Is There Maths Behind Breast Beauty? A Question For Research…

I am is thrilled to announce a fascinating collaboration with Plastic Surgeon Olivier Alexandre Branford MA, MBBS, PhD, FRCS(Plast), London, UK.
When Olivier first approached me I was quite stunned to learn from him that there is no official aesthetic guide for plastic surgeons involved in breast reconstruction or augmentation. So the results of procedures are subject to each individual surgeon’s own ideals. This is not true in other areas of plastic or reconstructive surgery. As I often have clients visit me for a shoot pre mastectomy or post reconstruction, this is a subject close to very my heart.
Our paper will be submitted to the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to encourage surgeons to learn from art and artists and to aim for natural results when reconstructing breasts after cancer or to avoid distorted results in aesthetic surgery.
“Although ideal aesthetic proportions for the face, nose and body have been described in art, and have been used to plan aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, the female breast in art has not received such mathematical scrutiny. It is surprisingly not known if breast beauty can be considered archetypal in nature or if it is merely subject to ‘fashion’. It is essential during planning successful breast surgery to have an aesthetic goal, and to make a precise surgical plan” Olivier Alexandre Branford MA, MBBS, PhD, FRCS(Plast).

So where should plastic surgeons should seek inspiration from…? Why Art of course!

 Venus de medici
I am involved as a co-author of Olivier’s paper  entitled:

A Study of the Last 2,000 years of Natural Breast Shape in Art to Inform Aesthetic Surgery: Is breast beauty archetypal or subject to fashion?

Olivier Branford’s key thoughts and research points:
“First the norm for the body’s appearance must be ascertained, but the true surgeon and artist cannot rest there he must discover a norm that is endowed with the aura of an ideal beauty.”
  • Let’s look to art for ideal beauty…
  • Why do we not try to decipher beauty ideals in art to help us better achieve aesthetic goals?
  • How to select the most beautiful nudes in art history? There is no top 100 in art!
  • As surgeons we can learn from artists about natural beauty
  • Breast beauty in art has not changed in over 2,000 years and still reflects natural beauty
  • We should not contribute to distortions of beauty through marketing and poor surgical planning
  • The aim outcome: Positive female body image
D R Millard’s Book: Principalization of Plastic Surgery 1986
Is a treatise on the essentials of guiding the practice of plastic surgery 8th Principle “Know the beautiful ideal normal.” What Millard actually said: “Since the normal is our goal, and reconstructive surgeon must know the normal, be sensitive to it and use it as a guide and challenge. Still the true plastic surgeon will go further to know the ideal beautiful normal.
Methods & Results:
An analysis of almost 150 celebrated Venus nudes Over more than 2,000 years
To determine if there is a recurring mathematical geometric ideal in art that may inform our aesthetic goals as surgeons. From a compiled a list of every celebrated Venus in the history of art analyse according to the principles in 45:55 article (Date range: 115 BC to 2005 AD) there was only a 1.4% change in upper pole to lower pole ratio in over 2,000 years!
Unfortunately as it stands there is little objective data in plastic surgical literature to define an aesthetically pleasing template for breast shape and proportion, so we are both very excited to use a scientific study of art to bring a science to plan excellent aesthetic outcomes!


Exhibition Runs 2nd Feb 2017 – 2nd Mar, 2017


​Thursday 2nd February sees the Opening Reception for Victoria Rowley’s Exhibition: Show Off Silks, 7 – 9pm at Nam Long Le Shaker, 159 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 0LJ

Victoria Rowley

Victoria Rowley with her work

Featured in Wallpaper*, I shot some of Victoria’s ground breaking collection for her in 2016 featuring Roman Spirit amongst other works. As you may know Victoria is a longstanding muse of mine as well as considered my alpha Venus! A print an textile designer by trade and graduate of LCF this exhibition shows off her complex and provocative patterns, composed of abstract images; orchids blooming around patterned phalluses and other organic minglings, illustratively applied via beautifully layered Procion prints to delicate silks.

Read more at wallpaper.com









Who is Aphrodite? What is she?

