|Click Image to view detail.|
The Lovers II (1928), is an oil on canvas depicting two individuals locked in an embrace. The figures are kissing one another through veils. They are situated in a room with the back wall, side wall and ceiling showing. The back wall is blue-grey with a lighter shade on the bottom half and a darker shade on the top half. The side wall is brick red with it lighter at the bottom blending to a darker shade through to the top. The ceiling is white and has a decorative trim along the border of the red wall, but it does not continue along the border of the blue-grey wall. The male figure wears a black suit and tie with a solid white shirt. He embraces a woman clad in a red, sleeveless garment with white trim. The woman's tanned arm is exposed. The man is in a dominant position relative to the woman. She tilts her head up while he leans down to kiss. Both figures have a whitishveil completely covering their faces and necks. On both figures the veils are tight against the front of the face and top of the head and then relax towards the back. The woman's face is tilted slightly to the left making her lover more prominent and revealing the distinct outline of his nose.
The elements that make up this painting are the room and the lovers. Unlike the erotic and romantic scene of Gustav Klimt's Kiss, Magritte presented two figures with their faces covered by a white cloth, locked in an ambiguous setting, and unable to truly communicate or touch, many wonder if this is a kiss of denied love. The deathlike cloth keeps the two figures forever apart and as such create an atmosphere of mystery which celebrated this image. The way the room is painted makes it seem almost insignificant. The bold colors are shadowed and there are no windows to give perspective. However it is unusual to see a room with such a variety of colored walls. The lovers are the primary object and the one that adds the most mystery and intrigue. The way they are both positioned is suggestive. The man is in a dominant position with his shoulders angled. The woman appears to be tilting her hear up towards him but after looking at the position of her body as well it appears more like she is leaning backwards. The most significant aspect of the lovers is the veils. It is actually a rather bland painting however by simply covering the faces with veils it becomes far more interesting and thought provoking. The psychological impact however is far greater with all of these elements. The color blue is associated with calm or water which is associated with life. The color red is associated with anger, lust and love while white is associated with purity which also happens to be the least shown. Black is commonly associated with death which the man may be representative of. The woman is dressed in red which may mean love or passion. The veils are of a whitish or grayish color and depending upon how you see it could mean purity or could mean the purity is fading or tainted. Trying to put all of these elements together to form a single meaning is rather difficult. It is the culmination of elements that are supposed to impact the viewer. The Lovers is one such painting that intrigues and provokes thought.