Morphing Women in Art

June 16th, 2007 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:

YouTube: Women In Art

Age Range: About 11 and up (mainly because this is on YouTube – see comments

NOTE: Parents, as always, should preview this website to determine
suitability of content for your own family.

YouTube is a resource I hesitate to feature in our ClickSchooling forum
because it’s not specifically for “General Audiences.” I decided to make an
exception when list member Eileen Norman recommended this YouTube video that
uses morphing technology to depict “500 years of female portraits in Western
art, from da Vinci to Picasso.”

When you get to the site, what you’ll see is a video that morphs together a
series of images from famous portraits of women painted by masters. You’ll
recognize the faces of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Botticelli’s Venus,
and the female subjects of paintings by Renoir, Raphael, Manet, El Greco,
Matisse, and Titian. This strange composite of one face becoming another
draws you in and is accompanied by the strains of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1
in G Major. It’s fascinating, mysterious, beautiful, and a bit

If you decide to go to YouTube to see this three-minute exhibit, you may
find it stimulates all kinds of conversation. At YouTube, site visitors are
allowed to post comments about what is displayed. (Warning: Some of the
commentary is civil and some is not – that’s why parents should preview this
site prior to viewing it with children to determine suitability.) Some of
the comments that could spark discussion include:

  • The ethnicity of the women.
  • The way the women are depicted by the male painters.
  • Whether the paintings reflect the cultural and societal biases of the
  • The “sameness” of the images, even though they depict different women and
    were painted by different artists.
  • The concepts of perfection and symmetry.
  • The feminine archetype through time.
  • What would a similar morphing of male portraits reveal?

Whether it leads to discussion or not, the composite is technically amazing
and worth seeing — and some of the glimpses of portraits might stimulate
further interest in Art History. :)


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