St. Valentine is, among other things, the patron saint of beekeeping and fainting, which I feel are not highlighted enough during this holiday. Sadly, he had a messy death, so I decided to skip the saintly iconography and find something more pagan. I love this one: the mating doves, the exquisite Venus, the wicked little Cupid, and Mars, in the background, stumping home from a hard day at the office. The artist is Lambert Sustris, the image (from Wikipedia Commons), is Venus and Cupid, c. 1560, and the original is at the Louvre. Click on the picture for the larger version; she is lovely, although the decor doesn’t do much for me. Also, the doves are sweet.
Now I have to go make 17 valentines for my daughter’s classmates. I think I’ll watch Despicable Me while cutting and pasting. I have tremendous empathy for Gru.