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Gucci’s artsy celebration of beauty throughout history on Instagram

Written by FDM

Gucci is approaching beauty in a completely different light. On Instagram, the brand launched a brand new account (@GucciBeauty) where, instead of a feed showcasing beauty products or campaign images, it leans more towards a gallery of women portraits.

Art is sure not exclusive to museums or books. Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele presents the Art of Beauty through his brand new Instagram account @GucciBeauty. This new platform is a celebration of beauty throughout history and from around the world.

Indeed, each portrait is an opportunity to point out the culture of a country or the path of a painter, and to address the details that have marked their time in different countries, from Turkey, the United States, passing by Mexico, Japan and Egypt. The pieces are  pulled from galleries, private collections, and reputable museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Among these portraits is one dedicated to Moroccan women, entitled « Jewish Woman of Tangier », signed in 1874 by the French painter Charles Landelle, and today exposed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Reims, France.

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Title: Jewish Woman from Tangiers, 1874 Author: Charles Landelle Museum: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Jewish women are largely absent from the tradition of European painting. When they were depicted, it was often with an exoticizing touch and a strong emphasis on their otherness. That’s somewhat the case here in this 19th-century portrait by the popular French artist Charles Landelle, in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims. An Orientalist painter, he was seduced by the culture he witnessed during his travels to North Africa and the Middle East and it became the focus of much of his oeuvre. Though his version of Moroccan culture wasn’t exactly accurate, he brought a delicate touch to his depiction of this dark-eyed young woman, rendering her features with care. Under Landelle’s brush, she appears mysterious, beautiful, and ultimately unknowable.
#GucciBeauty — @tatianaberg Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims, France / J.P. Zenobel / Bridgeman Images

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Title: Portrait of a Woman, 1753 Author: Jean Marc Nattier
Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Born in Paris, Jean Marc Nattier was a renowned portraitist with a gift for beautifying and heightening the stillness of his female subjects. His muses often show peaceful expressions that captured the distinct features of their faces, making Nattier’s paintings a unique vision of femininity. This 1753 portrait in the @metmuseum depicts an aristocratic woman (probably the Marquise Perrin de Cypierre), commissioned by her family. The large teal bow tied around her neck matches the one fastening her dress; she looks directly at the viewer with an alluring gaze, uncommon at that time period, and Nattier’s signature red cheeks. #GucciBeauty #TheMet — @sirsargent The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982

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Title: Portrait of Caroline Lamb, c.1800
Author: Thomas Phillips Museum: Chatsworth House, Derbyshire ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The English portraitist Thomas Phillips was born of well-respected parents in Dudley, Warwickshire. Under the tutelage of vaunted glass-painting figures such as Francis Eginton and Benjamin West, Phillips developed an aesthetic that led him to make handsome paintings depicting the gentry. This early-19th-century likeness of Lady Caroline Lamb stands out for its striking background exhibiting drooping, verdant foliage that gives way to a clouded blue sky. Lamb, a gothic, romantic novelist, was once a lover of Lord Byron in 1812 and is remembered as being enamored with the poet nearly to the point of mania. A brunette woman with pale, seraphic features, Lamb holds a posture of deference but also independence. #GucciBeauty #GucciPlaces — @sirsargent © Chatsworth House Trust

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Title: Untitled, 1990 Author: John Currin Private Collection ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ John Currin is an American painter known for his female figures — elongated, inflated, and exaggerated — as well as his influences, drawing on 16th century Mannerism. With its austere background and realistic, centered figure, this piece from 1990 in a private collection is a more straightforward riff on portraiture. At the time, Currin wasn’t sure how to proceed with his painting. He imagined a series of fictional high-school girls, fleshing out their personalities and backstories, and then painted portraits of the characters. The images were “essentially nice,” as he described it. “My expression is not violent, it’s repression rather than rage.” #GucciBeauty — @kchayka © John Currin

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This isn’t the first time Gucci beauty followed and artistic approach. In April, to celebrate the Gucci Bloom Acqua Di Fiori fragrance launch, the brand tapped 15 female artists to create interpretations.

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Title: Untitled (Eva), 2018 Author: Simone Kennedy Doig
Location: Baert Gallery, Los Angeles. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Born in London in 1994, #SimoneKennedyDoig spends her time between her birthplace and Trinidad, where she moved to in 2002 and spent much of her childhood. Her works deal with intersectional identity, which for Kennedy Doig is informed by her experiences in Port of Spain and London. This is an oil painting that portrays two young women, friends in front of a mirror, staring at their own reflections. One figure, applies makeup, heightening her own sense of beauty while the other female casts a glance upon her. The expression captured in the onlookers gaze contributes to an atmosphere tinged with perhaps a small dose of envy. The image offers a psychological exploration of femininity from a female's perspective, standing in contrast to the male gaze and the usual depictions of women throughout art history. #GucciBeauty — @sirsargent Courtesy of the artist and Baert Gallery, Los Angeles.
Photo: Joshua White.

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Title: Portraits of two women, 1950
Author: Lois Mailou Jones Private Collection ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Nearly every moment of #LoisMailouJones’s life was captured and shared through her paintings.
Her style traversed the aesthetic landscape, first mimicking the work of the post-Impressionists
and then drawing from the rich colors and symbols of Africa and Haiti, where she often traveled.
In her portraits, Jones was known for her ability to capture the rich complexities of black skin
tones, rendering her subjects (often her friends or students from Howard University, where she taught) as near three-dimensional figures. Styled in feminine blouses with red lips and curled hair, Jones manages to capture each woman’s beauty in this 1950 painting’s tight headshots. Jones suggests a familiarity and bond between the two only found
through family or friendship. #GucciBeauty — @britticisms
Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust

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