This series MMXXI you better watch it on a bigger screen 😉
A series with inspiration from the period before the French Revolution, a zeitgeist that is very reminiscent of what we are going through now. It was a time of turmoil and contrasts. Frivolous lightness and optimism on the one hand, the deep dark sides of man on the other. Just like today, the urge for freedom was very strong, with Marquis De Sade as champion of libertinism. In addition, when we think of the period of sun king Louis XIV, we immediately think of wigs, the Instagram filters of the time, which were used to cover up mistakes against the ideal of beauty.
The 18th century is the period of “the wig age”.An astounding fashion which originated in the French court in 1655.The then King Louis XIV was barely seventeen,by this time he was afflicted with severe hair loss bordering on baldness.Fearing that this would set him apart from what was considered beautiful at the time,he had an extravagant wig created to cover this defect.
History shows us that wigs became a symbol of wealth,pomp and circumstance.However,what lay under the wigs was often far less beautiful. In truth,hundreds of years ago,they were the precursors of what instagram filters provide in 2021:cover up imperfections,hide deviations,creating,falsely,a more beautiful alternative image.
The King’s wig set a trend.Baldness was very common in men at this time,being one of the main symptoms of the venereal disease syphilis.This flourished amongst the nobility who were unable to stay faithful to any one person for any length of time.
Freedom is without a doubt one of the most basic values that we as human beings hold most dear.Do what we want,where and when we want.When our freedom is tested,as it is now in these confining corona times,a darkness descends on our souls,rendering us unresponsive with the urge to break free.
One of the greatest proponents of absolute freedom was the aristocrat, writer and philosopher Marquis De Sade.Born in 1740,and famous for his libertine sexuality he saw the French Revolution as a moment of potential for absolute freedom,the word “sadism” is derived from his name.According to De Sade,in order for humans to be truly happy,they must be completely free to persue all their desires.
Even today,the longing for freedom all the more under the influence of all kinds of limitations,is a quest that leads us through a miriad of feelings and thoughts,amazing us with their clarity.The question is whether the ultimate freedom can ever really be achieved and at what cost.
Suffering less from baldness,ladies also began wearing wigs in the 17th and 18th centuries.In fact,they defined the trend.The King’s mistresses in particular became the trailblazers,defining the fashion of the time.Unfortunately the wigs,after much wear,created an unpleasant odour requesting a solution that resulted in scented powders being strewn over them ,whilst also providing a vivid colour.
Since few wigs have been preserved,we must gather most of our information about that historical period from portraits.Women were always painted very purely,often with a shy,averted gaze,long dresses and wide collars.They were expected to be an example of chastity and cleanliness,,although,often hidden behind that facade they were living a much more dissolute lifestyle.