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Tags  →  beauty

A lovely image © by Ekaterina Romakina, a beautiful photographer who takes beautiful pictures of beautiful women

Margot Kidder
17th October 1948 – 13th May 2018

Like many people, I remember Margot Kidder as a wonderful Lois Lane in the movie Superman with Christopher Reeve - likely to remain the best Superman movie ever.

Also like many people (I suspect), I didn't know anything about the rest of the Canadian-American actress's interesting life, which is worth reading about.

And as I get older (Margot was born not long after I was) I reflect that good movies are an enduring memorial to actors and actresses no longer with us, especially poignant when an actor's life is tragically cut short, as Reeve's was.

Liz Bonnin is a great (and beautiful) ambassador for wildlife conservation, the environment, and science.

One way in which she demonstrated this was in BBC3's superb series Mission Galapagos (follow the link if you would like to read my article about it).

Such ambassadors have never been needed more than now.

The image comes from a post about a wildlife conservation event created by wildlife and landscape artist Francesca Sanders (whose work is well worth checking out).

Two lovely examples of Serge Marshennikov's paintings of beautiful women, which include many very fine nudes

Thanks to blacksock for discovering this artist for me!

Self-portrait by Ekaterina Romakina, a beautiful photographer who takes beautiful pictures of beautiful women

Untitled portrait by Ekaterina Romakina (found, as so many other nice things, on the fine pages of Jerry)

“Solar” © by Sergey Betz, whose other work is well worth checking out (includes some very nice artistic nudes)

Untitled photo © by Olesya Pominova - another find on the fine pages of Jerzee55sst (Jerry)

(Click his tag to see lots more of his good stuff that I have gratefully snaffled over the years)

Such a beautiful use of autumn colours, from my friend ArtistryBySandy

Poldark (the BBC TV productions and the books by Winston Graham)

Two reasons why the 2015 BBC remake of its 1975 original was so popular are not hard to find...

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark. Aidan was previously best known for playing Kili, an improbably handsome dwarf, in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit.

Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza. Eleanor's best role (prior to Poldark) was probably Georgiana Darcy in the excellent BBC adaptation of P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley.

The name “Demelza” is apparently Old Cornish for “Fort of Maeldaf” or “Fort on the Hill”, but Winston Graham is said to have derived it to mean “Thy Sweetness”, with “Melza” being originally derived from an old French word for honey.

Whatever, Demelza will always be associated for me with a feisty red-haired Cornish waif, who develops through hardships and class barriers in a way that still resonates today.

It was Angharad Rees's memorable portrayal of her in the 1975 TV series (right) that made her perhaps Britain's best-loved redhead (Demelza is a dark-haired lass in Winston Graham's novels). When I started watching the new series I felt that Angharad as Demelza would be a tough act to follow... but Eleanor has done the series proud.

I didn't start reading the 12 Poldark novels until I had watched the recent TV series, which brings me to another reason why the latest BBC remake has been so successful: the stories on which it is based (the first two novels, and a bit of the third novel).

Winston Graham's writing combines an almost cinematic quality of description with powerful character relationships that drive the suspenseful story, a fascinating historical background, and (in Ross Poldark) a humane view of the injustices and hardships of the times and a positive struggle to do something about them.

The latest TV adaptation has taken full advantage, doing a great job of conveying the first few novels to the screen. This isn't Downton Abbey, BTW - it's a much grittier and deeper story altogether.

(BTW, if you have watched the 2015 remake on PBS in the USA, you may know that PBS cut several small, important scenes from your version to suit its schedule - an act of artistic vandalism IMO. Buy the uncut DVDs!)

The above image was taken from a truly excellent blog post by Michael J. Bayly - a link well worth following.

I also strongly recommend Winston Graham’s Demelza: developing an 18th century Cornish world, a very thoughtful and deep analysis of the second novel, which will also tell you a great deal about the others.

