Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nicole Kidman as the Sargent Sitter

I don't quite care for Halloween. I've never been a huge fan of dressing up personally, but I do love when other people dress up in a super clever, or elaborate way. And I especially like when people create tableaux of famous works of art. I'm not talking about the lame people who tape a crappy cardboard frame around their head and call themselves the Mona Lisa. I'm a fan of the elaborate, the beautiful, dare I see, the artistic.

That's why today, when I discovered a blog post, "Nicole, John Singer Sargent Impersonator" on this personal blog called "Wicked Halo" about (not surprisingly) Nicole Kidman and Sargent I was really excited. I can't claim inspiration for the post, so follow the link if you want to see my "source material."
Lady Agnew of Locknaw
In June of 1999, Nicole Kidman was the cover of Vogue. Or rather, a lovely picture of her graced the cover. In her cover story, she was photographed, posed in a number of Sargent re-imaginings by the photographer, Vogue's Steven Meisel. Some of the photos are very clear homages, while others are a little more imaginative. All, though, are absolutely beautiful, and I encourage you to look into them. I'm posting a couple right here for your enjoyment, but check out the link above for all the pictures.

Izme Vickers
John Singer Sargent was not only an extremely talented artist, he was highly successful during his time. His portraits of Europe's rich and famous are some of the loveliest portraits of the 19th and 20th century, and (dare I say it) all time. He studied in Europe and set up shop at different times in France, Britain, and his homeland, the United States. I've always appreciated his conscious realism and his attention to not only detail, but the characters of his sitters.

Mrs Carl Meyer 

In this way, Meisel's photographs pay homage to Sargent in more than one way. Besides being obviously inspired by Sargent, the photograph's seem to capture some of Nicole Kidman's personality as well. To quote the cover heading, she appears both "fearless and fabulous."

Mrs John Chapman
I'm concluding with this lovely picture of Nicole as Sargent's famous, or rather, infamous Madame X. Madame X is one of my favorite paintings and certainly my all-time favorite portrait. It's absolutely beautiful and I love the wonderful story behind it. Not surprisingly, Madame X, a painting of a fabulously gorgeous woman, has been paid homage to in fashion photographs innumerably. Besides Nicole's 1999 shot, I've included Julianne Moore's homage to it as well.
Madame X

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