Drizzling from above – Vanité by Frank Cadogan Cowper

Vanité by Frank Cadogan Cowper Via Royal Academy of Arts

Her beauty shines from within, piercing her frail white skin to reach the depths of our spirits, touching our hearts. Untouchable, unattainable, transformed by the light which surrounds her silhouette, the simple girl appears to be a princess in our blinded eyes. Her hair vainly grazes her neck, taunting her pearl necklace, her headdress, the fabric of her blouse, for being so close to her body. The ribbons forming an intricate pattern over her left arm painfully entwine to create the most exquisite ornament.

The golden light skims her milky flesh, radiating each nook from her face, chest, and petite hands. She wears her head like a crown, glancing confidently at our pleading and demanding stares. Begging for recognition, imploring to take even the most insignificant part in the Princess’ life, we stand immobile, hunched over from the weight of shame. There are not enough good words to describe the incandescence of her charm over us. We are trapped in a cage, closed to her reality. Imprisoned forever in a lesser world, we admire the rays of light drizzling from above, sprinkling us with endless joy.

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