Theme: FADE TO BLACK
Key words: portrait, wealth, opulence, wane, swan song.
L) Portrait of Jacob Olycan, 1625 by Franz Hals. At The Frick Collection, on special loan from The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague.
R) Louis Vuitton Spring 2014 ad with Edie Campbell, shot by Steven Meisel. Portraits of the designer Marc Jacobs' muses.
For me the connections are interesting in that both subjects are icons of their time, made so by the lasting imagery of them (and created by renown portrait artists). No doubt, they are a documentation of wealth and standing as the subjects cut an imposing figure with sharp gaze and regal bearing. They are rendering in somber tones – one in a warm, greenish black, the other a cool, blueish hue. Then, as now, black represents power, fashion and elegance. In the end, we know that the dominance of the wealthy Dutch merchant class, as well as Marc Jacobs' 16 year run at Louis Vuitton have come to an end.