Rika Nishimura, a Photo-Lolicon Supermodel

(Last Updated On May 21, 2023)

Rika Nishimura (西村理香) was the professional name of one of the most famous child models of the Japanese Photo-Lolicon era. Photographer Yasushi Rikitake (力武靖) is responsible for making her famous. Photo-Lolicon first became popular in Japan in November 1969 with Kazuo Kenmochi’s nude photobook of model Tae Umehara. Popularity of the young girl photobooks grew fairly slowly in the 1970s, as naturist magazines were imported into Japan, and some photographers, notably Sumiko Kiyooka began to photograph young girls. Then around 1980 Photo-Lolicon started to boom. Over a hundred Photo-Lolicon books were released in the early 1980s, and some of them sold millions of copies.

Yasushi Rikitake – Before Waking Up Cover (1994)

The first work I can find of Yasushi Rikitake is the omnibus photobook Lolita Sisters, which was released in October 1983. Rikitake was one of eight photographers who contributed to Lolita Sisters. In August 1984 Lolita Friends was released, another omnibus photobook by six photographers including Rikitake. Popularity of Photo-Lolicon peaked in about 1984, and then began a slow decline until 1988. In 1988 Tsutomu Miyazaki was arrested for kidnapping and murdering four girls, age four through seven. A large amount of lolicon anime and manga was found in his home, and the crime so shocked Japan that many came to see lolicon as evil. It was still legal, but less popular that it had been. It became more difficult to find models among Japanese girls since lolicon was tainted with a stigma, so many of the photographers who remained in the business sought models in foreign countries, especially Southeast Asia and Russia.

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Before Waking Up (1994)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1994) (1)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1994) (2)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1994) (3)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1994) (4)

In 1989 Rikitake began to be more active in Photo-Lolicon, and in ten years had published about 150 photobooks under his own name, and nearly a hundred more under the pseudonym Ryu Kurokage. He went to Thailand hoping to find models among the girls in rural areas where it was acceptable for pre-pubescent children to go naked. Rikitake was introduced to an alcoholic who needed money and was going to sell his young daughter to a brothel in Bangkok. The man’s wife had run away and deserted the family. Rikitake could hire the girl as a model, but the problem was that after he returned to Japan, the girl’s father would still be able to sell her into prostitution. An arrangement was negotiated in which the girl would live with a loving aunt, and Rikitake would send the aunt a monthly stipend to support the girl. In return, the girl would model for Rikitake when he visited Thailand. This was a very good arrangement for both the girl, who now had a stable, happy home; and for Rikitake who now had a model who would become perhaps the most popular of all Photo-Lolicon models.

Yasushi Rikitake – Friends IV Cover (1995)

Her real name is confidential, as is her hometown. She is known only by the Japanese name she adopted for modelling; Rika Nishimura. Modesty may not be a trait commonly associated with nude models, but Rika likes to keep her personal details private.

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Friends IV (1995)

Rika made her debut with the mook (magazine/book) Before Waking Up (目覚める前に), which was released in 1994 by the Rikitake Yasushi Photo Office. This is a photobook of Rika, both clothed and nude, posing alone in the outdoors. Although she is young and this is her first book, she appears to have a natural talent for modelling, and seems to enjoy it. It is not known exactly how young she is. No age is given in Before Waking Up, but she looks to me to be about eight or nine. In 1996 some photos from Before Waking Up were republished in One Million Rem Gaze (百万レムの視線), and her age when photographed is given there as ten. In 1998 some photos from Before Waking Up were published in both Six Years Trilogy (SixYears三部作) and Portraits of Jenny (ジェニー達の肖像), and in each of those works she is said to have been eleven when the photos were taken.

