When I was in Chicago last month, I was looking at Grant Wood's American Gothic and I realized (as I often do, standing before iconic paintings) that what we think we know about a painting isn't really true. In this instance, what I "think" is of a painting with two very dour old people, when in fact, what I was looking at was kind of a frank and very contemporary assessment of what today could almost be a hipster couple. "If she'd open her mouth and speak," I thought, "if she came to life, she'd be really very pretty, even today." If she'd let her hair down a little.

Which reminded me of what I've long thought about the Mona Lisa: that if the woman who sat for the portrait walked in to the room today, dressed in contemporary styles, we wouldn't even recognize her. "Of course I have eyebrows, that's the major thing," she'd say.

So I had to try it, and see for myself. I'm mostly amazed by how Lisa looked suddenly twenty years younger as soon as the eyebrows went on. She reminds me a little of Anne Frank. Ms. Gothic, above, is perhaps related to Jenna Elfman?

From: [identity profile] low-delta.livejournal.com

Ms. Gothic is not really very old (she the man's daughter), but with the lipstick, she looks a lot younger. Probably looks more like her actual age.

From: [identity profile] shuttergal.livejournal.com

Yes, that picture is called something like The Framer's Daughter as its real title. That is why Paul Newman and his daughter Nell spoofed it for their picture on their organic food line. SIgh. Paul Newman. Man oh man.

From: [identity profile] shuttergal.livejournal.com

Not that does not mean that their modern day selves could not be a hipster couple ; )

From: [identity profile] daphnep.livejournal.com

That makes sense, since I looked at my own eyebrows to figure out how eyebrows sit on the browbone--and the eyebrows made the single biggest change.

Plus, the hair's pretty obvious, too, but that just seemed the easiest way to edit that--chop it off and fluff it!

From: [identity profile] manraysky.livejournal.com

My husband saw this post out of the corner of his eye and said "is that Mona Lisa with Princess Leia buns?" :)

Lisa with eyebrows is adorable.

From: [identity profile] daphnep.livejournal.com

Oooh, that could be the next series--famous portrait subjects as star wars characters.


daphnep: (Default)

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