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Nicki Minaj has landed the cover of W magazine’s November 2011 issue. Artist Francesco Vezzoli transformed the rapper into 4 legendary women – famous 18th-century courtesans – with Dior Haute Couture dresses and vintage jewelry and shoes.

Vezzoli explained:

“In her performances, Minaj makes very explicit and ­challenging use of her beauty and her body, so I thought of comparing her to some of the most famous courtesans in history: the Marquise de ­Montespan, Comtesse du Barry, Madame de Pompadour, and ­Madame Rimsky-­Korsakov.

“My idea was to reproduce four iconic portraits of some of the most fascinating females of the past in a series starring an American pop-culture role model. We tried to re-create those original portraits using similar furniture, props, and clothing, à la Visconti. Luckily enough, the result came out as surreal as it could be, just as I wished.”

Interesting. We’ve seen Nicki in a lot of outfits, but nothing like this.

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