Have you ever noticed how strong the generational influence is on portraiture?
If you look at photos from the 1920s all the girls seem to have tip-tilted noses, neat little chins and big round eyes.
It is hard to tell what any specific early 18th century woman looked like from her portrait, because they all painted to look the same: plump along the jawline, heavy-nosed and pop-eyed. Most of these portraits seem to be informed by the same ideal woman, though there is no way of knowing who the original beauty was. Likewise, 16th century portraits all feature people with long thin faces, long bony noses and sunken eyes. Since such a volta face is genetically impossible we are left with the only explanations being fashion or toadyism.
Now, more than ever before, women manage to achieve a consistent image of beauty. If you look at images of modern celebs and wannabes they are indistinguishable identi-girls; tall, skinny, broad-mouthed, with high round breasts and an expensive mane of hair-extensions. And they all have the same short little round-nostrilled nose, sometimes even a nez retroussez, though these days it is achieved with the knife rather than the brush.
But it seems that a tip-tilted nose is so last year, darling. Take a look at the noses on this lot and see what you think. (Poor Helen Shifter, she’s stuck with last season’s schnoz, and doesn’t it age her? She’s so brave about it, too).
I could draw conclusions, but you are an intelligent person and it’s late, so I’ll trust you to draw your own.