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AndromedaToday I am off to the Rubens exhibition at the Royal Academy. The website describes him as being “best known for his fleshy nude women.” So I thought I’d have a go at mocking up one of his paintings for this week’s Sinful Sunday! I settled on Andromeda.

Quite by chance, on the day that we celebrate motherhood in the UK, the only material I could find that was diaphanous enough to be a useful prop was my Granny’s wedding veil. I am not sure what she’d make of this! I am pretty sure she wouldn’t approve of the fleshiness of the model – she was forever telling me to wear a girdle (really!) and would promise I could have her beautiful old coats, but only once I lost some weight. But I do think she’d smile at this project.

I have my suspicions that if she’d been born a few decades later, her life would have been a little more like mine – childfree and full of travel. The youngest of seven daughters and mother to three sons, she didn’t try very hard to hide the fact she liked animals more than humans. With a magnifying glass she used to pore over a tiny map of the world, trying to find where I was working that month. “You’ll never settle down, will you?” she asked me once. It sounded more like an expression of concern than a question. “Don’t”, she said next, “I don’t think you’d like it very much.”



  1. Marie Rebelle

    I like your version of Andromeda a lot 🙂
    Rebel xox

  2. Molly

    I kind of wish someone had given me that advice in my early years. I will admit to be a tad envious of ‘childfree and full of travel’. I think your Grandmother sounded like quite a character. I love your ‘take’ on Andromeda… I have always felt that Rubens had a good eye for beauty in the female form

    • Exposing40

      She was indeed a character! We were a bit disappointed with the Rubens show actually – there was more emphasis on people he’d influenced rather than his work. Also, we thought his work was more celebratory of women but actually the Lust section made for some uncomfortable viewing, particularly The Hermit and Sleeping Angelica, which sees the man drug the woman so he is free to touch her as she sleeps!

  3. misfiery1

    Beautiful. And I love hearing about your grandma.

  4. HappyComeLucky

    I have come back to this several times trying to find the right words to say. Your photo is brilliant – better than the picture in my opinion. I love the pose, the confidence and the way that it shouts celebration of your form. Inspiring.

    • Exposing40

      Oh my gosh – that’s so strange because I’ve just been looking at yours again too, trying to work out how to say what I wanted to!! Thank you for your lovely words (you give good comment!!) – I’ll now hop over to your place and stop procrastinating too! Xx

  5. Velvet Rose

    Beautiful and being a rubenesque shape myself this is the sort of thing I would be interested to recreate. You have done a fabulous job here!
    Velvet x

  6. Chintz Curtain (@ChintzCurtain)

    As a lover of classical art, I ADORE this. You make a beautiful Andromeda. And I love the slightly subversive use of your grandmother’s wedding veil! Jane xxx

  7. sub-Bee

    What an amazing tribute to the original, I’m sure the artist would be very happy to see how he inspired you.

  8. Tabitha R

    This whole thing is just gorgeous – the words, the painting, the veil, your gran, your photo. Lovely. I’m smiling for the rest of the night. x x

    • Exposing40

      Oh, thank you so much! This is very strange – this is the second time this evening someone has posted a comment as I was also looking at their site – it happened with Happy Go Lucky earlier! Xx

  9. Modesty Ablaze (@ablazingmodesty)

    Wonderful picture . . . and wonderful story too !!!
    Xxx – K

  10. Sweetendirty

    This is absolutely beautiful!

  11. SassyCat

    Great job on your version of the painting. Wonderful story.

  12. mariasibylla

    Oh, I love this so much! My grandma had similar sentiments about weight and being single so that really resonated. I’ve always loved the women Rubens painted (probably due to my ideas that at least my body style was celebrated by the media in one era of history). And the way you’ve captured the style of the painting in your photo is just brilliant! (I love that you used your grandma’s veil as a drape) PS Did she ever give you her coats?

    • Exposing40

      Haha – no I never did get the coats and the annoying thing is that even when she said I couldn’t have them they did actually fit!! 🙂 x

  13. KaziG

    Lovely!! I wish I had been able to travel more in my youth, but I’ve never regretted motherhood 🙂
    ~Kazi xxx

  14. Malin James

    I loved this! You had me at Ruben’s Andromeda (it’s a favorite of mine), but then your gorgeous take on the image just put it right over the top. You have such a way with composition – it’s amazing to me that you manage so much in single photographs. Beauty, honesty, a bit of visual commentary. Let’s just say that I’m starting to look forward to you every week!
    Malin xx

    • Exposing40

      Thank you so much! Xx

  15. sara hamilton

    Wow- this is a stunning photo! Love the narrative of the granny that accompanies it as well….

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