Lovers buy brushstrokes for Valentine's Day

  • 14 February 2007

The Art Fund's Blue Rigi appeal website is full of messages of love and romance as members of the public choose the charity's fundraising site to say 'I love you' instead of the more traditional option of buying a Valentine's card.

Members of the public have been buying up brushstrokes on the website created to raise £300,000 to help Tate buy JMW Turner’s The Blue Rigi – and declaring their love at the same time.

A kiss from brushstrokes on the site can be created for £45 – a heart costs a little more at £65 – not much more than a bunch of flowers and some champagne – but so much more original!

Lovers have already started expressing their love on the site. A love heart has appeared stating that ‘Roger L Hilary’, and a kiss bought for Annie Hibbert in London. Single brushstrokes have been bought with romantic messages attached; one brushstroke has been dedicated with the message ‘Angela loves Ralph forever’. Several couples have spelt out their initials in individual ‘brushstrokes’, and ‘LP’ has had their initials put up by an anonymous admirer. A romantic husband who bought five brushstrokes recalled “Our honeymoon over 50 years ago was in Lucerne and we remember the outline of the mountain above us.”

The website was launched on 22 January as part of The Art Fund’s public appeal to help save JMW Turner’s The Blue Rigi for Tate Britain. £2.45 million needs to be raised by 20 March towards a total price of £4.95 million to prevent the watercolour entering a private collection abroad. The painting, created in 1842 after Turner visited Switzerland, depicts the Rigi mountain at dawn. The watercolour is regarded as one of the finest the artist ever painted.

Click here to find out more about The Art Fund’s campaign to save The Blue Rigi