I fell in love with three women in Paris. I know, some of you might think, “Just three????” 😀 But I couldn’t help it. I knew two of them from before I met them; the third had only recently become an acquaintance. I could have spent days just gazing at them, like some love-sick poet (which I have been, for large portions of my youth). I didn’t have that luxury, but I had the incalculable pleasure of getting to know them first-hand.
Not the first in a chronological order, but she leads any list that speaks of beauty. I could go on and on about da Vinci and his immense talent and mastery over painting and expression; on the technical aspects of sfumato and perspective; on the mysteries of her smile and the various, sometimes daft, explanations researchers have come up with to explain her. But reams have been written about the Mona Lisa and there’s little I could contribute that would add to the volumes. All I can say is this: I am an atheist and have been for some time now; standing six feet from her was the most spiritual experience I have ever had.
Oh, and I was humming Nat King Cole’s ‘Mona Lisa‘ for hours after! 😀
She was the first of the three I met. Nike of Samothrace. Rare, since it is one of the few extant, original Greek statues. Beautiful because it takes some time to sink in that this is not cloth, or plaster, or anything soft; it is marble transformed to billowing robe and human flesh and wind-ruffled feathers…
The last because she was harder to find, but the archetype of the graceful depiction of the female form. Each curve is sensual, each facet mesmerising. How could anyone not want to touch her, feel each undulation of the skin, each fold of the robe that is almost, but not quite, slipping from her body? Maybe one day, the shell will break and Venus will emerge again?