Yasushi Rikitake – Friends V Cover (1996)

The first two illustrations in this article are the cover and a clothed photo from Before Waking Up. The photos are from kansai.nymphs.us, which has many more lolicon photos, all non-nude.  The Japanese text on some of the photos gives the title of the publication, the model’s name, and the photographer’s name. Nude photos of Rika and other Japanese models were common on Japanese internet sites in the 1990s, but the photos suddenly disappeared in 1999 when photographs of nude minors became illegal in Japan. When I wrote this article, I thought it was unfortunate that a nude photo was not available, because Rika Nishimura is famous as a nude model. Two days after this article was published, Bob Freely submitted some nude images of Rika from Six Years Trilogy, Volume One. Many thanks to Bob for making it possible to include a sample of the nudes for which Rika Nishimura is best known.

The next four images are some of Bob’s contributions from Six Years Trilogy. They appear to be from the same photo shoot as Before Waking Up. Judging from her facial expression, Rika appears to be more relaxed in the nude photos than when she is clothed. Perhaps she was more accustomed to going naked, and was worried about getting her new clothes dirty.


Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Friends V (1996)

Rikitake worked at that time with three publishers; Rikitake Yasushi Photo Office, Pepe, and Circle Company. His own company, Rikitake Yasushi Photo Office, and Pepe were both specialists in Photo-Lolicon, and sold their books in dedicated lolicon shops. Circle Company was the biggest publisher and sold its works in general bookstores. Circle Company censored photos in its books very slightly, by blurring the pudendal cleft, thus making them acceptable for general bookstores. Photos in books by Rikitake Yasushi Photo Office and Pepe are not censored. None of the books with Rika’s photographs were published by Circle Company. In spite of Rika’s books being less widely distributed than books of the models who were published by Circle Company, she became the most popular.

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1994) (5)

Pepe published Rika’s next two books; Friends IV (1995) and Friends V (1996). The original titles were in English, the universal language and thus more fitting for books that were presented as fine art. The Friends series consists of five books by Rikitake, and in each book, two or more models were photographed together. In Friends IV the two models were Rika Nishimura and Kayoko Miura. According to Wikipedia, Friends IV was the fastest selling of the Friends series. Rika and Kayoko were also featured, along with four more models, in Friends V. Rika and Kayoko were both twelve years old when Friends IV was photographed. In Friends V Rika’s age is still given as twelve but Kayoko is now thirteen. This would indicate that the ages were reckoned by the western method of adding a year of age at the anniversary of her birth, rather than the traditional oriental method of adding a year on New Year’s Day. Other girls from Rika’s village in Thailand modeled for Rikitake, and in order to maintain good relations with the people of the village, Rikitake was obliged to photograph all of the girls who volunteered. Therefore it is very possible that girls photographed together in the Friends series were actually friends in real life.

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1995) (6)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1995) (7)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1995) (8)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1995) (9)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1995) (10)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1995) (11)

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 1 (circa1995) (12)

The next photobook in which Rika appeared is One Million Rem Gaze, Published in 1996 by Rikitake Yasushi Photo Office, but no new photos were in this book. It was only a selection of sample photos of more than one hundred models from books previously released. In January 1998 Rikitake Yasushi Photo Office released the three-volume Six Years Trilogy which is the largest collection of photographs of Rika. Volume One consists of photos of Rika at age eleven and twelve; Volume Two shows her at ages thirteen and fourteen, and she is fifteen and sixteen in Volume Three. It was never explained why Rikitake kept photos of Rika for up to five years without publishing them. By this time Rika was not only Rikitake’s star model, but she was also his photographic assistant and interpreter.

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 2 (circa1996) (1)

Two clothed photosfrom Six Years Trilogy which I found on the internet are followed by six photos that Bob Freely submitted. Bob also submitted a scan of the title page for Volume One of Six Years Trilogy, which has the following quote, “No one knows where they came from, where they go, where the wind blows and the seas go round, but no one knows.From Robert Nathan [Portrait of Jenny].”

