Friday, March 11, 2011

Strip-Mining Classics

Awhile back I wrote about the present tendency to take a classic icon and mine it artistically - rather than attempt to create something new.  Well, here's a dreadful example.

Under the modern distortions, this painting is a rather beautiful self-portrait of Elisabeth Vigee Lebrun; a renowned portrait painter of 18th century France, a protegee of Queen Marie Antoinette, the first (for a long time the only) woman elected to the French Academy of art.  This particular portrait is the beginning and cornerstone of Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum - one of the great museums of the world.  Vigee Lebrun was in her early twenties, just entering into her fame.  And here...

She's been tarted up by some Photoshop "artist" as a pirate queen .

Here below is how she was meant to be.
Tell you what really irks me about the translation?

Vigee Lebrun's own lucid, intellegent eye has been replaced with what looks like Barbie's.  Mind you, I'm a fan of the painter, so I'm partial and perhaps unreasonable, but this makes me queasy.

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