Top 5

Top 5 Hearts

Need some hearty inspiration? Fall in love with our art hearts

1. True hearts

Sir Terry Frost, ‘It is True’ 1989
Sir Terry Frost
It is True 1989
Lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, courtesy of David and Renée McKee 2003
© The estate of Sir Terry Frost

Artist Terry Frost's hearts seem to float in a blue sky or sea. This picture is called It is True and was made to illustrate a poem by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898-1936). The poem is a love poem and is full of longing. But also it is quite funny. Here is a line from it:

‘For love of you, the air,

my heart

and my hat hurt me’.

(Maybe the oval shape in the painting is the head that the hat is hurting. What do you think?)

2. Wobbly heart

Tom Phillips, ‘[no title: p. 307]’ 1970
Tom Phillips
[no title: p. 307] 1970
Tate
© Tom Phillips

This heart looks a bit wobbly doesn't it? The picture is made on the page of a book. The artist, Tom Phillips, coloured in most of the words on the page, just leaving a few showing. The words seem to suggest that a lady is playing with the artist's heart and that her heart is made of stone. (Oh dear! Perhaps that's why his heart is feeling a little wobbly).

3. Revolutionary hearts

Joseph Beuys, ‘Hearts of the Revolutionaries: Passage of the Planets of the Future’ 1955
Joseph Beuys
Hearts of the Revolutionaries: Passage of the Planets of the Future 1955
Tate / National Galleries of Scotland
© DACS, 2018

Hearts aren't just for love. The artist, Joseph Beuys uses hearts to symbolise courage. The title of the picture tells us that the round ball is the future planet. The hearts bouncing around the planet represent people who have lots of courage and want to help the world and make it a better place. The hearts are a bold statement of life, vitality and hope for the future.

4. Happy hearts

Jim Dine, ‘Four Hearts’ 1969
Jim Dine
Four Hearts 1969
Tate
© Jim Dine

Hearts in art don't get much better than this! I feel immediately happy looking at this picture, do you? Pop artist Jim Dine's bright red hearts surrounded by dabs of vibrant colour seem to be bursting with happiness and love.

5. Valentine heart

Julian Trevelyan, ‘Valentine’ 1936–72
Julian Trevelyan
Valentine 1936–72
Tate
© The estate of Julian Trevelyan

Can you spot the heart in this picture? I wonder what this artwork is about? It's called Valentine, which suggests it's about romantic love. It looks like a crane has been used to lift the heart right up to the top of a town. Maybe the artist, Julian Trevelyan, was so much in love he wanted to shout about it from the rooftops...so he made this picture. What do you think?

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