The title of the third novel, BTW, is a little misleading (at least to me). It gave me the impression that the novels were a saga spanning generations, whereas in fact Jeremy Poldark is an unborn infant for most of that novel. I am currently reading The Black Moon (written after a gap of 20 years, although there is no sign of this in the writing), but so far as I can tell, the principal characters remain throughout the whole series.

So far, I am experiencing that rare thing: a set of novels and a screen adaptation that are equally satisfying. I look forward to Season 2!

Thanks to my friend Ceara for this beauty from Rob Hefferan

If you like this...

[You might like the romantic tag - just a suggestion!]

“Marina”, a beautiful portrait © by Sergey Spoyalov - thanks, Lex!

“Love Song” © by Ivan Lee, whose other work is well worth checking out

Gratefully snaffled from Lexlu4's great pages - thanks, Lex!

“Imagine” by Nikki Harrison

Autumnal colours in a rather beautiful form - thanks, Lexlu4 (Lex)!

This 18-year old Middlesbrough teenager appeared on BBC Breakfast a short while back, and I can tell you that she has a smile that can light up your entire day.

Her name is Jade Jones, and she's a T54 wheelchair track athlete for Great Britain and the British record holder over 400/5000m.

She represented GB at the London 2012 Paralympics, and won the bronze medal in the women's para-sport 1500m in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The London 2012 Olympics were watched by a good proportion of the entire planet. The USA, however, largely missed out on the London 2012 Paralympics, due to a perceived or actual lack of interest by USA viewers (or maybe just by NBC), and so missed out on an extraordinary communal party that equalled or even eclipsed the Olympics.

The sheer feel-good factor of both events lifted the spirits of Britain (and maybe other countries) in a way that is good to look back on now. However the Paralympics also changed forever the view of “disability” for everyone who watched it.

I observed afterwards that the American political system (unlike very many American people) seems to suffer more than most from disability, dysfunction, negativity, under-achievement, non-cooperation and meanness of spirit - the exact opposite of what we watched, especially in the Paralympics.

There has been so much to enjoy in the recent Commonwealth Games, not least the fact that normal and para events have been integrated. It seems quite normal (at least to UK audiences) now. The larger Olympics, at least in 2016, won't be able to integrate the events in this way, but only because (I have heard) they would simply become too large.

The Olympics and Paralympics were the best thing to happen in Britain (IMO) in 2012, and perhaps for many years to come. Because of this, I put a lot of effort into recording the events, with images, commentary and links to some great music, for my own benefit and maybe for others who missed out:

The short version (from my web site):

[The beautiful games]

The full versions (linked to from the short version):

[Olympics opening ceremony]
[International inspiration to young people: Jessica Ennis and Denise Lewis]
[The fabulous Olympics closing ceremony]
[The stunning Paralympics opening ceremony (visit this, if nothing else!)]
[Royal Mail commemorative stamps, one for each paralympic gold medal winner (with links to each winner featured)]
[My review of the Paralympics, and the closing ceremony]

A beautiful untitled portrait by Anna Gusarova

(BTW, if you didn't know already: the Chrome browser is great for viewing pages in foreign languages, since it has an automatic translation facility.)

If you like this...

[All portraits from this site, sorted by popularity]
[Ginger-Snap's fine collection of redheads]

"Marusya" by Bozhena Puchko, whose other work is well worth checking out

Thanks to Jerzee55sst (Jerry) for this one!

The Hollywood beauty Jessica Alba

Best known for her looks, she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama for Dark Angel, a series co-created by James Cameron.

Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, one of many good reasons for watching the superb Danish political thriller Borgen
(see my previous post below)

“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle...

“I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made...

“Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.”

The timelessly beautiful Marilyn Monroe, photographed by Carl Perutz

Thanks to my friend Sandy for this one!

This delightful lady is (IMO) one of the UK's finest imports from Spain. Tamara Rojo, who is Principal Ballerina at the English National Ballet, has recently also been appointed its Artistic Director.

