19.02.20 - 04.10.20

The exhibition "The Earthly Beauty: Image of Woman in Folk Culture"

Every people had their own notions about woman beauty. The ideal physical appearance was started to be formed immediately after child’s birth. The “correct” physical appearance of a person was created by specific massage enforced by magic formulas in accordance with aesthetic cannons of particular ethnolocal community.

Coming of age girl received knowledge how the true beauty should look and how this image could be made. The motto “correct means beautiful” completely reflected traditional notions about woman beauty.  Physical appearance was corrected with help of hygienic means, decorative cosmetics and hairdo. Harmonious combination of jewelry and clothes created attractive silhouette. The conventional notions of beauty are brilliantly reflected in festive costumes of young women. It was the costume which helped to hide individual features of every figure, accentuating thin waist or wide hips, ample bosom of full legs.   In some cultures on the contrary, the shapes of body were hidden under loose clothes.  

The exhibition sections explicitly show the stage of creating an ideal woman image among various peoples: body– head – breast – hands – legs. The notions about hygiene, curative and decorative cosmetics, hair care means and diversity of hairdo variants, an also about peculiarities of woman figure shaping according to the folk ideas of attractiveness are shown with help of ethnographic exhibits of XIX-early XX cc.

Historical photographs from the collection of the  “Russian Museum of Ethnography” illustrate the “three ages” of woman beauty: girl of marriageable age, young woman, older woman.  

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