Thursday, March 20, 2014

Compelling Faces in Art - Ambrogio Antonio Alciati, Signora con cappello.

In 1916, Ambrogio Antonio Alciati painted "Signora con cappello." The figure is in silhouette, wearing a black hat and coat. I’m not sure if this is to highlight her beauty or is a reflection of fashion of that period. 

European and European-influenced countries were continuing the long elegant lines of the 1890s; tall, stiff collars, broad hats, and full "Gibson Girl" hairstyles. Although Italian fashion in the early 1900's was considered classy, elegant and sensible; form-fitting gowns with high or in-defined waists, or ankle-length skirts and long tunic-like jackets. 

Regardless, she is effortlessly beautiful. She seems the embodiment of natural beauty, healthy living, beautiful on the inside and out, confident without a scrap of make-up, with great skin and a natural glow to her personality. 

I also see a woman who is actually happy about growing older, because it means more time for herself, more time for her family, and separation from the frenzy of youth.

And, I think of the words that Sam Levenson wrote for his granddaughter:

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you’ll never walk alone.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows,
And the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows."

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