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Emily
25th October 2009, 19:56
Today's edition of the CBS Sunday Morning news program included a surprisingly positive, even glowing report on the full-figured ideal of beauty in Western art. The painting selections are excellent -- from Titian to Rubens to Renoir. It's a lovely piece. And there is something supremely delightful about seeing a full-size canvas of Rubens's Venus Before the Mirror hanging right beside the CBS anchor as he introduces the report:

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The narration of the video is so good that it could have come straight from the Judgment of Paris:

The naked truth is that, more often than not, the women considered the most beautiful in all of Western art would qualify as plus-size.

"They aren't skinny, but they're very beautiful," says Joe Rishel, senior curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

"And is that the point?" asked "Teichner.

"That's the point," he said.

Rishel showed us an example from the 1880s, "The Large Bathers," one of the many full-bodied Renoirs the museum owns.

"This is a great celebration of abundance," he said, "just this joyous celebration of a constancy of beauty that's going to hold for eternity. These were women and models who really looked like this."

Going back to ancient beauties - think Venus de Milo - the Greeks set a standard that's inspired artists for a couple of thousand years and counting.

Fast forward to, say, 16th century Italy, and look at Titian or Raphael, or "The Three Graces: by the 17th century Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens. (You've heard the term "Ruben-esque.")

"There's no doubt that Rubens wants you to experience these women as beautiful," said Time Magazine art critic Richard Lacayo
From the acknowledgment of the Classical Greek origins of the beauty ideal, to the reference to this being an ideal "that's going to hold for eternity" (i.e., that it is indeed timeless), the piece is a rare, indeed unique example of true femininity being acknowledged by the mass media.

HSG
26th October 2009, 20:21
<br>Sadly, most of the 90-min.-long CBS <i>Sunday Morning</I> program was outright hateful towards full-figured women. However, in the midst of that morass of curve-o-phobia, this one report stood out like a beacon.

It is a measure of how far the message of the aesthetic restoration has penetrated the mass consciousness that a report like this could even be conceived. The media usually denies even the existence of Old World aristocratic culture, likely fearing that society will find it preferable to the modern world order, and will wish for its return.

Here are a list of the paintings that appear in the video. Clicking on the painting links will bring you to their gallery pages, where you can learn the paintings' current locations, and view larger versions (if you click on the Pinacotheca images).

<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/renoir/renoir01a.jpg"><p>Renoir, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/renoir01.htm" target="_blank">The Bathers</a></I> (1887)

<p><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens/rubens01a.jpg"><p>Rubens, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens01.htm" target="_blank">Venus before the Mirror</a></I> (c.1613-14)

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens/rubens07a.jpg"><p>Rubens, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens07.htm" target="_blank">The Judgment of Paris</a></I> (c.1632-35 )

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/titian/titian08a.jpg"><p>Titian, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/titian08.htm" target="_blank">Venus with a Mirror</a></I> (c.1555 )

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/titian/titian02-1a.jpg"><p>Titian, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/titian02-1.htm" target="_blank">DanaŽ</a></I> (1545)

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/titian/titian04a.jpg"><p>Titian, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/titian04.htm" target="_blank">Venus of Urbino</a></I> (c.1538)

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/renoir/renoir10a.jpg"><p>Renoir, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/renoir10.htm" target="_blank">Bather on a Rock</a></I> (1892)

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/titian/titian07-3a.jpg"><p>Titian, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/titian07-3.htm" target="_blank">Venus with Cupid and an Organist</a></I> (1548)

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/raphael/raphael03a.jpg"><p>Raphael, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/raphael03.htm" target="_blank">The Three Graces</a></I> (1504-05)

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens/rubens06a.jpg"><p>Rubens, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens06.htm" target="_blank">The Three Graces</a></I> (c.1636-38)

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens/rubens09a.jpg"><p>Rubens, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens09.htm" target="_blank">The Consequences of War</a></I> (1637-38)

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens/rubens03a.jpg"><p>Rubens, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens03.htm" target="_blank">Venus in Fur-Coat</a></I> (c.1638 )

<p><br><br><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens/rubens05a.jpg"><p>Rubens, <i><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/pinacotheca/rubens05.htm" target="_blank">Venus and Adonis</a></I> (c.1635)</center><p><center>* * *</center><p>To have the media acknowledge (and the public realize) that throughout Western history, the fuller female figure, not the androgynous waif, represented the ideal of beauty, is a significant step forward. Now it only remains for the public to realize that this ideal is not merely a thing of the past, but a living possibility, a viable and preferable alternative to the alien, anti-feminine standard that has been imposed on society for the past century.

As a collective reincarnation of timeless beauty, the most beautiful plus-size models working today provide the opportunity for this Classical ideal to be restored.