Saturday, April 23, 2022

Red Hair in Anne Catherine Emmerich

Anne Catherine Emmerich (also Anna Katharina Emmerick; 1774 – 1824) was a Roman Catholic Augustinian Canoness Regular of Windesheim, mystic, Marian visionary, ecstatic and stigmatist. 

She was born in Flamschen, a farming community at Coesfeld (Westphalia, Germany), and died at age 49 in Dülmen, where she had been a nun, and later become bedridden. Emmerich experienced visions on the life and passion of Jesus Christ, reputed to be revealed to her by the Blessed Virgin Mary under religious ecstasy.

During her bedridden years, a number of well-known figures were inspired to visit her. The poet Clemens Brentano interviewed her at length and wrote two books based on his notes of her visions. The authenticity of Brentano's writings has been questioned and critics have characterized the books as "conscious elaborations by a poet".

Emmerich was beatified on 3 October 2004, by Pope John Paul II.

Visions contained in The Life of The Blessed Virgin Mary were used during the discovery of the House of the Virgin Mary, the Blessed Virgin's supposed home before her Assumption, located on a hill near Ephesus, as described in the book Mary's House (neither Brentano nor Emmerich had ever been to Ephesus, and indeed the city had not yet been excavated).
In 1881 a French priest, the Abbé Julien Gouyet, used Emmerich's book to search for the house in Ephesus and found it based on the descriptions. The Holy See has taken no official position on the authenticity of the location yet, but in 1951 Pope Pius XII initially declared the house a Holy Place.

In 2003 actor Mel Gibson used Brentano's book The Dolorous Passion as a key source for his movie The Passion of the Christ.

Anna Katharina Emmerick by Gabriel von Max, 1885



Many of her works are available online for free, like this one, where we found several references to red hair:

- Those first human beings [Adam, Eve and their children] had beautiful skin of a yellowish tinge, which shone like silk, and their hair was reddish-yellow like gold.

- When I saw him in Egypt, Job was a large, powerful man of agreeable appearance; he had a yellowish-brown complexion and reddish hair.

- (Moses) His complexion was brown, bright and ruddy, his hair inclined to red.

- The Blessed Virgin had auburn hair, dark eyebrows, fine and arched, a very high forehead... 

- (John the Baptist) His face was thin and haggard; his expression, grave and austere; his auburn hair in curls over his head, and his beard short.

 Jesus' hair is described as "golden".



Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Red Redmaynes, by Eden Phillpotts


Eden Phillpotts (1862 – 1960) was an English author, poet and dramatist. He was born in Mount Abu, British India, educated in Plymouth, Devon, and worked as an insurance officer for 10 years before studying for the stage and eventually becoming a writer.

He co-wrote two plays with his daughter Adelaide Phillpotts, The Farmer's Wife (1924) and Yellow Sands (1926); but is best known as the author of many novels, plays and poems about Dartmoor. His Dartmoor cycle of 18 novels and two volumes of short stories still has many avid readers despite the fact that many titles are out of print


The Red Redmaynes is a detective story featuring two detectives, Mark Brendon, a young British police inspector who had risen rapidly with a string of successful cases, and Peter Ganns, a much older American, who appears in the second half of this rather long novel after Brendon has failed to make any progress.

The first half of the novel takes place on Dartmoor and then on the weather-beaten coast of Devon, and Phillpotts uses these bleak landscapes effectively to create an atmosphere of impending doom. Mark Brendon is down in Dartmoor on vacation, when something unusual happens: one man disappears in what seems to be a murder, but the prime suspect is also gone. The supposedly murdered man's wife, Jenny Pendean, asks Brendon for help, and so he starts looking into the mystery. The second half of the story is set in Italy, where Jenny visits her uncle Albert Redmayne.

The title refers to Redmaynes' hair colour. Here's an excerpt from the book: "He is now the last of the red Redmaynes, as our family was called in Australia." "Why the adjective?" "Because we were always red. Every one of my grandfather's children had red hair, and so had he. His wife was also red and the only living member of the next generation is red, too, as you see." "You are not red. Your hair is a most wonderful auburn, if I may say so."

