I am finding more and more (very talented and dedicated) photographers that I would describe as Pre-Raphaelite in style. They combine jewel-like detail, bright, medieval colour, symbolism and romanticism. Here we find goddesses, fallen women, monsters and witchcraft. Above all, there is beauty.
These pictures bring pleasure, but questions too. Should we apologise for wanting to escape to more elevated realms? Is the enjoyment of beauty escapist or simply another facet of the everyday? Are women invariably reduced or elevated by these images? We are haunted by the sense that it’s wrong to enjoy beauty for its own sake, because where does it leave those who are less beautiful by these external standards? Where is the democracy in beauty? The equality?
“The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Halloween is a time that might make us wonder, should we anchor ourselves in even-handed reality or can we play, conscience clear, at being angels for a day?
A Pre-Raphaelite blog:
Yep, I want to look supernatural and pretty too, which is why I commissioned this Thomas Dodd edit:
My post on profile pictures and what we want from them: