I have an iPod Touch, and it has ‘wallpaper’. All that seems to mean is that you have a neato picture when you first turn it on–unless you have the phone feature the Wallpaper function is barely necessary. But I’m a lover of pictures and so I decided to go online to find some that express me. That way if someone ever picks up and uses my iPod they will think “golly, what a clever/ironic/sardonic hip woman the owner of this iPod is!!!” Or something.
I first looked for Books, found a few shots and then moved to Reading. Found a few more. Then on to Nude Women Reading. And here is where I need to explain something. I am not a lesbian. If you held a gun to my head and demanded that I be a lesbian I don’t think it would work. (But let’s not test that hypothesis.) I like men and the parts they come with–whoa. I just read that and it really is a lot more risque than I meant it. I really did mean “arrive” and “are born with”, but I guess I’m a perv.
Anyway, I like artistic female nudes. I always have. I find them beautiful in a way that is hard to describe–there is something satisfying about the roundness of a well-done female nude study which speaks to me. It implies bounty and power and fulfillment. Mystery and genesis, wisdom and desire. Male nudes don’t say the same thing, and I’ve never found the male nude study to be as appealing. All of this to say that I like classical female nude art. I have one such painting in my guest bathroom, and my husband I were so used to it that we didn’t understand why some teenage boy visitors to our home were constantly having to pee.
Boy, I’m rambling. Let’s cut to the chase. So I’m looking at Nude Female Reading pictures and then I see….me.
Seriously. That is me. Painted 300 years ago. It looks so much like me that my husband did a double-take when he saw it.
What’s even more freaky is the title of the painting. “Beautiful nude woman odelisque.” In the 19th century Odelisques were romanticised geisha-types. Similar to what Bond girls are today. (Hmmmm. Actual Odelisks are slave girls. And today’s hot girls are “bond” girls. That much hasn’t changed, at least subconsciously.)
I confess that I’ve been a bit haunted by this whole thing for the last couple of days. I know I’ve read at least one actual novel that has something along these lines as its premise. I can’t help but wonder about my 300 year old doppleganger and her life. Not to step on the toes of the Girl With A Pearl Earring, but there has to be a bit of a story there. Was she the painter’s mistress? A local prostitute? The widow of the artist’s friend? What was it like to look like me and live 300 years ago?
I wonder if the men in her life loved her. I wonder if she had children. I wonder if she knew how to read the book she posed with. Most of all I just want to know her name.
Feel Good Friday
In honour of the events of this post I present my entry for Feel Good Friday: