Art History Hotties: Young Woman Going to Bed

7:00 AM

Jacob van Loo, Young Woman Going to Bed, 1650
BY REID GUEMMER

To quote Vogue, “we’re officially in the era of the big booty”. Public icons all over media have started to accentuate their derrière in any way possible, and women’s sexual appeal now seems to be determined by the size of their butt. What people once tried to keep to a minimal they are now working to enhance, so I guess this Young Woman Going to Bed was way ahead of her time.

The young woman shoots us with an over the shoulder smile, you can tell she’s confident in her body and actions. The expression on her face draws us in, perhaps she wants us to accompany her to bed. The context is unclear about whether she invites or only tempts the viewer. Although the painting is revealing, a sense of mystery persists for that reason.

I found myself wondering why the young woman has kept her bonnet on after completely ridding herself of clothing. At first I thought perhaps she wasn’t finished undressing, but her positioning contradicts this theory. Recently, having been sick, my next thought was perhaps her hair is still wet from bathing and she doesn’t want to catch a cold, but I find that theory even harder to believe. After spending a good fifteen minutes trying to come up with a reason why Loo found it to be a necessary addition to the painting, I realized I truly did not know my chapeau and would’ve greatly benefited from  a visit to the archive of My Kid Could Paint That. I then made the realization that the bonnet was most likely solely for sleeping. Despite the real reason behind it, the bonnet adds a comical aspect to the painting because she looks a little ridiculous.

Rich jewel tones surround the young woman. Her skin is almost as light as the white fabric draped across the side table and bed, although with peachy undertones. She pulls the covers down as she gets ready to immerse herself in the plush covers of her bed. But don’t be alarmed; she hasn’t forgotten her nightly routine! What was it, a hundred, maybe a hundred and fifty squats? Who knows, but either way she’s definitely committed herself and is sure to go down in the books of art history hotties.

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