I saw her talking about her new role (which she manages to combine with dancing) on BBC's Breakfast show. Her bubbly, positive personality reminded me greatly of the beautiful Brazilian-French actress Bérénice Bejo, whose smile as Peppy Miller in that wonderful movie The Artist could brighten anyone's day.

(If your day needs further brightening, you might also like these posts.)

I have to say that Marion Cotillard is fast becoming one of my favourite film actresses.

It helps, of course, that (IMO) she is one of the most beautiful women on the planet...

(Desktop wallpaper - click image for source)

However, she is also a very fine actress, as demonstrated in this recently-released movie (which I strongly recomment if you haven't seen it):

The movie co-stars the muscular Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts as Ali, an ex-fighter living a bleak life low on the income scale, accompanied by his young son from a failed relationship. The name of the movie, appropriately enough, refers to the taste in your mouth if you are on the receiving end of a hard punch.

The basic story sounds unlikely, and tells you little: Stéphanie, a trainer of Killer Whales at a marineland park, loses both legs above the knee in a horrific accident. Initially suicidal, she recovers her life through a developing relationship with the unsentimental, flawed Ali.

This is not a love story, in the conventional sense. What Ali offers Stéphanie comes through an unpitying friendship and (eventually) sex, and is one of the most moving human relationships that I have ever seen in the cinema.

This is not a special effects movie, either - it is about as far from one as you can get. However, it contains the most jaw-dropping special effects that transform Marion Cotillard into a paraplegic, with or without the prosthetics that she eventually receives. This is really "art concealing art" - the technique is so good that it vanishes from view, and you simply accept what you are looking at. (If you're interested, an outline description of the technique used by Mikros Image can be found some way down on this page).

For more on the movie, see this review from The Guardian or click one of the following images for more links.

Stéphanie with Ali, in a sequence where he persuades her to come into the sea with him

Stéphanie re-enacting her lost relationship with the Killer Whale, which apparently moved the audience to tears at the Cannes Film Festival

The reunion scene. Stéphanie, walking on prosthetics, appears in front of an empty tank, and taps on the glass. Time passes, and then the Orca appears and rises up in front of her. "its vast shadow falling like a benediction" (as Rachel Cook writes here in The Observer. This is the best screenshot that I could find (I'll add a better one later when I get the DVD!).

After watching Rust and Bone I seriously wanted to check that Marion Cotillard still has those lovely legs - and she does

If you like this, you might like Marion Cotillard in...

[La Vie en Rose (her Oscar-winning performance as Edith Piaf)]
[Nine (a sizzlingly hot musical based on Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical movie )]
[Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen's feather-light time-travel romantic comedy, one of his most delightful films)]

The beautiful Christina Hendricks - one of several good reasons for watching Mad Men

(This popular wallpaper was apparently published by Eggshellgb on deviantART as a retouch of a bad production photo, but has now disappeared from there. If you want to find a full-size original, first click the image above, then select Larger than... 800x600, then go to Options, Advanced Search and select an aspect ratio of Wide - good luck!)

One of the best features of the Olympics (IMO) is the inspiration that it provides for young people - and two inspiring (and beautiful!) Olympic athletes are the heptathlon champions Jessica Ennis and Denise Lewis.

Jessica Ennis MBE was awarded, among many other things, "Most Inspirational Sportswoman of the Year" at the 2010 Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards.

Denise Lewis OBE, now retired from athletics and one of the BBC's regular commentators at the London 2012 Olympics, won gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In July 2009, Denise became an International Inspiration Ambassador for London 2012's international sports legacy programme.

(Click the images for their various sources.)

Denise at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996

Denise appearing on Desert Island Discs

London 2012's international sports legacy programme is making a big difference to the lives of young people all around the world. Check it out!

Some beautiful images © by the Ukrainian photographer Jaroslav Monchak, whom I was introduced to (as to so much other good stuff) by aldchronicle56 (Allan)

[For more good stuff that Allan has sent my way, click his tag at the top of this post...]

Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo at Cannes...

...and Bérénice Bejo in London (image from here)...

...two amazingly good-looking people who have shot to international fame in that wonderful movie The Artist

If you haven't seen the film yet, may I highly recommend it. It is good old-fashioned entertainment, telling the story of George Valentin, a silent movie star being edged out by the talkies, and Peppy Miller, a beautiful, sparky newcomer who becomes a talkies star, and whom he is too proud to follow.

Although it is a silent movie (with music!), the movie has the same appeal as those great classics starring Gene Kelly or Fred and Ginger. Among many reasons for seeing it is Peppy's smile, which will light up your entire day.

(Bérénice, BTW, was born in Buenos Aires, a place known for its beautiful women. She moved to France when she was quite young.)

If you like this, try...

[The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec]

Doctor Who stepped up to a whole new level when Christopher Eccleston took over as the Doctor (followed by David Tennant) and Billie Piper played Rose, and for the first time Doctor Who gave us a genuinely poignant love story.

The latest series has different kinds of relationships between the main players. We have come to expect great things from the Doctor's "assistant", and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond was (for my money) the best reason for watching the latest incarnation.

I was looking for a picture like this (me feeling autumnal and all) and found it using a feature of Google Image Search that I hadn't noticed before. Using options that appear on the left after your initial selection comes up, you can select the predominant colour you are looking for (in this case brown) and image search will sort pictures with that predominant colour to the front. You can also select a minimum size picture you are looking for, and (if you go into advanced options) the aspect ratio also (in this case 'wide', meaning landscape instead of portrait).

(Bruno Dayan is noted for his sensual fashion photography, used to advertise brands like Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent.)

"Nastasiya", a very fine portrait by Valeriy Kasmasov (needs to be seen full size)

(More of this last model, whose name SU unfortunately scrambles, here)

Some of Ervin Sperla's fine portraits - thanks (again) to expressioniste (Aline) for introducing me to this fine photographer

(Check out Ervin's September 2010 archive also)

Another lovely redhead, beautifully photographed by Dmitry Ageev

(found on the nice pages of MsMiles)

If you like this...

[Titian beauty by Black Orchid]

"Brick Wall" by the Russian photographer BRoman (Brom)

This is one of nice sequence of portraits that (I think) starts here - and I also particularly like this one. Thanks, weepingbeauty!

A picture of Audrey Hepburn, one of many taken of her and other celebrities by the American fashion and celebrity photographer Mark Shaw

Found on the always-delightful pages of ensemble5

Beautiful portraits and abstract work by the Russian photographer Yana Bondareva, whom I discovered on the fine pages of Parkari

"Romance d'automne" by Evgenia Karica (elle-cannelle)

(and a poem with that title here)

Found on the always-beautiful pages of my friend chaotiqual.

"Peregrine Heathcote's paintings conjure a world of intoxicating glamour and intrigue, slipping across the boundaries of time to fuse iconic pre-war design with modern conceptions of beauty and silverscreen-era romance."

I snaffled this gratefully from Les's extraordinarily beautiful SU pages, where treasure is to be found no matter where you look.

Thankfully, Les is now here on Categorian!

A lovely image, copyright by the Russian studio ArtWom

BBC TV 'Mistresses' with Orla Brady and Sarah Parish
(Original post: August 25th, 2010)

I didn't see the previous two series of Mistresses, but I am greatly enjoying the third one.

The glam image to the left conveys a typical sex-and-shopping romp for the chicks, but (like the name "Mistresses") it doesn't convey anything of the current series, which is an excellently produced, fascinating working-out of tangled relationships with very little glamour.

I like all of the actresses who play the "Mistresses", but IMO the two who make it as good as it is are Orla Brady and Sarah Parish, shown below.