Japanese publishers during the Photo-Lolicon era were very careful to avoid any sexual activity in their art. While there are some people who would find any nudity offensive, these photos are devoid of any laciviousness. It is surprising that Japanese lolicon nudes are so difficult to find, when edgier works such as the Sally Mann’s Three Graces or some of the photos of Jock Sturges are easily found. In these photos the background is blurry, thus focusing attention on the model. Other photographers who deemphasize the background include Lucas Roels and F.R. Yerbury. Rika seems relaxed and happy to pose.

In 1998 it was apparent that Photo-Lolicon would soon be prohibited. The Law Concerning the Punishment of Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the Protection of Children was introduced into parliament, and was passed in May 1999. On November 1, 1999 the law became effective, and Photo-Lolicon was outlawed.

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 2 (circa1996) (2)

Rika was in two more books just before Photo-Lolicon was banned. The first was the seven volume Portraits of Jenny. This work was an attempt to leave a legacy that would, because of its artistic merit, remain legal under the new law. Each volume was a full size hardcover 160-page book, printed on acid-free archival quality paper, with what Rikitake thought were his most artistic photographs. About 200 models were included. Some models had photos that were previously unpublished; others had photos that were previously published in a censored version, but all photos in Portraits of Jenny were uncensored. No new photos of Rika were in Portraits of Jenny; all were from the Six Years Trilogy. Portraits of Jenny was an expensive book when it was released in 1998, at over ninety dollars for each volume, and it is even more expensive on the used book market today.

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Six Years Trilogy Volume 3 (circa1997)

Rika continued to model through age 22, but only one more book of her photos, Last Christmas (ラストクリスマス, 1999, Sanwa Publishing), was published before the lolicon era came to an end. She was seventeen when photographed for Last Christmas, and was really more of a young woman than a girl. Technically she was still a minor, so for the sake of completeness I have included a photo from Last Christmas in this article. I wonder if Rika thought it was ironic that the business which saved her from being sold to a brothel was abolished by a law that in its title claimed to oppose “Acts Related to Child Prostitution”.

Yasushi Rikitake – Rika Nishimura in Last Christmas (1999)

Jacob Maris (1837–1899), Dutch oil painter and watercolourist

(Last Updated On May 3, 2023)

Among the many Dutch artists, Maris started his interests in the arts during his teenage years. At the age of 19 he joined the Hague Academy of Art, in The Netherlands. During that period, he studied with Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

Maris was one of the founders of a group of artists from The Hague, who, influenced by the Realist school, used a color palette tending towards earthy and gray tones. A more neutral color palette constantly made the areas of light in the works stand out even more, creating an interesting aerial effect, especially where the sun cuts through the clouds, characteristic of the Dutch school at the time.

Although most of Maris’ works dealt with seascapes, woods and mills, some portraits of young girls were painted.

A brief comment: oil media is characteristic of greater stability and, above all, control over the canvas. There’s plenty of time for the artist to make whatever modifications he wants before it’s completely dry. This usually results in works that are more elaborate and complex in detail.

Below are some works by Maris in oil on canvas. Note that edges and lines are more defined, as are shadow and light regions. The planes are also more evident and separated from each other.

Jacob Maris – The Pet Goat (1871)

Jacob Maris, The Girl feeding her Bird in a Cage (1867)

The dimensions of the canvases are very small which makes it difficult to execute any details, even in oils.

Maris married Catharina Hendrika Horn in 1867 and had two daughters, Tine and Henriette. The two girls are represented in some of his works, but now using watercolor as a medium. The key frame shown below shows the two girls blowing bubbles. Notice how changing the paint medium makes the image more dynamic. Due to the rapid drying rate of this medium, the artist only has a few seconds to make adjustments and often the transition effects come from spontaneous and rapid blending between adjacent or rapidly overlapping layers. This more dynamic aura further suggests the instability the soap bubbles present in the work. Maris often places props like intense blue ribbons in the models’ hair.

Here, however, this more intense blue was reserved for the ceramic bowl on the table, creating an interesting focal point, intensifying even more with all the gray and brown present on the canvas. Probably this blue was made from Lapis-Lazuli, a very expensive pigment.

