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500 Years of the Female Face


by Jerome Weeks 7 Jul 2008

The subtitle for this mesmerizing little video is “500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art,” which helps explain one of the fascinating things about it: the facial continuities, the remarkable similarities among the women whom painters have selected and painted over the centuries. After all, there are no ancient Egyptian, Chinese or African women […]

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The subtitle for this mesmerizing little video is “500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art,” which helps explain one of the fascinating things about it: the facial continuities, the remarkable similarities among the women whom painters have selected and painted over the centuries. After all, there are no ancient Egyptian, Chinese or African women on display here. Still, the Bach sarabande and the fluid flow of eyes and hair make this almost hypnotizing, as does the occasionally demure, occasionally flirtatious sense the women project, the clear awareness that they are being viewed.

The piece was nominated as a “most creative video” in last year’s YouTube Awards. For a complete list of artists and paintings, go here.

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