A cultural Valentine’s quiz for romantics everywhere!


Click here to print with ANSWERS.

1) The 1987 romantic comedy Roxanne paid homage to this play by Edmond Rostand.  The earlier work also served as the basis for an acclaimed 1990 production, starring Gérard Depardieu, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

2) Visitors flock to the Belvedere in Vienna to view an iconic painting, originally entitled Liebespaar.  The work is coated with powdered gold, a skill likely acquired from the artist’s goldsmith father.  Name both the artist and the painting.

3) They are among the greatest literary pairings in history, a lyrical Romantic poet and the daughter of a pioneering feminist.  As he wrote to her, “Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips”.  She was the winner of a challenge among the pair and their friend, Lord Byron, producing one of the most famous horror novels in a mere two weeks.  Name the couple.

4) Produced by Chanel, this concoction contains ylang ylang, rose and jasmine.  Marilyn Monroe famously stated that a few drops were all she wore to bed.

5) Described by the Royal Opera House as “an intoxicating mix of spectacle and intimate passion”, this is one of the most popular ballets in the canon.  The work concludes with Prince Siegfried and Odette ascending into the heavens.

6) This song features in the American Film Institute’s 100 best songs in American cinema and helped Harry Connick Jr. earn his first Grammy.  It includes the lyrics – “For nobody else gave me a thrill/With all your faults I love you still”.

7) In this Thomas Hardy novel, the capricious Bathsheba Everdene sends an anonymous Valentine reading – “A rose is red/The violet blue/Carnation’s sweet/And so are you”.  She seals the ill-fated missive with the words “Marry Me” in red.

8) Carine Gilson, Fleur du Mal and Kiki de Montparnasse are all noted producers of what?

9) Among many accolades, this poet was lauded as the “tenth Muse” by Plato.  The power of her verse is evident in a few remaining fragments, including the lines, “and lovely laughing – oh it/puts the heart in my chest on wings/for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking/is left in me”.

10) David Lean directed Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai, both ranked among the best British films ever made.  However, his masterwork is often considered to be this 1945 film, a quiet tearjerker depicting the doomed romance of two lovers bound by conventional values.

11) The Birthday (1915) celebrates a visit from Bella Rosenfeld, this artist’s beloved teenage muse (and soon-to-be wife).  Describing the scene he painted, she wrote, “You rise, you stretch your limbs, you float up to the ceiling.  Your head turns about and you make mine turn. You brush my ear and murmur.”  They were married 29 years, until her death in 1944.

12) Based in the small French village of Tain l’Hermitage, this company has been producing gastronomic chocolate of the highest order since 1922.  It was one of the first chocolatiers to describe its products like wine (e.g., grand cru).

13) The second verse of this Louis Armstrong classic begins, “I see skies of blue and clouds of white/The bright blessed days, the dark sacred nights”.

14) Shortly before killing herself, this title character bewails the death of her lover, “And there is nothing left remarkable/Beneath the visiting moon.”

15) What classic American film includes the lyrics, “I’m laughing at the clouds/So dark up above/The sun’s in my heart/And I’m ready for love.”?

16) In addition to a definitive translation of The Arabian Nights, Richard Burton also introduced to the West this monumental work, the “Love Verses” attributed to Vatsyayana.

17) In a Paris Review interview, Annie Proulx claimed to regret writing this 1997 story, due to the number of (predominantly) male readers who had written to suggest happier alternative endings.  The story was the basis for a 2005 film that resulted in the first person of Asian descent winning the Academy Award for Best Director.

18) This immortal pair comprise the son of Venus and his beautiful mortal lover.  She first loses his love and then regains it following a series of epic trials.  Their daughter’s name translates as “Pleasure”.

19) This artist’s Love design is one of the iconic images of the 1960s.

20) Hanna Glawari is the title character in this Franz Lehár operetta, one of the few major “romantic” operas with a happy ending.  After seeing off fortune-hunting suitors, she is finally united with a true love, Count Danilo.

21) As Roger Ebert wrote, “If only one of Charlie Chaplin’s films could be preserved, [this film] would come the closest to representing all the different notes of his genius.”  Made in 1931, this silent movie sits atop the AFI list of greatest romantic comedies of all time.

22) Name both the author of the 1998 book Birthday Letters and the subject to whom these lines were addressed – “Your eyes…a crush of diamonds, incredibly bright, bright as a crush of tears.”

23) This book of the Old Testament concludes, “Make haste, my beloved/And be thou like to a roe/Or to a young hart/Upon the mountains of spices.”

24) Painted around 1662, The Jewish Bride is one of this artist’s masterpieces.  Highlighting the painting’s “incredible tenderness”, Simon Schama wrote that the artist is “aware of mortality, of the perishability of life.  All great painting is about attempting to stop time, to make memory physical.  This is the painting of love.”


Closing with the words of Pablo Neruda…


I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,

except in this form in which I am not nor are you,

so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,

so close that your eyes close with my dreams.