I asked all of you on Instagram (@thestrangerblog) what you thought this look was inspired by, and got a variety of interesting and creative responses. The most popular guesses were “greek goddess” and “cleopatra”. Strangely, I had never thought of the resemblance when I was going through the photos myself.
Some of you may have noticed that I am crazy about the art that spans the 18th to 20th century. The shoot was in fact inspired by two beautiful Pre-Raphaelite paintings from the late 19th century: John William Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shallot and Mariamne Leaving the Judgement Seat of Herod. It makes much sense that you guessed “goddess”, because Waterhouse (along with other Pre-Raphaelite painters) occasionally looked back to greek and roman mythology for artistic inspiration. Strangely it’s hard for me to find a middle ground when it comes to attitudes towards Pre-Raphaelite art. My art-lover friends either love or hate them. Sometimes the latter sentiment is grounded on the allegedly misogynistic nature of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, but this is not an art history blog so I’ll spare the rambling. Personally I find Pre-Raphaelite paintings strikingly beautiful. Their motivations found parallels with the Romantics: both sought art not only as a method of escape (as Nietzsche said, “we have art in order not to die of the truth”), but also as an expression of a freedom inseparable from personal responsibility… Not to mention, Pre-Raphaelite women are gorgeous and very finely dressed.
(Unfortunately the grass was too soggy to recreate anything similar to these two paintings.)
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