Jacob Maris – Two Girls Blowing Bubbles (1880)

A second appearance of his daughters is in the work below, where the eldest daughter appears to be teaching her sister to play the piano. Here, the dark brown of the wood contrasts even more with the blue ribbons present in the girls’ hair, which have now been painted more intensely. A much less saturated version of this blue is present on the bench and in the vase of flowers above the piano. You can almost hear this painting as they talk with each other about the piano—like you are there, watching them.

Jacob Maris, Two Girls, Daughters of the Artist at the Piano (1880)

The third painting depicting his youngest daughter was also done in watercolor, now in a lit external environment. The white of the white dress, the focal point stands out even more. The blue ribbon in her hair is still present, and a slightly more desaturated version is also present in the bouquet of flowers she holds. Everything is very light, loose and spontaneous, characteristic not only of the medium used, but also of the painting object itself and the plein air technique.

Jacob Maris – Young Girl (Artist’s Daughter) Picking Flowers in the Grass (1899?)

[Christian at Agapeta has made it known that he has an extensive collection of on-topic paintings that can be used in posts. So if anyone is interested in having a higher-resolution copy than what is found on this site, contact him. Also, he would be a good resource if you are interested in writing an article for Pigtails on a particular painter. -Ron]

Maiden Voyages: May 2023

(Last Updated On May 18, 2023)

Membership Instructions: I feel I have to remind readers about membership procedures. Please remember that this site is run by volunteers and that we cannot get to requests immediately. Also, some registered members are not realizing that logging in for the first time does not guarantee that the process will be automatic after that. You need to keep the instructions I sent you in case you have to log in again. Changes in email will not affect the log in procedure except where changed passwords are sent. You can go into your account and alter your information or I will be happy to do it upon request.

The Demise of More Image Accounts: A reader who has been in communication with Christian has reported about the demise of a couple of his Tumblr accounts. He has been active on Tumblr since 2010 and his main blog, Foxy’s Fancies, was very active over the last four years, containing over 8000 posts. A couple weeks before I received the email, he added a secondary blog called Ada’s Angels whose purpose was to follow recent developments in AI generated images and share photorealistic work that was especially beautiful. After posting the image below, the blogger was notified that his accounts were terminated. Attempts to follow up were just ignored. He’s been rather depressed ever since (been there) but grateful to have Christian to share his predicament with. Pigtails will be making some efforts to preserve some of the more interesting examples for members to view.

[The blogger generously preserved both posted and yet-to-be-posted images from the Ada’s Angels blog and readers are welcome to view and download them (or the zip files). -Ron]

Secret Dreams: It may seem strange to many of us, but sometimes young girls dream of becoming Victoria Secret models. In their naivete, they are probably not aware of the culture of misogyny before that company’s demise (this news item was in 2016), but some like Gigi and Bella Hadid followed up on their dreams and achieved their goal. Interestingly, their mother shot the girls dolled up in angel’s wings years earlier.

Art on Art: Some have posited that the human body itself is an artform and so the notion of body-painting has always struck me as a kind of double art. A reader has shared the site Projet Symbiose whose focus is to share photographs of body painting from various sources. Some of these look familiar and must have been shared on this site before. I had hoped to do a proper post on the subject, especially as a customary practice in naturist communities.

Mystery Album Cover Art: A reader just submitted an interesting album cover for something called ‘Sax Club Number 14 “Romantic”‘ by Gil Ventura (1977). There is a girl on the cover art reminiscent of Fabio Cabral’s work. We were hoping some of our readers would recognize the image and confirm the photographer’s identity.

Show Me More: A while ago, Pigtails did a post on Will McBride and Helga Fleischauer-Hardt’s famous and controversial work Show Me! (English title). What I didn’t know at the time was that a sequel was made—probably only published in German—Zeig Mal Mehr! I could not tell the reader who brought it to my attention any more about it. The question is: how different is this volume from the original, are there any digital copies and how does one get access to them? A few links have been provided to help with the research: here, here, here, here and here.

