HISTORY'S 5 MOST ENDURING STONE MONUMENTS TO LOVE
In the lead up to Valentine’s Day we’ve been thinking how stone is one of the most enduring ways to demonstrate love. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 monuments and statues which we think capture the spirit of true love and which have stood the test of time.Number 5: Le Petit Trianon, Versailles (limestone)
Although first commissioned by Louis XV for his paramour Madam de Pompadour, she died before it was completed so never got to enjoy this glorious royal retreat. Its most famous inhabitant was of course Marie Antoinette who was gifted it as a teenage bride by her besotted husband Louis XVI. Number 4: Venus de Milo (Parian marble)
Discovered on a Greek island almost 200 years ago, there is still debate today as to whether it portrays the sea goddess Amphitrite or Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love. The romantic majority favour the latter, and who are we to ruin a good story, especially around 14th February? Number 3: The Kiss (marble)
The name says it all, and as an Italian company of course we love the fact that Rodin bases his first version on the doomed love of Paolo and Francesca from Dante’s Divine Comedy. It’s had its share of controversy in its time, but the statue is seen as one of romance’s most enduring pieces of sculpture. Three life-sized versions of it in marble were created during Rodin’s lifetime, with the original on display in, where else, the Rodin museum in Paris. Number 2: Psyche revived by Cupid’s Kiss (marble)
Antonio Canova’s glorious sculpture captures the moment when Eros attempts to save his lover Psyche who has breathed poisonous fumes and, fallen in a deathlike sleep. Perhaps the precursor to Sleeping Beauty, his kiss saves her and love triumphs. Number 1:The Taj Mahal (red sandstone and white marble)
How could anything else take the top spot? Built as a tomb, the Taj Mahal was the ultimate testimony to love and considered the most resplendent monument ever built by man for a woman.