Thursday, December 26, 2019

A red-haired Jesus by Van Gogh

Here's The Pietà, a painting made after Delacroix in 1889 and now kept in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

The museum relates how Van Gogh hastily began work on the Pietà: "The Delacroix lithograph La Pietà, as well as several others, fell into my oils and paints and was damaged. This upset me terribly, and I am now busy making a painting of it, as you will see." Although stained, the lithograph survived.

Red Hair in Art: Jules Joseph Lefebvre

Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836 - 1911) was a French figure painter, educator and theorist.

He won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1861, with the painting Death of Priam. Between 1855 and 1898 he exhibited 72 portraits in the Paris Salon. In 1891 he became a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts.

Since 1870 he worked as professor at the Académie Julian in Paris and on that same year he became Officer of the Légion d'honneur (Commander from 1898). Lefebvre is chiefly important as an excellent and sympathetic teacher, who numbered many Americans among his 1500 or more pupils.

Many of his paintings are single figures of beautiful women. Among his best portraits were those of M. L. Reynaud and the Prince Imperial (1874).

One of his models was the French Sarah Brown.

Clemance Isaure

Diane Surprised

Figure allégorique de profil

Fleurs des champs

Jeanne la rousse

Diana chasseresse

La douleur de Marie Magdalène

L'amour blesse

La fiancée

La boite de Pandore

Mary Magdalene in the Cave


Page of Paris-Noel

Portrait de femme aux cheveux roux

Young Woman with Morning Glories in Her Hair

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Red Hair in Art: Élisabeth Sonrel

Elisabeth Sonrel (1874 - 1953) was a French painter and illustrator in the Art Nouveau style. Her works included allegorical subjects, mysticism and symbolism, portraits and landscapes.

She painted above all large watercolours in a Pre-Raphaelite manner, which she adopted after a trip to Florence and Rome, discovering the Renaissance painters - some of her work having clear overtones of Botticelli. Her paintings were often inspired by Arthurian romance, Dante Alighieri's 'Divine Comedy' and 'La Vita Nuova', biblical themes and medieval legends.

At the Exposition Universelle of 1900, the primary theme of which was Art Nouveau, her 1895 painting 'Le Sommeil de la Vierge' (Sleep of the Virgin), was awarded a bronze medal, and the Henri Lehmann prize of 3000 francs by L'académie des Beaux-Arts. From 1900 onwards she confined her painting to portraits, scenic Brittany landscapes and the occasional flower study.

Portrait de femme aux yeux verts

Jeune femme au lys

Three Girls in the Walled Garden

The Circlet of White Flowers

Jeune femme aux hortensias

Majestic Peacock


Red Hair in Art: John Duncan

John Duncan (1866 - 1945) was a Scottish painter and a founder member of the Dundee Graphic Arts Association (now Dundee Art Society). He was part of the Celtic Revival movement.

The Riders of the Sidhe

Hymn to the Rose

Angus Og



St. Bride

The Messenger of Tethra

The Coming of the Bride

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

TV series with red-haired angels

A Brazilian TV series is going to be aired on Netflix, featuring angels with hair dyed red. The title is Ninguém tà olhando (Nobody is looking at you).
I don't know if it will be available in the UK.
You can see the trailer here.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Red Hair in Art: Frank Cadogan Cowper

Frank Cadogan Cowper (1877 - 1958) was an English painter and illustrator of portraits, historical and literary scenes, described as "The last of the Pre-Raphaelites".

He worked in both watercolours and oils, and also worked as a book illustrator - providing the illustrations for Sir Sidney Lee's The Imperial Shakespeare. He contributed to a mural in the Houses of Parliament in 1910 along with Byam Shaw, Ernest Board and Henry Arthur Payne.

As art fashion changed Cowper increasingly exhibited his portrait paintings but still continued to produce historical and literary works.

He was a member of the Royal Watercolour Society, of the Royal Academy and of the Society of Graphic Art.

His The Ugly Duckling was voted the favourite painting by visitors to the Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum in 2005.


Molly, Duchess of Nona


St Agnes in Prison Receiving from
Heaven the 'Shining White Garment'

La Belle Dam Sans Merci

A portrait of Fraunces, Beatrice, James and
Synfye, children of James Christie, Esq

Venetian Ladies Listening to the Serenade

Pre-Raphaelite Who's Who: Alexa Wilding

Alexa Wilding (born Alice Wilding, c. 1847 - 1884) was one of the favourite models of the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, featuring in some of his finest paintings of the later 1860s and 1870s. She sat for more of his finished works than any other of his more well-known muses, including Elizabeth Siddall, Jane Morris and Fanny Cornforth.

Comparatively little is known about Wilding, while Rossetti's other models, Siddall, Morris and Cornforth, are frequently written about. This is perhaps partly due to the lack of any romantic or sexual connection between the pair, which differentiates Rossetti's relationship with Wilding from those with his other muses.

In the 1881 census Alice Wilding was living at 33 Redcliffe Road, Kensington, with her two young children, Charles and Nellie Wilding. The identity of their father is not known. By this time Alexa held a position as a landlady and property-holder, a considerable achievement for a working-class woman.

Wilding was first seen by Rossetti in 1865, when she was walking one evening along the Strand. He was immediately impressed by her beauty.

In Rossetti's paintings, Wilding's elegant looks and ethereal beauty are easy to spot; the red hair, long neck, perfect Cupid's bow lips, and somewhat softer eyes compared to Lizzie Siddall's famed heavy-lidded ones.

Venus Verticordia

La bella mano

Alexa Wilding in the 1860s

La Ghirlandata

Veronica Veronese

Regina Cordium

Monna Vanna

The Bower Meadow

Lady Lilith