This Year's Pirelli Calendar Is The Rawest, Most Beautiful Yet

The Pirelli calendar is straying further and further from its naked-women-and-fast-cars look, and we couldn't be more here for it. The 44th edition of the calendar, unveiled Wednesday in Paris, was once again shot by a legendary photographer. This time it's Peter Lindbergh, who is the only person to shoot his own calendar three times.

He follows on the heels of Annie Leibovitz, Steve McCurry, and Steven Meisel, each of whom sought to capture a femininity that went beyond the airbrushed "perfection" of years past. Lindbergh, too, is working in a mode that eschews traditional hallmarks of glamour.

“My aim was to portray women in a different way,” Lindbergh says in a release. “And I did it by calling in actresses who’ve played an important role in my life, getting as close as possible to them to take my photos. As an artist, I feel I’m responsible for freeing women from the idea of eternal youth and perfection. The ideal of perfect beauty promoted by society is something that simply can’t be attained.”

The women he photographed are goddesses of cinema. They include, in alphabetical order, Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlotte Rampling, Lea Seydoux, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet, Robin Wright, and Zhang Ziyi. Lindbergh also photographed political theory professor Anastasia Ignatova of Moscow State University of International Relations.

His name for the calendar is "Emotion." True to its title, the camera gets close to enough to reveal a near-uncomfortable intensity. We love the power of these women, and the power of the images captured of them.

Click through to see a sampling.

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