18. May 2018

It’s that time again: Get ready to raise a glass of Pimm’s and nibble stylishly on a cucumber sandwich. Because the bells are ringing again in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle as His Royal Highness Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle finally say “I do”!

By Antonia Lagemann

To mark the occasion, the SCHIRN MAG presents ten works of art themed around weddings.

1.

Jan van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait, 1434

The classic among weddings in art is and remains Jan van Eyck’s “The Arnolfini Portrait” dated 1434. Entire art-historical treatises have been dedicated to establishing whether or not the young woman is pregnant. Meghan too was “body-shamed” when her engagement photos were cited as evidence of a baby bump.

Jan van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait, 1434

2.

Neil Beloufa, Horizontal USB knight, work out, macho dream of a wedding, 2014

Neïl Beloufa’s installation “Horizontal USB knight, work out, macho dream of a wedding” was shown at his first solo exhibition in Brazil. So to what extent does the work relate to a wedding? That’s entirely up to the observer. Incidentally, Neïl Beloufa’s works will also be on display in the SCHIRN from August 23, 2018, but oh dear, it’s not about marrying!

Neïl Beloufa, horizontal usb knight, work out, macho dream of a wedding, 2014, Courtesy Mendes Wood, (c) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Image via: the-art-markets.com

3.

Jeanne Mammen, Artist’s Marriage, 1928

Jeanne Mammen’s perspective is ruthless and unadulterated. She pinpoints the hard reality (of relationships) rather effectively in her watercolor “Artist’s Marriage” from 1928. There’s very little of the royal noblesse about this marriage.

Jeanne Mammen, Artist’s Marriage, 1928, (c) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Image via: harvard.edu

4.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #583, 2016

Cindy Sherman is known for her self-portraits in which, generally with an elaborate mask and costume, she slips into various different roles. In her later “Untitled” series from the 2000s, she embodies cliché-laden images of women – and in the role of a Hollywood diva, with “Untitled #583” (2016) she provides inspiration for a rather extravagant wedding dress.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #583, 2016, Image via: spruethmagers.com

5.

Marc Chagall, Les mariés de la tour Eiffel, 1938-39

Head over heels: Marc Chagall is unbeaten when it comes to painting declarations of love. With his wife and muse Bella, in some images he flies over the north of Belarus and up to the ceiling of his own four walls – as if in a dream, hovering weightlessly. And what could be more romantic than a wedding in Paris, the city of love, as in Chagall’s famous “Les mariés de la tour Eiffel”.

Marc Chagall, Les mariés de la tour Eiffel, 1938-39, (c) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Image via: centrepompidou.fr

6.

Ulay, White bride, 1973

Ulay, who describes himself as the “best known unknown artist” primarily made a name for himself with his extraordinary photographic experiments and his performances – and it’s these that have entered into art history. On his quest to find himself, he has repeatedly reinvented himself, once doing so as a “White bride” for part of the RESNAIS SENSE series in (1973).

Ulay, white bride, 1973 (c) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn

7.

Frida Kahlo, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, 1931

Relationship status: It’s complicated?! One of the best known portraits of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo shows the couple as a bride and groom, with a diminutive Frida alongside an oversized Diego. Kahlo painted this image in 1931, a year after her marriage to Rivera. It appears to show not a hint of equality.

Frida Kahlo, Frida Kahlo und Diego Rivera, 1931 (c) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn

8.

Claes Oldenburg, Wedding cake

Claes Oldenburg’s been baking, but his wedding cake won’t be big enough for the approximately 600 guests of the royals. Either way, the cream cake won’t be replacing the lemon and elderflower cake to be served at the wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, as the main ingredient –finest low-calorie plaster – would knock the guests’ teeth out.

Claes Oldenburg, Wedding Cake, Image via: lempertz.com

9.

Alex Katz, Wedding Dress, 1993

Royal wedding dress? No, it’s not the dress to be worn by Meghan Markle – that will remain a well-kept secret until the wedding. But here we can at least reveal the New York-based painter Alex Katz’s portrait of his wife and muse Ada – all very lovely and stylish, for eternity.

Alex Katz, Wedding Dress, 1993, (c) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Image via: artsy.net

10.

Tracey Emin, I promise to love you, 2014

“I promise to love you.”– an illuminating work by the British artist Tracey Emin for the culmination of the royal wedding. And what more can we add to that? Cheers!

Tracey Emin, I promise to love you, 2014, (c) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Image via: artsy.net