Monday, January 14, 2013

Red Hair Week

This week we take a look at Red Hair in Art.

Red hair occurs in only 1-2% of the human population, mostly in people of Western and Northern ancestry.  Ancient Greek writers mention people with red hair. People from what is now the Ukraine were described as having red hair, as were people of the Balkans. Roman historians described the Caledonians, Germans and Belgic people as large red headed.

Among the Polynesians having red hair indicates you come from high ranking ancestors and are from the ruling class.

King David and Esau were said to have red hair thereby re-enforcing in the minds of those of the Spanish Inquisitions that all red heads were Jewish. In Spanish and Italian Art Judas is almost always depicted with red hair.

The color titian takes its name from Titian who often painted pictures of women with red hair.  In Birth of Venus Botticelli painted Venus with red hair. Many pre-Raphaelites painted their heroines with red hair.

Achilles according to the Iliad had red or “tawny” hair, as did his son.

Thor is said to have red hair.

Muhammad is said to have red hair.

Red hair creates a gamut of emotion fear, reverence, abomination , adoration, worthless or honored.

"The attraction to redheads is a lot like being addicted to drugs." - Unknown

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