This interview was conducted on 11 July 2016 by Kim L. E. Pratt for part of the Dissertation section of her MA in Classical Studies entitled:- Who is Aphrodite? What is she?: An art historical study of the goddess of love and beauty through time and the senses.
This dissertation is an art historical study on the goddess Aphrodite in which I aim to show that the way in which the goddess is perceived is contextually dependent – both culturally and personally. In order to do this I look at three different images in three different media and three different time periods. I approach the subject from a sensory perspective in order to fully understand the experience of viewing from the perspective of the artist, model (if appropriate) and subsequent viewers. I also consider the images through the stone/flesh dichotomy of Ovid’s Pygmalion. In Chapter One, I look at the statue of Aphrodite of Knidos created by Praxiteles in c.350 BCE. I consider the process of her creation from the use of Praxiteles’ lover, the courtesan, Phryne as his model and the carving of the statue in quarry and workshop to the sensory experience of cult worship and the statue’s reception in antiquity until it’s demise in the fifth-century CE. Chapters Two and Three concentrate on the reception of the goddess, under her Roman name of Venus, in the later Christian world of the Italian Renaissance (Chapter Two) and the more secular world of today (Chapter Three). For the Renaissance I look at the medium of painting through Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and in Chapter Three I go on to consider how this painting became the basis of her modern day image. I examine how the perception of the goddess changed over the course of the twenty- and twenty-first centuries with the rise of the suffragette movement and feminism and, through the medium of photography, I consider how she is viewed today by the female artist, Grace Vane Percy, by looking at two
images from her book, Venus.



3rd February 2016

There’s more than meets the eye when fabric artist Victoria Rowley poses with her own work.


Artists are rarely so comfortable in their skin as Victoria Rowley. Legs that are endlessly elegant (CHIC, two down) and a face of incomparable beauty, it’s a wonder that you haven’t come across her before. Perhaps it’s because she’s been up to her elbows in mysterious dyes, colouring silks and studiously creating undeniably erotic images, mixing images of the botanical with the male sex for the last few years. Now she’s managed to get the stains off her hands, she’s doing more than rolling up her sleeves to bring her creations to life.

Rowley gives a great deal of thanks to the photographer Grace Vane Percy in her development as an artist. The two have previously worked together. Rowley modelled as none other than the mistress of all things sex, Venus, for Vane Percy in 2011. Seeing herself romanticised and draped over surfaces like silk gave her an appreciation for her body that she would otherwise have never achieved. With this confidence, Rowley has draped herself once again, to complement her otherwise androcentric work. By joining her illustrations of erect phalluses on silk with her own body, she explores the complexities of female libido.

It would be too easy to dismiss Rowley’s work as capitalising on her own supernatural form. There is a depth to the message that she is learning to communicate and it is admirable that she commits to exploring her ideas with her own form in such a vulnerable and exposed way. This current project, entitled the Lamella and Pudenda series is ongoing, with an aim to complete 20 works this year. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one…

Victoria Rowley works to commission: http://www.victoria-rowley.com/

ANTIQUITY & PHOTOGRAPHY: The Open University (London), September 10 2015

Grace is honoured to be participating in a Q&A as part of: The Open University (London), Antiquity & Photography Colloquium on September 10 2015


The fantasy of capturing the ancient world on film has fired the popular imagination ever since the early 19th century. Whether allowing armchair tourists the opportunity to view ancient sites without the need for travel, or reanimating ancient history and myth in flesh and blood, rather than pen and paint, the camera has, for more than two centuries, channelled a unique vision of the distant past. But while cinema’s relationship with antiquity has been endlessly studied in recent years, the same cannot be said of still photography, in all its forms. From the earliest days of the daguerreotype, which quickly became a valuable means of depicting archaeological sites, to the artistic photography of the present day, which can variously recreate and redestroy antiquity using both analogue and digital processes, the photographic medium is a powerful vehicle for exploring and commenting on our relationship to the past, which deserves to be examined in much more detail.

This one-day colloquium aims to provide a forum for colleagues interested in this area of research, in which any question or topic related to the theme of Antiquity and Photography can be discussed. In particular, it is hoped that the colloquium will explore some of the more creative and/or subjective ways in which photography has addressed the ancient past, in addition to its use as a tool for documenting archaeological finds.

10.30-11          Registration 

11-1                 Panel 1

Joanna Paul (Open University), ‘Time’s Relentless Melt: capturing Pompeii in contemporary art photography’

Shelley Hales (University of Bristol), ‘Commemorating the Dead: Pompeian corpses and post-mortem photography’

Clemence Schultze (University of Durham), ‘Borrowed authority: photography in reconstructing the Parthenon’

Ian Walker (University of South Wales), ‘Photographing the Parthenon frieze at one remove’

1-2                   Lunch

2-3.30              Panel 2

Jill Mitchell (University of Wales Trinity Saint David), ‘How to Record Life Moments: Photography as a means of recreating moments of a life in antiquity’

Alison Rosenblitt (University of Oxford), ‘Cummings’ Paganism and the Photography of Marion Morehouse’

Zena Kamash (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘Site Seeing: visitor photography at Pompeii from the late 19th century to the present day’

3.30-4              Break

4-6                   Panel 3

Katy Soar (University of Sheffield), ‘Framing the Minoans: Representing Knossos in early twentieth century postcards’

Amanda Couch (University for the Creative Arts Farnham, and Creative Arts Education), ‘Dust, (photographic) grain, livers and me’

A Q&A session with Grace Vane Percy, photographer (Venus, Quartet Books, 2014)



Olympia 2015

Start Time:
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 – 16:00 to 17:00
Jeremy Musson – author of English Country House Interiors, How to Read a Country House and more
Christopher Vane Percy – Past President of the BIID and Past Regional Chairman of the Historic Houses Association
Grace Vane Percy – Acclaimed Photographer

 A talk looking at the relationship between grand country houses and the art, textiles and sculpture they showcase.

