Art Symbols Dictionary: Love

A collection of the various symbols and signs associated with love.

Woman in warehouse with heart made of balloons
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If you were painting a Valentine's card, you'd want the signs of your love to be clear and noticeable. But if you were painting a portrait, you could also add some hidden symbolism about love that someone looking at the painting may only understand subconsciously.

Red: The color associated with love and passion.

Heart: From Christianity comes the belief that the heart is the seat of our emotions, particularly love. In Islam, the heart is our spiritual center. A heart symbol is used to replace the word 'love'. (Free heart stencil.)

Lips: Used for kissing and therefore associated with passion. A kiss by a pair of lips painted with bright red lipstick leaves a print showing something was sealed with love.

Heart pierced by an arrow: Cupid or Eros shoots an arrow into a heart, causing the person to fall passionately in love. It explains why love is both pleasurable and painful.

Broken heart: A symbol of the loss of love, most often of a spurned or rejected lover, and the pain of this. The term 'heartbroken' is used for extreme sadness and grief.

Cupid: The Roman god of love, represented by a winged boy carrying a bow and arrow with which to piece his victim's heart, causing them to fall in love.

Eros: The Greek god of love, also represented by a winged boy carrying a bow and arrow.

Rosemary: A symbol for fidelity as well as remembrance.

Mistletoe: Standing under the mistletoe at Christmas gives anyone the opportunity to kiss you.

Wedding rings: Represent permanency, "until death us do part". (This may scare off your man, though!)

Roses: Red roses symbolize love and passion. White roses symbolize virginity and purity. Yellow roses symbolize jealousy and infidelity. (Free rose stencil.)

Jasmine: This strongly scented, white flower is used as a Hindu symbol for love.

Chocolate: And, of course, better than any bunch of flowers, is chocolate! A box of chocolates has romantic connotations, the gift of a lover. Not to mention supposed aphrodisiac properties of chocolate.

Osram Ne Nsoroma: The Adinkra (West Africa) symbol representing love consisting of a star (the woman) and the moon (the man).