People with natural red hair color always attracted attention with their “unconventionality” – real or far-fetched. And throughout the history of art, artists from Sandro Botticelli to Dante Gabriel Rossetti revealed the powerful symbolism of red hair, which at different times alternately meant promiscuity, sensuality, cunning and, above all, otherness.
Red hair is rare, but why do we find its wearers particularly attractive or naturally lustful? Why Botticelli decided to give his Venus-the goddess of sex, beauty and love — long strands of ripe rye color? What prompted Rossetti to chase down the street Alexa Wilding-a woman he later portrayed in the painting “La Ghirlandata” (1873) and other works — and beg her to pose? (According to Jackie Collis Harvey, author of Red. The story of redheads”, Rossetti was “an absolutely classic example of a man obsessed with redheads, uncontrollably obsessed”.) Continue reading