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I don’t know who Philip Scott Johnson is, but after viewing this video  at the Huffington Post, I think he’d be someone I could hang out with.

The subject of feminine beauty is one of those things that have mystified humankind for as long as there have been people. Even with all the experience I have photographing women, I am still baffled by it. Artists have left us a well-documented history on the subject through their creative work and Johnson’s video, which I think is brilliant, has shown us how our concept of beauty has morphed over the centuries.

The Madonna of the Carnation (Da Vinci; 1478 - 80)

Johnson’s video doesn’t really answer the essential question, that being: Why do we find some women beautiful and some not? I suspect that women ask the same question about male beauty but I don’t know that for sure because no women has ever asked me. In either event, Johnson can’t be faulted for not answering the question because the question has no answer, at least not one that we can lay out like a mathematical formula.

Self-Portrait with Straw Hat (Vigee-Le Brun; 1782)

About the only thing I can say on the subject for certain is that some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever known are completely

Portrait of the Actress Jeanne Samary (Renior; 1878

unaware of how beautiful they are. This is particularly true of the single most beautiful woman I’ve ever known, and probably about 7 of the top 10. Maybe this is a good thing. If they only knew how aesthetically powerful they were, they probably wouldn’t have bothered to talk to me much.

Portrait of Lydia Delectorskaya, the Artist's Secretary (Matisse; 1947)

I will always try to remember that celebrating physical beauty in art is easy, but celebrating inner beauty is not. It’s that latter that defines our humanity and is what makes a person, man or woman, truly beautiful.

RXM

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, I am glad you figured that out beauty comes from the inside not the outward appearance.

  2. Very nice~


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