Vanity (Frank Cadogan Cowper)

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Vanity, 1907.

Vanity is an oil painting in the Pre-Raphaelite style by Frank Cadogan Cowper, finished in 1907. The painting depicts a woman stealing a glance into a hand mirror because she is so pleased with her own beauty she can't look away. Like with most of the Pre-Raphaelites, the subject is an attractive young woman.

Cowper has expertly painted this piece; the designs and patterns on the clothing are fantastic, the pearls and opal on her head are exquisite, and the young woman's hair is golden and wispy. The nearly-black background draws your eye to the woman's contrastedly pale skin.

The thing I like most about this painting is that, even though the woman is extremely beautiful and everything about her is perfect, I feel like she would be extremely annoying to be around because of her self-obsession. All her beauty doesn't make her a good person, which is a typical moral lesson, but an important not to forget.

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