Vogue Netherlands is no stranger to controversy-courting. The blackface-centric editorial they published earlier this year was provocative in the grossest way possible. But in its upcoming October issue, Vogue Netherlands has a “provocative” photo that is actually pretty cool. It’s of a mother breastfeeding her baby, and it’s just weird enough to be interesting without going over the top.
Meant to reference famous portraits by Dutch painter Jan Vermeer, the photo shows model Ymre Stiekema (who is a new mother IRL and posed for the magazine while pregnant last year) dressed in 17th century garments and posed in the traditional stiff fashion. But she’s got her boob out and is feeding her baby, something you’d never see in a traditional Dutch portrait. I can just imagine the art director jumping around saying phrases like “iconic image,” “tradition meets modernity,” and “encompassing much of the Dutch female experience.”
Personally, I think it’s neat in an uncanny way, even if it is a naked attempt at causing a stir via images that are still somewhat taboo in western society. And while they are not naked, the other photos in the spread (titled “The Master and the Girl”) are fun eye candy as well. As it turns out, disorienting anachronisms photograph quite well.