From voluptuous curves to corseted waists, the female body has been celebrated in all shapes and sizes.
January is traditionally considered the time to kick-start diet and fitness regimes to achieve body beautiful. In an age of fad diets, de-toxing and body obsession, one has to wonder where this fixation with the ‘perfect’ female physique was born.
In fact, the Flemish-Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens– whose exhibition ‘Rubens and His Legacy’ opens on 24th January 2015 at the Royal Academy of Arts– is perhaps one of the most prominent examples of a painter able to glorify the raw beauty of the female body. His fleshy and voluptuous female nudes coined a phrase still used to describe women with a fuller figure – ‘Rubenesque’.
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