Some of my recent posts have dealt with feminism and gender issues, which got me thinking whether men and women are born different or are shaped differently by culture and society. Then I ran into the two pictures above, by Norman Rockwell. He is most famous for the real-life cover illustrations he did for Saturday Evening Post for more than forty years. His method of working was to first decide on a concept, make sketches of it, commission a photographer to take a picture of it with live models in costumes (which he kept in his studio – the costumes, not the models), and then make a painting using the photograph as a starting point.
That’s just trivia, though. I think these two paintings display the contrasting images of male and female vanity quite nicely. Though they’re staged, we know they’re indicative of real life, don’t we?