With no pre-announcement or buzz, Gucci recently launched an Instagram account Gucci Beauty for its beauty line. For makeup lovers and collectors alike, one would expect product flat lays, campaign images or swatches as posts on the page. The account has none of that. Guided by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele the brand is looking at beauty through the lens of paintings from varied time periods. Art is subjective and so is beauty is what Michele wants you to know.

The historic artworks span from an 1876 portrait of a pregnant native Latin American woman, 19th-century Japanese artwork to Nobel women from the Elizabeth era, and everything in between. A collection as diverse as this picks out beauty practices from an era and demonstrate how the same were interpreted by the people in those times. The captions underneath each post also touch upon key beauty features in the paintings such as rosy cheeks, clean brows or a red lip.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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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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Curated by a group of five staff writers, the works of art have been picked from various galleries, museums and private collections such as Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Uffizi Gallery in Florence to name a few. The culmination of art, history, and culture to launch a beauty line is a first of its kind but not a first for the brand. Gucci Bloom Acqua Di Fiori fragrance launch had 15 female artists create their interpretations for the same. There is no confirmation regarding a makeup line launch but in the time being, here are some of the initial posts to give you a walk in a museum experience without really doing so.  Scroll away.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Title: Vanitas, a young woman seated at her dressing table, 1632 Author: Paulus Moreelse Private Collection ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In his native city of Utrecht, Paulus Moreelse was a sought-after portraitist. He was especially appreciated for his rich use of color, often imbuing his figures with a lively, pink-cheeked vigor. One of his favorite genres was playfully sensual portraiture of young women with tousled blonde hair and overflowing décolletage. This privately held painting is a particularly memorable example, wherein he places the woman at her dressing table. Her gold jewelry is splayed out in pride on the tablecloth, an example of vanitas, a genre of painting meant to symbolize both the pleasure and ultimately futility of earthly delights. #GucciBeauty — @tatianaberg Johnny Van Haeften Ltd., London / Bridgeman Images

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Title: Woman from Constantinople, standing, c.1876 Author: Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904) Private Collection ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The French painter Jean-Léon Gérôme is the quintessential Orientalist painter, a European artist interested in a fantastical, stylized depiction of other cultures. After visiting Egypt in 1856 he became fascinated with the Middle East in particular and brought back local artifacts and costumes, which he used as props in his Paris studio. His work was extremely popular and much of it is now held in private collections, including this moody portrait. Gérôme wrapped his model in a translucent veil in a nod to her perceived exotic origins, drawing our attention to her languid gaze and ambiguous smile. Yet the image is theatrical, almost a fiction. #GucciBeauty — @tatianaberg Photo © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images

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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: Idealized Portrait of the Mughal Empress Nur Jahan, c.1725 Museum: LACMA, Los Angeles ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This Indian portrait from c. 1725, at @LACMA, one of the #GucciPlaces, depicts an historical figure — the Muslim Mughal empress Nur Jahan, who married Emperor Jahangir in 1611, when Nur was 34 years old and a widow. The well-educated empress was at the peak of royal power when the Mughal empire was at its strongest, and Nur Jahan is said to have been the real authority over her husband for more than 15 years. “Though Nur Jahan be in form a woman, / In the ranks of men she’s a tiger-slayer,” a poem of the time described her stature, also reflected in this confident image. #GucciBeauty — @kchayka Image courtesy of LACMA

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Title: Jewish Woman from Tangiers, 1874 Author: Charles Landelle Museum: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Jewish women are largely absent from the tradition of European painting. When they were depicted, it was often with an exoticizing touch and a strong emphasis on their otherness. That’s somewhat the case here in this 19th-century portrait by the popular French artist Charles Landelle, in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims. An Orientalist painter, he was seduced by the culture he witnessed during his travels to North Africa and the Middle East and it became the focus of much of his oeuvre. Though his version of Moroccan culture wasn’t exactly accurate, he brought a delicate touch to his depiction of this dark-eyed young woman, rendering her features with care. Under Landelle’s brush, she appears mysterious, beautiful, and ultimately unknowable. #GucciBeauty — @tatianaberg Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims, France / J.P. Zenobel / Bridgeman Images

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