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Is beauty only in the eye of the beholder? A nineteenth century author by the name of Christian Nestell Bovee once said that the beauty seen is partly in the person who sees it. What people see as beautiful says a great deal about what is inside them.


The beauty of humble things that become beautiful because of just the right kind and the right amount of imperfection, asymmetry, impermanence, or incompleteness, is a sense of esthetics the Japanese call Wabi-Sabi. It is the beauty of a mossy, weathered stone surface, or of a rusty texture that gives character to a once commonplace object that is no longer functional.


Wormholes and the patina that only decades or centuries can leave on an antique handmade chair make it far more interesting than a modern, flawless, mass-produced one.


A battered piece of driftwood shows holes where a live tree’s limbs once bore leaves. The tree it originated from may have been a perfect, handsome specimen when it was alive, but in a subtle, bittersweet way, what is left has a unique imprint of vital energy. Its imperfection has its own special kind of understated beauty.


The ideal beauty of a young, flawless face can be bland and stereotyped. By contrast, small imperfections such as laugh-lines, and wrinkles give real character and expression to a person’s face. They are like the delicate tracery of a leaf pattern etched into a piece of wood as autumn leaves dissolve leaving behind a suggested reflection of their past.


If you can see beauty in these reflections, it is because they mirror your own inner one.


© Francesca Profili 2015 

Print on canvas: 18 x 43.3 inches (45.7 x 109.9 cm)

Price: $267 USD stretched (on 1.5" stretchers) $202 USD rolled.

To buy, click here.


To view more prints, click: Back to Slideshow 2