Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Red-Haired Art - Through the AI Doorway

I windled away the afternoon today, feeding red-haired paintings into AI software.

The AI I was using was the following one:

I know very little about AI, so it was very much a walk into the unknown. My friend recently started using the site for his own videos, and seeing how interesting it was I couldn't help but have a go myself (if you open an account you get some free credits to make clips, so it's pretty easy.)

You basically just upload an image and the AI does the work. You can also add some lines of text to guide the process. Likewise you can generate footage from text directions alone, sans image. In fact, the first clip, showing a woman dancing beneath a full moon, was created that way. I think I put something along the lines of, "Red-haired woman, dancing beneath a starry sky, with a big moon", to generate that one.

Anyway, the video below showcases all the clips I got for my free credit, along with the original paintings. Some of the clips are quite disturbing, in that AI kind of way. Others are rather nice and arty. Impressive even. I'm actually tempted to take out a monthly subscription to play around some more, though I think I'll wait until I have some specific purpose in mind.

Incidentally, while I'm here I'll add my brief thoughts on AI in general. I pretty much view it as incredible software or data processing, rather than as intelligence per se. I don't believe it is, or ever will be, intelligent in a consciousness sense. So I don't want to perpetuate the scarier hype that surrounds it. However, I do think it's a truly revolutionary technology, that will change things immeasurably. I actually think the biggest danger posed by AI is that world governments will bring in totalitarianism to suppress individuals that become too empowered by it. So I view it as dystopic in a slightly different sense to many other commentators.

..Sorry, I'm getting a bit off topic for a blog about red hair.

Back to the paintings.

Here are the paintings I used, listed in order (many, no doubt, you'll already know):

1) Queen Elizabeth I - Armada Portrait, circa 1588

2) Portrait of Elizabeth Siddal - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

3) Roman Widow - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

4) The Penance of Eleanor Duchess of Gloucester - Edwin Austin Abbey

5) Poppies - George Henry

6) The Sorrow of Mary Magdalene - Jules Joseph Lefebvre

7) La Parisienne Japonaise - Alfred Stevens

8) Illustration from 'Dream Land' - Florence Harrison

(I really love this image, it has that Peter Pan type sense of wonderment. The generated images were fittingly storybookish.)

9) Beata Beatrix - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

As mentioned earlier, I didn't note the exact text instructions I added in an attempt to guide the AI, but with this one it was something like, "The woman is bathed in light, as God answers her prayers." So that might explain the weird supernatural, 2001 Space Odyssey type vibe.

9) Miss Lisa Minghetti - Philip de Laszlo

10) Portrait de femme aux cheveux roux - Jules Joseph Lefebvre

11) Zodiac Calendar for La Plume, 1897 - Alphonse Mucha

12) A Spray of Wild Hemlock - Jessie M. King

13) Helen of Troy - Frederick Sandys

14) Femme a la blouse - Moise Kisling

15) The Virgin in Prayer - Joos van Cleve

16) La Ghirlandata - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

17) Regina Cordium - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

18) Woman Science - Eugene Grasset

19) An Orthodox-looking Saint Mary Magdalene (not sure of the provenance here)

20) The Good Book - Federico Zandomeneghi

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Red Hair in Art: Perugino's Last Supper

Pietro Perugino (born Pietro Vannucci, c. 1446/1452 – 1523), was an Italian Renaissance painter of the Umbrian school, who developed some of the qualities that found classic expression in the High Renaissance. Raphael was his most famous pupil. He was born in Città della Pieve, Umbria.

The Last Supper (1493–1496) is a fresco located in the refectory, now museum, of the former Convent of Fuligno located on Via Faenza #42 in Florence. It depicts Jesus and the Apostles during the Last Supper, with Judas sitting separately on the near side of the table, as is common in depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art. It is considered one of Perugino's best works.

Detail of Jesus and St. John (in other photos the hair looks less red).

James the Less and James the Great also look reddish.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Wholesome Red Hair ..With Fries

This is not paid for product placement (!)

We've noted red hair in adverts on here before. It's not at all too uncommon these days. However, recently there was an especially nice example. Courtesy of the McDonald's Japan Twitter account.

It can be viewed here:

Below are a few stills from the short anime.

