Perfect Love

On Love and Passion

9 April 2022 – 30 July 2023, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen


Love and passion in art, in search of perfection: perfect love! Art and love have always been the ideal couple. Their interaction has long been both a driving force and a challenge for creative work and has served as the inspiration for countless artworks.

Whether as passionate romantic love, the love of a caring mother, divine, interpersonal, tragic, paradisiacal, or heavenly love, this exhibition of works from the museum’s collection presents various aspects of love in art. There will always be a special love for art itself. Accordingly, artists have often dealt with their work, inspiration, muses, and art collecting, giving them an ever-changing face in allegories and personifications.

Perfect Love ranges from late Gothic devotional panels to post-Byzantine icons, works by Old Masters, and a selection of works of contemporary art. In addition to well-known and rarely shown works from the collection, the exhibition includes important new additions such as the winged altarpiece from around 1500 by a master from the Lake Constance area. Additional loans from private collections offer a glimpse of rarely seen works. These include two panels by the enigmatic Master of the Prodigal Son from the mid-16th century.

In a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, Perfect Love spans 500 years of art and presents surprising dialogical situations.

Curator: Samuel Reller