Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray by David Martin is one of the artworks featured on Gucci's @guccibeauty Instagram.
Photo: Scone Palace

Gucci’s New Instagram Explores the Beauty in Art History

The iconic brand’s new account is devoted to examining beauty through the lens of historic artworks

Gucci has launched a new Instagram account devoted to works of art throughout history, designed to explore the evolving concept of beauty.

Guided by the brand’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, @guccibeauty will feature art from a range of cultures and time periods, including artworks from museums, galleries, and private collections such as the Museo Uffizi, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Chatsworth House.

Art writers have collaborated with Gucci to write descriptive captions that detail the history of each piece. Their descriptions hone in on the provenance of the works and ideals for their respective time periods. The team of writers contributing to the account includes Tatiana Berg, Britt Julious, Larissa Pham, and Antwaun Sargent. The descriptions are edited by Kyle Chayka.

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As portraiture has evolved over time, it has always been about the connection between the artist and subject. Michele has chosen works by both male and female artists and even some self-portraits by female artists showing how these brilliant women saw themselves.

The wide-ranging series includes work from ancient Egyptian portraits to Japanese woodblock prints to contemporary paintings by African-American artists. Through this series, Gucci hopes to show that it’s possible to observe how beauty has no one strict definition but is instead an exchange of seeing and being seen.

 

 

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Title: María Teresa, Infanta of Spain, 1651
Author: Diego Velázquez Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Diego Velázquez, the most important painter of Spain’s Golden Age, made this 1651 portrait of María Teresa, Infanta of Spain, as suitors began to inquire after the young princess. Velázquez influenced a generation of artists, including Picasso and Manet, and the drama of his portraiture is on full display in this rendering of the Infanta, who would become the Queen of France. The Infanta’s cheeks are flushed and rosy, seemingly glowing. The translucent butterfly ribbons in her hair add a touch of innocence, emphasizing that though the princess is heir to the throne, with all the responsibility that entails, she is also still a child. The piece is part of the @metmuseum’s collection. #GucciBeauty #TheMet— @lrsphm
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949

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Title: Self Portrait, c.1902 Author: Maxwell Ashby Armfield Private Collection ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The British artist Maxwell Ashby Armfield didn’t enjoy figure drawing during his education at the Birmingham School of Art. Instead, he leapt into the Arts & crafts Movement, which saw artists in the United Kingdom embracing decorative aesthetics, exaggerated forms, and inspiration from other cultures, including China, Japan, and the ancient Celts. In this tempera painting from 1902, from a private collection, Armfield depicts himself as a bohemian gentleman, his wavy hair echoing the fabric of his cravat. He collaborated closely with his wife, Constance Smedley.
#GucciBeauty — @kchayka ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ © The Estate of Maxwell Armfield / Photo © Fine Art Society / Bridgeman Images

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Title: Woman At Toilette / Keshō no onna, 1918
Author: Hashiguchi Goyō Museum: LACMA, Los Angeles ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ukiyo-e, a Japanese movement, was characterized by its depictions of beautiful women and landscapes that reflected the newly hedonistic “floating world” created by Tokyo’s economic growth in the Edo period. In this 1918 portrait, Hashiguchi Goyō, a woodblock artist, uses delicate lines to render a beautiful woman applying powder to her skin. Her fully exposed shoulder is alluring in contrast to her demure expression, and she seems to be caught in a personal, domestic moment — underscoring the tension and seduction in the delicate balance between public beauty and private adornment. The image is in the collection of @LACMA, one of the #GucciPlaces.
#GucciBeauty — @lrsphm Image courtesy of LACMA

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Title: Untitled (Eva), 2018 Author: Simone Kennedy Doig
Location: Baert Gallery, Los Angeles. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Born in London in 1994, #SimoneKennedyDoig spends her time between her birthplace and Trinidad, where she moved to in 2002 and spent much of her childhood. Her works deal with intersectional identity, which for Kennedy Doig is informed by her experiences in Port of Spain and London. This is an oil painting that portrays two young women, friends in front of a mirror, staring at their own reflections. One figure, applies makeup, heightening her own sense of beauty while the other female casts a glance upon her. The expression captured in the onlookers gaze contributes to an atmosphere tinged with perhaps a small dose of envy. The image offers a psychological exploration of femininity from a female’s perspective, standing in contrast to the male gaze and the usual depictions of women throughout art history. #GucciBeauty — @sirsargent Courtesy of the artist and Baert Gallery, Los Angeles.
Photo: Joshua White.

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Title: Portraits of two women, 1950
Author: Lois Mailou Jones Private Collection ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Nearly every moment of #LoisMailouJones’s life was captured and shared through her paintings.
Her style traversed the aesthetic landscape, first mimicking the work of the post-Impressionists
and then drawing from the rich colors and symbols of Africa and Haiti, where she often traveled.
In her portraits, Jones was known for her ability to capture the rich complexities of black skin
tones, rendering her subjects (often her friends or students from Howard University, where she taught) as near three-dimensional figures. Styled in feminine blouses with red lips and curled hair, Jones manages to capture each woman’s beauty in this 1950 painting’s tight headshots. Jones suggests a familiarity and bond between the two only found
through family or friendship. #GucciBeauty — @britticisms
Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust

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