Sunday, 27 February 2011

Rococo and Cosmetic Surgery By Aidan Codd

Deriving from the French word rocaille, in reference to the curved forms of shellfish, and the Italian barocco, the French created the term Rococo. Appearing at the beginning of the 18th century, it rapidly spread to the whole of Europe. Extravagant and light, Rococo responded perfectly to the offhandedness of the aristocracy of the time. In many aspects, this art was linked to its Baroque predecessor, and is thus also referred to as late Baroque style. While artists such as Tiepolo, Boucher and Reynolds carried the style to its apogee, the movement was often condemned for its superficiality. In the second half of the 18th century, Rococo began its decline. At the end of the century, facing the advent of Neoclassicism, it was plunged into obscurity. It had to wait nearly a century before art historians could restore it to the radiance of its golden age, which is rediscovered in this work by Klaus H. Carl and Victoria Charles.

Fragonard's scenes of frivolity and gallantry are considered the embodiment of the Rococo spirit. A pupil of Chardin and later Boucher, he won the Prix de Rome and from 1756 to 1761 was in Italy, where he developed a particular admiration for Tiepolo and the late Baroque style. In this period he specialized in large historical paintings.
Returning to Paris, he soon changed this style, adopting instead the erotic subjects then in vogue and for which he is chiefly known, of which The Swing is the most famous.
This picture became an immediate success, not merely for its technical excellence, but for the scandal behind it. The young nobleman is not only getting an interesting view up the lady's skirt, but she is being pushed into this position by her priest-lover, shown in the rear.
In this same spirit are some other famous pictures, The See-Saw, Blindman's Bluff, The Stolen Kiss, and the Meeting. After his marriage in 1769, he began painting children and family scenes (usually called genre painting) and even returned to religious subjects. He stopped exhibiting publicly in 1770 and all his later works are commissions from private patrons.
To many, this painting embodies the entire spirit of the ancien regime on the eve of the revolution. What elements do you find representative of French society and morals?

Jean-Honore Fragonard:
The Swing

Negative Effects of Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery can do wonders but it could be a nightmare for those who haven't done their homework. Are the benefits worth the trouble?
Cosmetic surgery has grown six-fold in the last ten years. No longer restricted to the rich and famous, cosmetic surgery is now within the reach of middle-class Americans and, as statistics will show, more and more of them are looking to surgery to improve themselves and their lives. The benefits of cosmetic surgery are both obvious and subtle. Cosmetic surgery changes the physical appearance resulting in a lift of self-esteem that in turn increases the quality of life. Ask anyone who has had a procedure and they will provide you a long list of benefits.

But what about bad plastic surgery? As with every coin, the cosmetic surgery coin has a flip side-a price to be paid for benefits received. The cost of cosmetic surgery can put a huge strain on the family budget, particularly when the cost exceeds the estimate. Estimates for cosmetic surgery are usually just for the procedure itself. If anesthesia is used, the anesthesiologist must be paid. If there are complications the hospital stay may be extended. In addition, there is a cost to post operative care including post-op medications. Sometimes the time off work must be extended to further address the healing process. All of these strain the family's financial resources. With the exception of reconstructive surgery, elective cosmetic surgery is not covered by insurance.

Psychologists are finding that often there is a heavy emotional and psychological price to pay for cosmetic surgery. Two thirds of patients who seek cosmetic surgery will return for another surgery. Some of them will sink into the psychological abyss of body dysmorphic disorder - a condition where the patient's body image is so distorted that no amount of surgery can correct it. Yet, they are so obsessed that they seek one surgery after another often jumping from surgeon to surgeon. This is not a condition that can be fixed by surgery - it is condition that requires professionals to help change the patient's view of their body.

Cosmetic surgery has the same risks as any surgery: The risk of infection, the risk of organ failure during surgery, and the risk of an allergic reaction to medications. The American Medical Associations urges patients to use due diligence before having cosmetic surgery-interview the surgeon, get references, be fully aware of physical, psychological, and financial complications. Armed with thorough information, the patient can make a good decision and be prepared for the contingencies.

 Image of Madonna

 image of Sharron Osbourn

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