Recreated Renaissance masterpieces show how knowledge beats breast cancer 

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Breast Cancer Foundation NZ and Colenso BBDO and have launched The Survivor’s Collection campaign for breast cancer awareness month this October.

The campaign is centred around three Renaissance masterpieces that feature nude female models with breast cancer. Modern medical experts have agreed that the artists had unknowingly painted common signs of breast cancer and the models likely died from the disease.

These pieces have now been reimagined in remarkable photographs featuring Kiwi breast cancer survivors. Their breast cancer was detected and treated with the knowledge of modern medicine. They were photographed by award-winning photographer Steven Boniface and will be displayed at the Auckland Art Gallery.

“We would also like to personally thank the amazing women who feature in our portraits.”

“While the hidden danger within the original masterpieces is tragic, we also wanted to show that with the right knowledge and awareness, breast cancer can be overcome,” said BCF ceo Evangelia Henderson.

“That’s shown through the celebration of three women in our Survivor’s Collection.

“With the knowledge we have today, breast cancer is a disease that can be overcome and that’s the story we wanted to tell through The Survivor’s Collection. Just look at how far we’ve come in being able to treat it when you compare the tragedy of the original masterpieces to the brave women who feature in our recreations. Hopefully, they will serve as a reminder to us all that we should stay breast aware.” says Henderson.

Colenso head of account management Angela Watson said: “We would also like to personally thank the amazing women who feature in our portraits – what they have done is courageous and inspiring.”


Agency: Colenso BBDO
Client: Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand
BCF CEO: Evangelia Henderson
BCF Digital Communications Manager: Kim Barker
Survivors: Shona Kelway, Anete Smith, Kelly McDiarmid
Photographer: Steven Boniface
Stylist: Sarah Cooper
Hair & make-up: Natalie Clements
Retouching: Jason King
Post-production: Creature
Colourist: Pete Ritchie
Audio: Franklin Road
Special thanks: Auckland Art Gallery

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