyone dying or being carried off by an extremely muscly man or become a victim of a religious purge?
|Hesperus, the Evening Star, Sacred to Lovers (1857) Joseph Noel Paton|
|Wedded (1882) Frederic Leighton|
|Portrait of Effie Ruskin J E Millais|
|Meeting on the Turret Stair Frederick William Burton|
What do you mean he kills most of her family then dies and she snuffs it from a broken heart?! Oh rats...