Skin: Hélène Fourment in a Fur Wrap

7:00 AM

Curated by Sonia Larbi

Peter Paul Rubens, Hélène Fourment in a Fur Wrap, 1630s

We see her in the act of turning, her fur about to slip off her shoulders. She will not remain as she is for more than a second. Her image is as instantaneous and brief as a photograph. Her skin confronts us - lumpy, tender, susceptible. Her body is dynamic, constantly twisting - her torso turning to the right and her legs to the left. Her sexual center is hidden from view by her fur wrap. Her skin is fat and soft - breaking the ideal construct of "beauty." This is Ruben's beauty, made up entirely of his perception of his young wife. The painting lovingly captures her expressive eyes and full breasts.

This portrait by Peter Paul Rubens stands out to me as one of my favorite pieces from this year. I love the  emotion behind it and the way he loves and accepts Hélène Fourment. He adores every inch of her skin, and expresses that love through painting.

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