Fabulous Dolce & Gabbana advertisement in yesterday's Guardian.
Everything about this ad works - the position (inside front cover), the size (half-page), the use of full colour.
Above all, the creative impact is superb - brave and confident use of a wonderful photograph combined with the Dolce & Gabbana logotype (nothing else!).
There are so many ways in which this photograph works, but I am particularly impressed by the figure of the woman. I have no idea who the photographer is, but I would guess he is an Italian fully cognisant of Renaissance iconography. This is a classic "madonna", and the gaze of her sunglass-shielded eyes is one of rapture (note the tiny starburst in one of the lenses, as if she is exhibiting the Stella Maris).
Above: detail from Guido Reni's painting Disputa "the spotless Virgin in glory adoring the name of God".
All desire (sexual desire, material desire, desire for power etc) is supposed to be sublimated desire for the presence of God (did EH Gombrich say that? I can't remember).
Above: recently I read Richard E Spear's book on Guido Reni and his work. For all his prurient speculations about Guido Reni's sex life it is a very dull book and towards the end I was just skim-reading. I bought the book ages ago and it became lost under heaps of other books so that I have only just worked my way down to it (published in the mid-1990s it was in pristine condition and still shrink wrapped).