Women in Renaissance Paintings Get a Fashion Mag Photoshop Job

Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus (1486) re-imagined by Lauren Wade
Sandro Botticelli, <em>Birth of Venus</em> (1486). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus (1486).
Via Wikimedia Commons.

A photo editor has gone to town on classic Renaissance paintings, Photoshopping away their curves as if in preparation for a modern-day fashion ad, reports Desn Boom.

Our perception of beauty has changed considerably over the years, and nothing puts that into perspective as much as seeing more full-figured women in Renaissance and Impressionist paintings re-imagined as slender fashion models. Thanks to the considerable photo editing skills of Lauren Wade, the fleshy, rounded female forms that are so characteristic of classical painting melt away, leaving taught, trim frames—but larger, rounder breasts.

Sandro Botticelli, <em>Birth of Venus</em> (1486), reimagined by Lauren Wade.

Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus (1486), reimagined by Lauren Wade.

There’s something quite disturbing with the apparent ease with which Wade has employed the liquify tool to apply today’s exacting beauty standards to such iconic images. In a series of animated GIFs, the women go under the knife, emerging thinner, sleeker, and, ostensibly, more attractive.

As one scrolls down the page, one occasionally catches glimpse of Wade’s handiwork before the original cycles through, and it’s fairly off-putting to see how convincing her altered images appear. Perhaps we’ve become inured to the practice of slimming down already underweight models, but the post-op versions almost start to look more natural than the originals—a sure sign that fashion industry standards have truly pervaded our culture.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.