To Ellen

This blog is made to the honor of my grandmother Ellen Elisabeth Thomsen who was a modern woman .
She was born in Randers in Denmark 1895 and died in Copenhagen 1976.
She had long salmon red hair down to her hips. It was braided and put up with lots of hairpins to make it look short.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Strong women with red hair


 Some times the sitter has pathos and  looks which inspire the painter 
right away to make a masterpiece. 
You work on enormous lust to catch this radiation of the person who sits in front of you.
But I must add a good painter is one that has this ability to 
bring out a persons soul no matter the looks or character.
But there are some persons who have a radiation you can't ignore
The women I show in this post all have this extra,
that any artist would get inspired from.

Jane Percival
Portrait of Stephanie Balson


Gabriel Ferrier

Impressive hair or what do You say? Both caked up and falling down

Gabriel Joseph Marie Augustin Ferrier
He obviously  got so much praise for the first picture, that he had to paint it once more
in a bluish version! Or perhaps it was the woman who inspired him so much.

Gabriel Joseph Marie Augustin Ferrier

Same woman as in the two earlier pictures just seen from the side.

Louis Aquetin

There were so many fantastic artists back in the 1880 -1910's. 
What a nice way to stay forever young,.............. in a painting like this . 
So if you didn't have your portrait painted yet, why wait?
Between the contemporary artist shown in this blog, there are several extremely  talented .
Commission a drawing. It is less expensive and you will quickly see,
 what the artist can make out of your looks and personality .
 Do not chose a painter who try to make you look 
like a photograph of yourself. Rather pick someone who can catch your character.

Remember a painting might be what remains of you 200 years from now.
Specially if you were not an inventor of some kind,
or created something outstanding which benefit mankind.
If you were not lucky to get any children, do think seriously about a portrait.
They say we live on in our children. But if we don't have any.. who will then remember us?
Photographs don't give you justice.
 The historic archives everywhere are full of photographs of faces with out a name.
Flee market's and  shops with crap and junk ,
 have all  this beautiful, but sad sad old carton pictures lying everywhere.
Sold by some grand nephew, who didn't give a damn.
Even the kindest relatives wont care to pay for our grave site more than 25 years
and then without a gravestone, we are nothing, as if we never existed.
Even the ugliest prostitutes from 1880 still exist  and we love their portraits, because they
did have the luck to be painted by Toulouse or by Dix or by some other outstanding artist.
It is my hope that more people understand this. After 8 years of family research
(Genealogy) I suddenly found a portrait of my a  great grandfather 10 generations before me,
The priest Jens Madsen Skive.
I can't explain it better than
it felt like winning the biggest lottery price ever.
So do it ... get yourself painted and let the family pay the gravestone!
Not only is it a place in the future, but it is an experience that will take you to a better you from now on!

Augustus John
Marquise Louisa Casati

She was a rather eccentric person,  read about her in the Internet and see the photos of her in Google images  in one fantastic creation after the other, what a brave woman!!!!
I would have loved to paint her too!!!

Augustus John
The marquise Louisa Casati

Giovanni Boldini

Louisa Casati with dog

Giovanni Boldini
Another portrait of the Marquise Louisa Casati

Leon Bakst

Bakst  also was amazed by her grand personality. They seemed to inspire each other.
She wore funny and crazy costumes after meeting Bakst.

Leon Bakst

Again Louisa Casati

Ignazio Zuluega

Re blogged from the wonderful site about her called
La Rocaille 
Do look at all the wonderful photos of Louisa Casati

Joseph Paget Fredericks
Louisa Casati with her Leopard

Artist Unknown
Louisa Casati

Roberto Montenegro

Re blogged from

Van Dongen

re blogged from

Alberto Martini
Marchesa Casati

"The Marchesa lived partly as a slave to her dream world. She had two venues; her palaces and her aristocratic circles. They served as stages where everyone was usually an actor, but when she made her entrance, they automatically became spectators or background extras." -Alberto Martini

Alberto Martini

This might be a picture inspired by Luisa Casati .
The Huge eyes long neck and rather flat front head fits Bakst drawing of the Marchesa.

Louis Bakst
Design for Louisa Casati

I believe Bakst  imaginative theater costumes must have inspired Casati to be more daring.
The early pictures show her with the normal taste of that time. Huge hats, corsets that turn her waist  into a minimum so she looks like an ant,
Then suddenly she changes style and becomes daring and brave.
If she could inspire so many artists .
How many can you inspire?

Come on, are you red haired and want to be painted?
I am looking for a red haired big woman, who is interested in being my model for 
several pictures. Please contact me to the Email address

Augustus John

Augustus John made other pictures of huge  red haired women, but they are not as impressive 
as the ones of Louisa Casati.

Augustus John
Sometimes the sitter is such a dramatic character like the noble woman Louisa Casati, that she leave 
the artist with a lust  to paint another similar personality.
 It seems like he tried to pick other huge women with red hair.
 But these 2 other paintings of Augustus John are not  as powerful as  his portraits of the Marquise Casati. 
She had those had dark strong hypnotic eyes like Pablo Picasso which  can't be ignored.

