14 Works Of Art That Express Emotions You Didn't Know Exist

March 12, 2017

|Rodrigo Ayala

The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World is a fascinating book in which Adam Jacot de Boinod compiles his favorite words in 254 different languages.

What caught Jacot's attention when creating this book, was the way each peculiar word and its meaning relates to unique and extravagant emotions and sensations. Most of all he was interested in how none of them have a literal translation into English.

Here are 14 of these interesting words, illustrated with important paintings that demonstrate the universality of emotions and meanings.

The world is a treasure chest that keeps the deepest feelings, waiting to be discovered. Every time we dive into ourselves to meet those unknown emotions, we live experiences that mark our time on Earth. Discover some of these human treasures through the magic of language and painting.

Waldeinsamkeit (German)
Relates to the feeling of being alone in the woods.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Rain in the Oak Forest, 1891. Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin.

art pieces emotions ivanovich-w636-h600

Fernweh (German)
Feeling nostalgic for a place you've never been.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818) Caspar David Friedrich

art pieces emotions friederich-w636-h600

Backpfeifengesicht (German)
A face that deserves being punched.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Stag at Sharkey's (1909) Goerge Wesley Bellows

art pieces emotions wesley-w636-h600

Utepils (Norwegian)
Sitting outside on a sunny day to enjoy a beer.

Painting that represents this emotion:
The Burning Hour (1904) Théo van Rysselberghe

art pieces emotions Rysselberghe-w636-h600

Rire dans sa barbe (French)
Laughing discretely to conceal emotions behind a beard.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Self-portrait (1879-1885) Paul Cézanne

art pieces emotions cezanne-w636-h600

Schadenfreude (German)
Relates to the enjoyment produced by another's misery.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Skeletons Fighting over a Hanged Man (1891) James Ensor

art pieces emotions ensor-w636-h600

Friolero (Spanish)
Refers to a person that is sensitive to low temperatures.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Olympia (1863) Édouard Manet

art pieces emotions manet-w636-h600

Bakku-shan (Japanese)
This word relates to that feeling of thinking that someone is beautiful until they turn around and reveal their not so attractive face.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Rokeby Venus (1647-51) Diego Velázquez

art pieces emotions velazquez-w636-h600

Aware (Japanese)
Alludes to those bittersweet and transcendental beautiful moments that rejoice the soul.

Painting that represents this emotion:
The Ninth Wave (1850) Ivan Aivazovski

art pieces emotions aivasovski-w636-h600

Shlimazl (Yiddish)
A person with very bad luck.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Christina's World (1948) Andrew Wyeth

art pieces emotions wyeth-w636-h600

Komorebi (Japanese)
The effect that light creates when it goes through the trees.

Painting that represents this emotion:
The Swing (1797) Jean-Honoré Fragonard

art pieces emotions fragonard-w636-h600


Wabi-Sabi (Japanese)
Accepting that being old is part of the circle of life.

Painting that represents this emotion:
The Penitent Magdalene (1642), Georges de La Tour

art pieces emotions de la tour-w636-h600

Tunillattukkuuq (Inuit)
The emotion provoked by eating in a graveyard.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Saturn Devouring His Son (1820-1823), Francisco de Goya

art pieces emotions goya-w636-h600

Masa’ytaka (Hopi)
A word that refers to any flying object besides a bird.

Painting that represents this emotion:
Pity (1795) William Blake

art pieces emotions blake-w636-h600

Although languages may have many barriers, human emotions are universal. As living beings that share the same planet, it's easy to identify with  the situations that happen to any person in any place, despite the huge differences between us.

Which are the emotions that define you and make you feel alive?

You can find out some of them through these 8 Paintings You Can Relate To Depending On Your Mood.



Learning English

Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards

Rodrigo Ayala

Rodrigo Ayala