English stately homes are exquisite places to live. They are also magnificent living museums. The collections within these historic houses embody the personal identity of the owners, expressing their taste and stature whilst demonstrating a continued patronage of the arts and artisans. But what is the relationship between these grand country houses and the art, textiles and sculpture they showcase? The discussion explores the intertwining history of Britain’s finest buildings as family homes and art galleries. The fusing of home and culture which carries right through to the modern day as it informs the interior design of properties for today’s wealthy and elite.

Speakers’ Biographies: 

Jeremy Musson is an architectural historian, author, broadcaster and historian buildings consultant. His area of special interest for the past 20 years has been the history and design of the English country house – although he has also worked on other important buildings including cathedral churches and colleges. Architectural Editor of Country Life in 1998-2007, and presenter of BBC2’s The Curious House Guest in 2006-2007, he has written widely on historic and contemporary architecture and is author of several books including How to Read a Country HouseEnglish Country House Interiors, and The Drawing Room. Born in 1965, he lives in Cambridge with his wife and family.

After starting his career with Asprey, London, Christopher Vane Percy formed CVP Designs in 1971, operating from above its Mayfair showroom until the mid-eighties. Christopher Vane Percy is a Past President of British Institute of Interior Design and until June last year a board member of the BIID as Heritage and Environment Director. Until 2014 Christopher was also The Regional Chairman – East Anglia – of the Historic Houses Association, a five year appointment. In 2013 he was appointed a trustee of Moggerhanger Park, where he has been working using his formidable talents to breathe life into this Soane masterpiece.

Grace Vane Percy specialises in Female Nude portraiture, predominantly for private clients. In her work she combines the concept of the classical nude and traditional photographic technique to capture timeless images of female beauty.  Her signature atmospheric, flattering lit portraits have made her name in this field. She trained at Central Saint Martin’s, before going to study fine art and the techniques of the Old Masters in Florence. At the end of 2014 Grace released her first book entitled ‘VENUS’ and enjoyed her first solo exhibition – the culmination of a four years worth of research and work, for which Grace was also responsible for all editing, layouts and oversight of the specialist print process.

Venus Event at Foyles: Wednesday 29th April 2015 7pm – 8:30pm


Please come along to Foyles at 107 Charing Cross Road Event:

Drawing from the classical tradition of the nude in art history, photographer Grace Vane Percy’s portraits of ordinary, extraordinary women seek to at once explore the naked female figure and to celebrate femininity and beauty in all forms.

At Foyles to discuss her collection Venus, a book of black and white film photographs of nudes juxtaposed against the backdrop of some of England’s most important stately homes, Percy will explore the classical tradition and its influence, the representation of women’s bodies and the significance of the goddess of beauty whose name inspires the selection.

Vane Percy’s work specializes in nude female portraiture, looking to empower her subjects and contextualize the mode within a wider art and photographic history. Invited to join the Women in Photography archive at Yale in 2004, Percy practices between London and New York, where she has shot in Matthew Brady’s original studio.

In conversation with Suzan Antonowicz, Head of International and Beauty at The Independent, David Fletcher, fine art and antiques valuer and regular on BBC show Flog It, and author and broadcaster Jeremy Musson, this is an insight into the work of a contemporary art practitioner and an exploration of the representation of women today.

A complimentary drink will be available for customers at this event. Book signing too!

Venue: The Auditorium at Foyles, Level 6, 107 Charing Cross Road



Independent Magazine February 2015

Idependent On Sunday 21.02.15

Historic House Magazine January 2015

Venus Review: Historic House

Venus Review: Historic House Magaizne

A wonderful review by Jeremy Musson in the current Spring Edition of Historic House Magazine.

Exhibition of Prints from VENUS at Patrick Jefferson December 2014

PJ Venus Page

I’m thrilled to announce my first solo exhibition which will be hosted by Patrick Jefferson at 69 Pimlico Road, London from 5th – 13th December.

Please do come and take a look at the selection of limited edition silver gelatin, fibre based, hand prints from VENUS.

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