According to reviews, the novel is on the style of Agatha Christie, although it doesn’t follow the format that later became recognisable as the traditional mystery novel. Phillpotts encouraged Christie to write and she dedicated to him the novel Peril at End House (1932). The Red Redmaynes was also admired by Jose Luis Borges, ending up at number 39 in his A Personal Library project that he never had the chance to finish.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

..and a final four paintings

Finally, to round off this rally of redheads, we have four more paintings. Each of which are quite unique in their own way.

First up this self-portrait by the artist Celia Frances Bedford.


Next up we have this one. It's by the American artist Guy Pène du Bois, and it's titled Girl in Striped Sweater. Very 20th century.

(Girl in Striped Sweater)

For the third we have this; Portrait of a Woman with a Blue Headband, by the artist Harrington Mann. This is a great image.

(Portrait of a Woman with a Blue Headband)

Lastly we have this - a very warm and richly coloured image, depicting a red-haired Mrs Cyprian Williams, along with her two red-haired children. It's by the British painter Philip Wilson Steer. Mrs Williams was an amateur artist who moved in the same circles as Steer.

(Mrs Cyprian Williams and her Two Little Girls, 1891)

And that's that.

..yet more red-haired artworks :)

An array of images that all have a vaguely Pre-Raphaelite feel now - or at least that's how I've grouped them.

No. 1: Cordelia's Portion by Ford Madox Brown (most definitely in the Pre-Raphaelite oeuvre).

(Cordelia's Portion)

(Cordelia's Portion - detail 1)

(Cordelia's Portion - detail 2)

No.2: The Boyhood of Alfred the Great by Edmund Leighton. (I'm not entirely sure which one's Alfred).

(The Boyhood of Alfred the Great)

(The Boyhood of Alfred the Great - detail)

No.3: This one's a tad more Pre-Raphaelite than the last. It's titled Apples, and is by the English painter Albert Joseph Moore. I really like this one.

(Apples - Albert Joseph Moore)

No.4: I really like this one too actually. Paolo and Francesca by Frank Dicksee.

(Paolo and Francesca)

(Paolo and Francesca - detail)

No.5: Finally, this one. Another beautiful painting. It's titled The Penance of Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester, and is by the American artist Edwin Austin Abbey.

(The Penance of Eleanor)

(The Penance of Eleanor - detail)

Madonna(s) With Child - Joos van Cleve

This one's a bit of an odd one - numerous depictions of the Virgin Mary with child Jesus. All looking suspiciously ginger. All by the Antwerp-based painter Joos van Cleve.

There are so many I keep getting deja vu thinking I've uploaded them on here before. We've featured many redheaded Madonna and Child paintings over the years, but I think these ones are all new to the blog. Though we have mentioned van Cleve previously, when we featured his equally ginger Altarpiece of the Lamentation.

So here goes..

(Madonna and Child)

(Virgin and Child)

(Madonna of the Cherries)

(Madonna and Sleeping Child
in a Landscape)

(The Holy Family)

(Madonna with Child)

(The Holy Family)

And finally we have an image of Mary alone in prayer. Again red-haired.

(The Virgin in Prayer)

(The Virgin in Prayer - detail)

Definitely images worth adding to the 'Was Jesus Ginger?' folder.

Glasgow School Cool.

A couple of Glasgow School artists now. Firstly, this piece by Jessie M. King.

(A Spray of Wild Hemlock)

Then next up these two redhead laden images, by the artist David Gauld.


(St Agnes)

The Ghosts of the French Heroes - Girodet

This painting is by the French artist Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson. Quite a name. The painting itself is equally complex. In fact, only a segment of the grand array of subjects depicted are red-haired.

It's titled Ossian receiving the Ghosts of the French Heroes, and it depicts French generals who fell during the Napoleonic Wars. (We mentioned Ossian not too long ago in relation to red hair here: Ossian, and his ancient Gaelic redheads _)

I've cropped-in to get a better illustration of the coppery-haired angelic figures that are arced around the bottom-left of the picture.