Elsa Holland

Historical Romance Writer: LUSH SENSUAL READS

9 thoughts on “500 years of female portraits

  1. M.A. says:

    Interesting, but I have two problems with the images. First, even in Western art, not all the images of women have been of white women, which is what this video would suggest. Throughout Western art, there have been images of women from Africa, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and women of various races in the Americas. So I’m somewhat troubled that all of those images are essentially erased from this presentation of Western art history (and, by implication, beauty). Second, it would have been even more interesting to see how the presentation of female *bodies* have changed over time, as this would have provided a more complicate sense of what “beauty” has meant over the centuries. So I don’t think that this only presents a tiny, and not very representative sliver of what “we” have seen as beauty during the last 500 years. And I think that matters because the video creates a false sense of what the “norms” for beauty are and have been, which makes it harder for us to expand/complicate what beauty means or should mean today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. M.A. says:

    I had two reactions to this very interesting video. The first was surprise that all the faces presented were white. There’s a project called “The Image of the Black in Western Art” that has an archive of more than 25,000 images going back to before the Roman Empire http://www.imageoftheblack.com/ And that doesn’t include images of Semitic, Asian, and indigenous people in Western art. So the images presented in this video exclude a significant part of the Western artistic tradition. I also noticed that these images focused only on faces, even though we know that the “ideal” female body has changed drastically over time. I mention this because when we narrow what has been considered beautiful, we reinforce a false narrative and false norm for what beauty can encompass. And as artists (writers) ourselves, we need to remember that what we present as “normal” has an impact on others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elsa Holland says:

      Great points M.A. I’m really pleased you took the time to express them here for people to read who may watch the video. I’ll have to see if I can find more things that express more of the cultural diversity in the topics I like to explore as well ❤ Elsa


  3. Daisy Banks says:

    Astonishingly beautiful. I watched it more than once for the sheer joy of it. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rena says:

    Amazing and the talent in creating this work, how it flows, thanks gorgeous ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is wonderful. I always enjoy watching it. Notwithanding Asian, Black and Islander women are missing. I also must comment that these are not necessarily supposed to represent ‘beauty.’ The other thing is; they are portraits of women by Men, so there will be an emotional/admiration/love contribution to the paintings. Even a softening of the features to reflect this There is also a video of men, but they are Self-portraits as the men are the Artists. The artists’ eye therefore is very different and more likely to be judgemental in the negative sense. Don’t expect them to be ‘beautiful’ and you won’t be disappointed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5yjkXfbNYw

    I would love to see one of male models by women artists. In this case we might see male beauty through the eyes of adoration. Certainly the male is as beautiful, or can be more so, than the female.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elsa Holland says:

      Really interesting points Claire. The male portraits video was very interesting and definitely a different mood and feel which may very well be as you say due to a more critical eye.


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