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Love Alive in Art: The Passion of Lovers

19/05/2013 21:25 BST | Updated 18/07/2013 10:12 BST

In this series of articles, international artist Ana Tzarev explores the history of love as depicted through art. The first installment focuses on representations of passionate love.

Ana's Thought: "Art is the most jealous Mistress. She demands all your time, all your attention, and all your Love."

My Lovers sculpture emerged as a tribute to the transforming power of Love. I was moved to capture Love as a timeless and elemental force, the eternal pull of a tide drawing two people together. The figures of Lovers are bound up in waves, channeling the energy of the waters from which all life emerged eons ago. Man and woman melt into one another, entwined. Like Eve being formed from Adam's rib, they are unified both in body and in spirit to share their ecstasy. These figures are avatars of pure adoration. They exist in their own private world, lost in bliss within each other's arms.

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It was through Love that the world was born, the maker and caretaker of Life. It is potent, immutable, and a true magic unlike any other. Like the urge to create, it possesses you fully, moving you to act. Its magnetic allure has been praised and lamented throughout the ages, breathing inspiration into masterworks of writing, music, and visual art.

Shakespeare filled his works with passionate figures, but through Romeo & Juliet he gifted the world with our quintessential young lovers. Their story is one of both beauty and tragedy, driven by their electrifying connection the instant they met eyes. The universal nature of their blooming ardor inspired paintings, songs, and films, stirring the hearts of millions of lovers of all ages.

The legendary tales of Tristan and Isolde's torrid affair were sung throughout Europe, their story unfolding in endless lines of poems. Charmed by a potion, the pair was bound together despite their marriages to others. Like Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, their story met an unfortunate end: after years of dodging scorn and danger, jealous deceit brought their demise. But they were remembered for their unwavering passion--a force stronger than any obstacle.

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Tristan and Isolde by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1902.

In the Greek tradition, both deity and man were often swayed by the power of Love tinged with desire. Aphrodite, the embodiment of both beauty and sexuality, was known for her many affairs. Her Roman counterpart, Venus, inspired brilliant sculptures and paintings known to this day. She was the mother of Eros, the mischievous god of Love and inspiration for our famous Cupid. Odysseus, while on his epic journey home from Troy, was an object of the goddess Circe's fancy; despite her enticement and distraction, he sailed onward into the arms of his true Love, the faithful Penelope. The Greeks recognized the physical and emotional complexity of Love and wove it into their mythologies and their art.

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Details of Alexandros of Antioch's Venus de Milo and Botticelli's The Birth of Venus.

When you find yourself carried off by the waves of passionate Love, be sure to tap into its well of Inspiration--as true desire is a thirst that cannot be quenched, so the waters of Passion are infinite! Open your heart to the world to confess your longing and you will find that it longs in return for your unique voice.