In this respect the plastic arts are more allied to music than to literature. The masterpieces in painting and sculpture generally not labelled love stories. It is possible, to be sure, to interpret some of them tilla half hidden love suggestion appears, made more beautiful, perhaps, by its very obscurity. But this is exactly what poetic minds frequently attempt when listening to the great sonatas and symphonies. The composer may have meant something of what the musical psychic thinks he finds; or he may never have dreamed of expressing anything except purely musical thoughts, inexpressible in words.
There is, indeed, more than fancy in the claim that sound and color has each its own language with which it conveys its message to the initiated, strengthened, rather than limited, when words fail properly interpret it. Perhaps, too, it is because love's romance has been told so voluminously in literature that the two other arts give less time to its portrayal.
In the following book an effort has been made to reduce the work to its simplest proportions.
As Venus has been known for ages as the goddess of love, any picture or statue of her may unquestionably come within its scope. Cupid, her irresponsible son, whose game is the human heart, being the cause of all the heart troubles and heart happinesses, must also have a place here.
The illustrations of any definite love story, whether the amours of god and goddess, of people who live in literature or only in the artist's fancy, are, of course, still more natural divisions of the book. After these come the real love stories of real people.
Here is where discrimination must come in and where the author's individual opinion may war against that of the majority. When an artist portrays a family group, of father, mother, and children, that may seem to be a fair example of LOVE IN ART.