Fallen Woman

Art, when well done, is always evocative. It’s also very subjective and personal, drawing meaning and emotion from the beholder as well as the artist and, especially in the case of artist photography, the subject.

Take, by way of example, the photos below. To me they portray a beautified and romanticized vignette of the “fallen women” of 19th century London, especially those of the White Chapel district. Ethereal beauty, hope, despair, elegant style, an odd Catholicism to the fashion, and a certain tawdry sexuality combine and create a frisson that is, to me at least, very compelling.

Others would likely see the photos completely differently and within completely different contexts, but very few, I think, would see them merely as part of the fashion shoot which was their commercial purpose.

A Victorian-esque Study of Anne Hathaway
[Photography by Marcus Piggott and Mert Alas]

The above are photos taken of Anne Hathaway taken in London by Marcus Piggott and Mert Alas as part of a piece by Chelsea Handler of Interview Magazine. They also preview the upcoming issue of the magazine since Anne Hathaway will be on the cover of the magazine’s magazine’s September 2011 issue.

Related Reading:

Beauty: A Very Short Introduction
Prostitution, Modernity, and the Making of the Cuban Republic, 1840-1920 (Envisioning Cuba)
Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Shanghai (Philip E.Lilienthal Books)
The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century
Art: A Play

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