Hollywood moguls, apparently, consider that any woman over 40 is no longer attractive (an attitude that the typical Frenchman, for example, would consider barking). Orla Brady (who gave Wallander a brief interlude of happiness in the English-version episode called "Firewall"), is currently 49, and Sarah Parish is currently 42.

And then there is Sarah's screen mother, the still absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley, now 64 and wearing her age with beauty, dignity and grace.

Those Hollywood moguls need to wake up.

BTW: another multi-season BBC series featuring a fabulous collection of oldies (in this case mostly male, but including the wonderful Amanda Redman) is New Tricks. This still startles the BBC with record audiences whenever it slips a single episode of a past series into an inconvenient gap in its schedules.

Orla Brady and Sarah Parish

"Quiet Repose" by Steve Hanks

One of the many delights always to be found on the pages of Njoistumblin

(When I find out where she has moved to, I'll update this!)

(Original post: July 10th, 2008)

The beautiful Israeli model Bar Refaeli, photographed in Jamaica by the Canadian fashion, art and music photographer Raphael Mazzucco (whose other work is well worth checking out). Fans of swimsuit models will probably like the original Bar Refaeli photoshoot and the rest of the same site!

"Desert Rose", by Nusha Amini (~Negshin)

These are just two of many beautiful images that you will find on the delightful SU pages of artistrybysandy (Sandy). Sandy doesn't post actual pictures (at least, she hasn't so far) but her pages are a treasure-trove of pointers to great pictures, interesting scientific stuff and much more, all reflecting her lovely personality.

(When I find out where Sandy has moved to, I'll update this!)

The beautiful South African actress, film producer and former fashion model Charlize Theron

The beautiful Israeli model Bar Refaeli (and see my next post)

Fine drawings by the Oregon-based artist Michael W Ford

"Rocket Love", a great rainy-day song, sung by the Russian-born jazz vocalist Sophie Milman

Scarlett Johansson

The beautiful actress Scarlett Johansson

I have liked Scarlett ever since her great performance as the crippled teenager in The Horse Whisperer (a movie that IMO was even better than the book it came from).

"Ivet" by Tanya Gramatikova, one of my favourite photographers

Tanya has taken many pictures of this beautiful young model, who reminds me strongly of the young Scarlett Johansson (see my next post above)

[If you like this photographer, click her tag at the top of this post for more in this blog.]

Anna Kukhareva, photographed by Alena Nikiforova (Chayhana)

One of many beautiful images to be found on the pages of Indigorock

"Winter" by Oleg Zhizhiyan

The photographer obviously felt that this snowy landscape lacked a certain something!

Geoff Barrenger

True beauty, beautifully captured by fashion photographer Geoff Barrenger

Sometimes I know where a picture is to be found on-line, but I don't know who the author is. This time, owing to a failure in my filing system, it's the other way around!

Extraordinarily graceful and beautiful paintings by the contemporary Chinese artist Feng Chang Jiang

Artist found in the wonderful art collection of artisthaven - many thanks!

A stunningly beautiful model, beautifully photographed for Enrique Muthan by Geoff Barrenger

Thanks so much to tutto for this one.

Another picture (author unknown) of Aishwarya Rai, one of the most beautiful women on the planet...

"Umbrella Sky" by the Polish digital artist Marta Dahlig (`blackeri)

I notice that in the previous copies that I have seen circulated, her signature has been edited out, presumably by someone with no respect for the hard work and talent that it takes to produce a picture like this. I am very pleased to have found the original version.

An unusually beautiful example of this kind of fantasy art. The artist isn't credited on the site where this was originally found - but I have finally tracked her down, she is the French digital artist Melanie Delon, and this picture is titled "Elixir".

According to Melanie, it takes her about two weeks to create a painting like this. For more information, do visit her site.

"Healing (2006)"

An absolutely beautiful work of digital art, one of many by the Korean artist Hyung Jun Kim. Thanks to my friend cloud-weaver (Marina) for leading me to this one.