The Renaissance marked an era in Europe when beauty in art and literature were at the forefront of new ideas... launching an educational revolution, a deviation from the Middle Ages, and a revolution of physical beauty.
Affluent women perched beneath the sun for hours letting dyes made from onion skins, sulfur, alum, and saffron turn their hair a brighter shade of blonde. They tirelessly and painfully plucked and threaded their hairline to elude a wider, higher forehead (or a “five-head” as Tyra Banks likes to call it.) The women of France and Italy would go to great measures for beauty, mixing powders from cinnabar (vermilion,) white lead, and mercury to dust their skin a creamy shade of ivory. Eyebrows were pale and thin. The women of the Renaissance proudly boasted a fuller figure… it was seen as a gift from god.
There was a certain sensuality of the Renaissance, delicate faces and soft bodies; summed up through the eyes of the greats that encapsulated the understated beauty of 15th Century European women.
“Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous.” – Leonardo Da Vinci