beauty and escapism

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.

woman surrounded by lightning

Kindra Nicole’s photo of Kato

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?

gosia makosa photograph of girl on rearing horse

“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?


Many Links


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:


5 thoughts on “beauty and escapism

  1. I wrestle with the idea of beauty all the time but at the moment I feel it is an essential part of an art work. Even if the concept is ugly it can be made in a beautiful way that we can connect with. 🙂


    • Art has been seeking beauty for such a long time. I respect those who portray ugly ideas and images but I can’t help but seek beauty, it seems. I can’t draw a horse without feeling close to everything that is fine and lovely in the world.


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