Gorgeous Portraits of Mostly Happy 100-Year-Olds

As a society, we tend to quietly sweep elderly people under the rug. Outside of that Smuckers-sponsored Willard Scott segment on the Today Show and the occasional hyperbolic news item on the rise of STDs in rest homes, we don’t see imagery of anyone over a certain age — unless they’re famous, and being trotted out to accept a lifetime achievement award. Perhaps this is why we’re so smitten by the close-up portraits in Jahrhundertmensch, a new series by German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen that we just spotted over on PetaPixel. Each of his wrinkled, centenarian subjects wears a slightly different expression; while many look directly into camera lens and flash a wide grin, others appear to be more pensive, lost in secret thoughts. The connecting visual thread? They’re all strikingly beautiful.

Photo credit: Karsten Thormaehlen