I was planning another Art About Love post for Valentine’s Day when I came across a painting I had never seen before that totally captivated me with its depth of emotion and painterly style. This artwork deserves its own post and some more thorough examination.
Take a closer look at The Bride of the Wind by Oskar Kokoscka, and think about it for yourself before reading on.
Questions to Ask
Use these questions to guide your and your students into a deeper discussion of this artwork.
- What is going on in this painting? What do you see that makes you say that?
- Who are these two people? What is their relationship? How can you tell?
- How does the man feel right now? How does the woman feel? Compare and contrast the two figures.
- What emotions do you feel or notice? What choices did the artist make to contribute to that emotion?
- Describe the colors and lines in this painting. How do they contribute to the emotion?
- Is this relationship permanent or temporary? How do you know?
- How does the artwork fit its title? What does wind imply?
Art Interpretation Poetry Activity
Because of the heightened emotion and dramatic use of the elements of art and principles of design, this painting is perfect for a poetry writing activity. In my art appreciation worksheets bundle, there are multiple printable poetry activities, but I think the “I am.. Character Poem” would work well for this artwork.
In this activity, you have multiple prompts like “I am…” “I wonder..” “I see…” “I hear…” “I say…” “I feel…” “I dream…” and students fill in responses based on the artwork,
Compare and Contrast Activity
I first discovered this artwork when I was flipping through Varieties of Visual Experience by Edmund Burke Feldman (a book I highly recommend btw). The author compares the depiction of love in this artwork with Chagall’s Birthday. Both of them show love causing the couple to levitate and swirl but Chagall’s depiction is sweet and romantic while Kokoschka’s is torrid and complicated.
Ask your students: How does Kokoschka’s depiction of love differ from Chagall’s?
This painting highlights the man and his intense feelings towards the woman. You can see he loves her but knows the relationship won’t last. This painting is a self-portrait of the artist with Alma Mahler, the widow of composer Gustav Mahler. He loved her passionately and featured her in much of his art, but when they broke up, his art become more dramatic and unstable.
If you like this post, you may also like: