Old age and grunge beauty

I finally saw Bronzino’s portrait of Admiral Andrea Doria as Neptune at the Pinatoceca Brera  in Milan today – an inspiration for several works especially those of my favourite older model Ben taken in the Oratory at the Abbotsford Convent.

The subject of the Portrait has a portly stomach but is not afraid to pose semi naked with pubic hair and some penis length implied.  Apparently the subject was almost 60 when he posed for the picture -even given a painter’s license he is a handsome man.
How can I assert my handsomeness when I have an expanding belly as well?
Women, though judged more harshly on their appearance have, or at least use a greater armoury in presenting themselves. An older woman of indeterminate age sits opposite me wearing a cornflower blue dress comprising some netting over a similar coloured base. There is a black bra strap showing underneath the girlish cut of the dress. Her skin, though wrinkled, is beautifully tanned and she has simple jewellery- a very large amber ring, a blue mosaiced bangle,and gold dragonfly earrings that perfectly capture the essence of a mid-summer’s day.
Her hair is dyed blonde but there is also grey and black colour coming through …she is reading a book held with blue painted fingernails that match her dress . She orders from the menu in fluent Italian although it is not her first language .. the total effect of her presented self is confident and pleasing

Maybe I can use my own appreciation of the grunge aesthetic to honour and acknowledge my own ageing. I have to feel OK about myself now .. not when, if ever I lose this weight because there will be other cruel tricks that nature will play as she ages us all. I have decided to celebrate my remaining assets including my art making skills, my education, my own beautiful children and the volume and colour of my hair 


saw these wonderful paintings in Musee Correr Venice today all the more beautiful because of their


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