Thought it would be fun to have a page showing red heads in famous paintings. One of the famous pieces with a redhead depicted is Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ (cropped version here) showing Venus with very long flowing red hair as she stands on an open sea shell (of course, naked since just born...).
Several famous leaders were redheads (such as "Mary Queen of Scots" seen here) and artists regularly painted their portraits, depicting historical figures and famous people with red hair. Some artists chose to depict certain people as redheads even though we have no idea of their hair color because it's never stated, such as Mary Magdalene and Judas from the Bible. And, unfortunately, it's the redhead who is often the 'villian' or person of 'ill repute'... but there are fortunately many more artists who depict the beauty of redheads as well. Well, it's up to the artist!
Fashion and cultural fads change from era to era and country to country as well. Redheads in paintings were especially popular in the Victorian area, in the 19th century, the 'Pre-Raphaelites' and with many British artists. Some of these artists include Edmund Blair Leighton, John Waterhouse, Sir Frank Dicksee, F. Sandys, Renoir, Godard, Hans Makart, J. Collier, N. Hilliar, M. Cassatt, L. Cranach, Botticelli, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Arthur Hughs, and more...
Even the great American illustrator, Norman Rockwell, used many redheads in his famous paintings, such as these Titles.....
A Family Tree
Going and Coming
O'er The Land of the Free
Horseshoe Forging Contest
Mermaid (A Fair Catch)
Double Trouble for Willie Gillis
Happy Birthday Miss Jones
Walking To Church
Coal Season’s Coming
100th Year of Baseball
Redhead Loves Hatty
To me, there's just something special and captivating about paintings. I love the realism of Rockwell and others in that style who capture the redhead's beauty, coloring, and spirit...They see beyond what most of us see.
If you have a favorite famous painting of a redhead or have painted one yourself, I might be able to add it. Just let me know at my "Contact Me" page.
--- CAN YOU HELP? -- A reader wrote in with a question: "Hi! I have a very old painting of a redhead sitting under what looks like an ocean cave at night, holding a seashell to her ear. Her clothing is a dress which looks like early 1900s of maybe even 1800s. It's
a very large canvas, and was bought for $350 in 1950. There is no artist signature anywhere on it..unless under the frame. Wondering if you might know anything about it or would be able to give me any info on who might?! Thanks so much!" (Kate Elizabeth)