I stole the heading from my Caroline Maben Flower article. Vanity, thy Name… was the working title for the chapter that described her meeting artist Herman Kiekebusch in October, 1895. The landscape painter was born in Berlin 1857 and worked in Norway, Germany, and other alpine countries. She posed for one of his other works, and then he began a portrait of her.
About two months later, Caroline and Kiekebusch had thanksgiving dinner and later took in a variety show. That evening, he presented her the finished portrait. Apparently, the work did not meet her approval because on December 9, “…the artist Kiekebusch brought my painting back.”
Caroline’s great grand-niece owns the painting today. She suggests that Caroline’s nose as illustrated in the painting is a little more elongated and less turned up on the end, a feature that is quite pronounced in other pictures.
It is possible Caroline’s vanity and her desire to make the right impression was the reason for the “do over.”
Oh, man, I can relate.
Spring has finally arrived and I’ve been able to spend more time out of doors tramping through the backwoods without the need for sunscreen or insect repellent. Yesterday, we explored an abandoned mine site and found the foundations of a building. You can see I am safely shielded from UV rays and bugs.
Except the schnozz.
“I have Jean’s nose,” I commented on social media.
Good grief, will I ever unlearn the embarrassment of my mother’s pleas to have a nose job?
But my agonizing over the size of facial features on Facebook didn’t stop there!
Everyone in my newsfeed was posting their new avatars. But I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I wanted to join in the fun!
After several false starts, I finally found instructions, downloaded the app, and began creating.
What a horrible exercise – first it asked for a selfie – good god, what a nightmare – who is the jowly ghoul looking back at me? The software had similar thoughts, apparently, because it didn’t use my contribution. Instead I had to start from scratch and tweak each and every feature – eye size, colour, placement… I refused to consult the mirror so that I could select the most accurate option. But you can be sure, my attention-to-detail gene was deeply offended.
When it came to selecting the nose size, I almost lost it. The tablet that is. Oh how I wanted to throw the dang thing clear across the room.
But I didn’t. I simply closed the app and deleted it.
One thing I learned, though – besides a love of nature and rugged northern scenery, Caroline and I have vanity in common. And we are both uncomfortable about our noses
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Many thanks to Bart Swalm, Christine Brown, and Gail Kuriger for sharing the family photos with me.