It's gained a lot of traction online. Often with a political slant. The theme being that it's quite a warm and wholesome scene. I think people are somewhat fed up and exhausted by the constant politicisation of everything these days. So a rosy image of simple happiness feels welcome, and has caught people off guard a little. In a nice way.

However, the main reason I'm sharing it is for the aesthetics ..and obviously for the red hair.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Red Hair in Art: Arthur Beecher Carles

 Arthur Beecher Carles (March 9, 1882 – 1952) was an American Modernist painter.

He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts between 1900 and 1907. In 1907 he traveled to France where he remained until 1910. In France, he greatly admired the works of Cézanne and Matisse, and became close friends with John Marin and Eduard Steichen. He displayed six landscapes in the Salon d'Automne of 1908.

In March 1910 his work was included in the “Younger American Painters” show held at Alfred Stieglitz’s New York City gallery, 291. Stieglitz gave Carles his first one-man show at 291 in January 1912.

He returned to France from June to October 1912 and exhibited at the 1912 Salon d'Automne. After his return to America he exhibited at the Armory Show of 1913. He taught at the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia from 1917 to 1925 and taught privately afterwards. He continued a mentor relationship with many PAFA students through the 1930s, including the artist Norman Carton.

Carles travelled to France for the third time in 1921. Although he lived in Edward Steichen's house in Voulangis, Carles often visited Paris. While on a train ride to the French capital, the artist's first wife, Mercedes de Cordoba, met with a young woman, Angèle, and persuaded her to pose for her husband. The French model rapidly accepted the offer and eventually started an affair with the artist. Angèle had long and thick, dark red hair. She had the kind of pale skin which boosted Carles' interest in color play. He did many paintings of her in 1921-1922.

Here are some of the portraits Carles made of Angèle.

Angèle in Studio


Portrait of Angèle

Woman with Red Hair

1600 Famous Redheads!

Our partner blog Famous Redheads in History has just reached the outstanding figure of 1600 famous redheads!

Go and check it out! 😊

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Red-haired first and founders, 6th part (251 - 300)

While working at our partner blog Famous Redheads in History I couldn’t help but notice the great number of “first” and “founders” among our famous redheads. Here’s the list from 251 to 300.

First part. Second part. Third part. Fourth part. Fifth part.

251) Barbara Ann Scott: she is the only Canadian to have won the Olympic ladies' singles gold medal, the first North American to have won three major titles in one year and the only Canadian to have won the European Championship (1947–48). 


252) Sidney Franklin: first American to become a successful matador, the most senior level of bullfighter.


253) Annabelle Rankin: first woman from Queensland elected to parliament, first woman federal departmental minister, and first Australian woman to be appointed head of a foreign mission. She remains the longest-serving whip in the party's history, in either chamber of parliament. In 1966, she was made Minister for Housing in the Holt government, becoming the first woman to hold a ministerial portfolio. As High Commissioner to New Zealand from 1971 to 1974, she was the first woman to head an Australian mission overseas. 


254) Ursula Hirschmann: co-founder of the European Federalist Movement (Milan, 27 and 28 August 1943). Founder of the Association Femmes pour l'Europe (Brussels, 1975). 


255) Miriam Rothschild: first person to work out the flea's jumping mechanism. She was the first woman trustee of the Natural History Museum (1967–1975), the first woman president of Royal Entomological Society (1993–1994), the first woman to serve on the Committee for Conservation of the National Trust, and the first woman member of the eight-member Entomological Club. 


 256) Audrey Meadows: first woman to serve as director of the First National Bank of Denver. 


257)  James Archibald Campbell: founder of the Campbell University (originally Buies Creek Academy) in Buies Creek, North Carolina in 1887. 


258) Richard Q. Hoare: founder, in 1983, of the Bulldog Trust, to provide support and advice for charities facing immediate financial difficulties. The trust is based at and owns Two Temple Place in the City of London.


259) Mary Thurman: in 1920 she adopted the Dutch bob hairstyle, thus becoming the first celebrity with the style that became a craze among young fashionable women known as "flappers" during the 1920s and early 1930s.


260) William Lucking: in 1986, with fellow actor Dana Elcar, he co-founded the Santa Paula Theater Center.