4 Art-Historical Masterpieces That Would Not Have Existed Without the Great Love Stories That Inspired Them


Learn more about the sculpture that broke ties between Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, among other artistic upheavals.
Love affairs are an art form all their own when two creative spirits become romantically entangled. Though the myth of the artist as a solitary genius endures, many of history’s greatest painters and sculptors found artistic inspiration in a muse, rival, collaborator—or someone who happened to be all three. Though these artists’ epic love sagas often flamed out in spats of professional jealousy, infidelity, and addiction, they also—while they lasted—sometimes gave birth to great works of art.

To mark Valentine’s Day, we decided to share the stories of four love affairs—and how they shaped masterpieces of art history.