Theo van Rysselberghe

 Van Gogh wasn't the only one who mastered the pointillism , the effect of dotting and painting small stripes.
 Which when it is done right gives  movement and make the colors more vibrant 
and  it explains the shapes and create interesting surfaces. And it ties everything together in a somewhat vibrating flickering light.
Theo van der Rysselberghe made some wonderful pictures of  red haired girls and women.
And it is obvious the red hair was what caught his lust to paint this picture.I didn't find that Rysselberghe favored a certain red haired woman like many other artists did. But he painted his wife several times.

Doris Claire Zinkaisen
Portrait of Elsa Lanchester

Look at this painting and compare with the two women of Augustus John.
Hands and face are equally  important. They both show feelings that can contrast or contradict each other.
It is not easy to make hand movements look natural. Most people don't know what to do with their hands and  hide them or have to finger on something all the time.Others need a cigarette or button to turn.
 But I think woman above looks as if You can believe she had this self security and
can trow her hands out in the air like this .

Jacek Malczewsky

This must be the artists muse who works on the artist, knocking gently into his brain the inspiration!
 Malczewzky  often painted this huge woman, so she was a real muse. 

Bertalan de Karlovszky

There are a few artists who has this extra sensitivity that I find so amazing.
Karlovszky has it. A feeling for sensuality mixed with an enormous sense of how to differentiated between tiny color tones.
But it is only in some of his works that he manages to create this shimmering feeling of air.
Like in the picture above.
The two following pictures show  the same woman but doesn't have this shimmering air around the model!
I think the trick is to use very few colors and to draw everything with the same color and after that add areas of very fine variations of the color,

Karlovsky again

He used this woman in several pictures, her hair color changes . 
But she was obviously a redhead. More or less like me with black eyebrows 
and hair that gets darker every year. Until it will fade into light salmon when all the other hair straws turn white except the red ones.

Bertalan de Karlovszky
Portrait of a Lady.

I went back in time and found an other impressive personality
The danish princess Anne who became the wife of James the first of England

Queen Anne 

Queen Anne

Queen Anne

One can't compare royal portraits to normal portraits, because they are 
often quit beautified. But this woman Queen Anna of Denmark  did not want  the artists
to reduce her long nose or beautify her in any way. She seem like a very strong woman 
who was fare from vain. It must have been wonderful to paint her.

Queen Anne

Funny picture with the two red stones on the place of her nipples.
As to say she got older  but is still as fine in the body as ever.

Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele with his cramped wrinkled sensitive expressions. So real and 
so strong. He was a marvelous drawer! Every line and color area is exactly where it should be.

Egon Schiele
Edith again

Wojcieck Kossak
Portrait of Rozy Tarnowskich Tyszkiewicsowei 1926

How come this rather dull picture of an upper class girl  is special?
Well the artist caught her arrogance, her self indulgence, the sloppy and still extremely elegant taste,
the wealth and the woman's private interest. And the way he painted her from below makes sure anyone who looks at her, will feel less worthy!  
This is a special  trick used when the sitter is a noble person 
or the picture is going to hang in staircase or hallway.
Many family portraits in wealthier estates hang next to the stairs and rather  high above  and there is not enough space to look at the whole picture.
With this rather short distance the artists often  exaggerate the body 
and paint the neck longer than it is. The portraits heads are often way above the viewer 
and therefor if the  person looks down, you have the contact needed when there is no distance to see the whole picture in one gaze.
It is important that a portrait painter think of this things. 
Make sure you see the place the portrait shall hang before you start painting.
Get a feeling of the colors in the room, the light  
and specially how high your picture will hang. 
To make a picture where shadows are cast to one side and the actual light in the room where it shall hang comes from the same direction will make the picture look wrong.

Red haired women too

There are also many who have red hair, but they are old or perhaps fat 
or age has carved out the scull trough their skin
 Or they might be young, but their looks are not 
the romantic ideal of a slim curvy figure and an outstanding facial beauty with long curly hair.

Not many artists aimed their brush at this group of women!
But the paintings are not less appealing or lack importance.
I would say they are perhaps even more interesting! 
It is my opinion that character is more attractive than beauty!

When I look at Otto Dix' portraits where he always pulls forward the least appealing in each person,
he also at the same time manage to focus on what is the models vulnerability.
After looking at tons of  beauties 
It is so good when finally a person in a picture expresses 
Yes this is what there is.... You see me...? 

Egon Schiele
Portrait of  Ida Roessler

Paula Modersohn Becker
Farmers Wife

Kristian Zarthmann
Leonora Kristine

Otto Dix

Vilmos Aba-Novak
Portrait of Kato

Hans Purrmann

Boris Dmitrevick Grigoriev

Harald Slott Møller

Romaine Brooks

Felix Valloton

Viktor Moja Calvo
Portrait of a Woman

Mary Cassat
Portrait of Madame Cordier

Toulouse de Lautrec
Portrait of an Actress

Louis Aquetin

Raoul Dufy
Portrait of his sister Susanne

Alex (Akseli) Gallen Kallela

Toulouse de Lautrec

 Fernando Botero

Otto Dix

Artist Unknown
Portrait for sale on Auction site  in Germany

Jean Jacques Henner

Thomasin Dewhurst

George Gower
Queen Elisabeth the first

Toulouse de Lautrec

Bertalan de Karlovszky