Forgotten Flattery: There was an interesting artist, Vladimir Timofeev, who created an image imitating Hajime Sawatari’s ‘Alice’ series. The site that hosted that image has been shut down because of violations of Terms of Service—big surprise, right? We don’t always archive images discussed in ‘Maiden Voyages’ so if any readers know where this image is or has a copy, would you please share? [Christian was kind enough to provide a link to this artist’s page. There are many portraits of little girls but I don’t think any of these were meant to emulate Sawatari. -Ron]

Ludmila Šechtlová, Model for a Photographer and a Sculptor

(Last Updated On April 28, 2023)

My language is English, so I initially had some confusion about the Czech names. The model’s legal first name is Ludmila, but in the titles for the photographs she is called Lída, Lidy, Liduška, and Lidušky. These photo titles are from the Šechtl & Voseček Museum site, operated by the Šechtl family, so I have no doubt that they are correct. Lída is a diminutive nickname for Ludmila. Ludmila’s grandfather originally spelled the family surname as “Schächtl”, the German form of the name. Later he began using the Czech spelling “Šechtl”. The feminine of Šechtl is Šechtlová. J.V. Dušek is the most common form of the name of the sculptor for whom she modeled, but in three of the photo titles Lída is identified as the model of J.V. Duška. Dušek and Duška are different forms of the same name.

Josef Jindřich Šechtl – Rodinné, Liduška (1915)

Lída also modeled for her father, the renowned photographer Josef Jindřich Šechtl. Josef Jindřich’s father, Ignác Schächtl, opened his photography studio in 1876 in the town of Tábor, now in the Czech Republic. Schächtl Studio became Schächtl & Voseček when Jan Voseček became a partner, and later it became Šechtl & Voseček Studio. Josef Jindřich Šechtl operated the studio after the death of his father in 1911. Photos from the Šechtl & Voseček Studio of another model, Eva Záhořová, were featured on Pigtails here.

Josef Jindřich Šechtl – Lída Šechtlová (1919)

Josef Jindřich was one of the outstanding photographers of his time. He was known for his use of light and shadow in his photographic art. Photographs of women and children, and photos documenting the history of Tábor were his specialties. (The historical photos would later get his son sent to prison.) Josef Jindřich married Anna Stocká in 1911 and their daughter, Ludmila Šechtlová was born in 1912. Anna, like Josef, was artistically inclined. The two were friends with other artists, including the sculptor Jan Vítězslav Dušek, who was also a resident of Tábor.

Josef Jindřich Šechtl – Liduška (1919)

Many childhood photographs of Ludmila may be found on the Šechtl & Voseček Museum site. A few are included in this post. The first photo is of Ludmila at age two or three. The new clothing, willow branches, rabbit figurine and artificial egg indicate that this was an Easter portrait of Ludmila. Rodinné means “family”, and Liduška could either be her nickname or a Czech word for a human. Ludmila was six or seven when the next two photographs were taken.

Josef Jindřich Šechtl – Lída Šechtlová, model pro J.V.Duška (1921) (1)

The last five photographs of Ludmila in this article, all nudes, were taken in 1921, when Ludmila was eight or nine. In three of these five photos, she is proudly named as the model for J.V. Duška. She was also the daughter of the photographer, but perhaps it was more prestigious to say that she was the model for a famous sculptor. In the first of these Ludmila is posed between two stands; her pigtails are supported by one stand and her hands by the other. I get the idea, but I am not sure of this, that the stands would allow her to hold a pose for a longer time when modeling for a sculptor. She appears to me to be a bit like the girl on the banner illustration for Pigtails in Paint. The other four nude photos show her posing without any props. Several other photographs like these, with only minor variations to her pose, are in the Šechtl & Voseček Museum.

Josef Jindřich Šechtl – Lída Šechtlová model pro J.V.Duška (1921) (2)

Josef Jindřich Šechtl – Lída Šechtlová,model pro J.V.Duška (1921) (3)

The last illustration in this article is a photograph of a statue modeled by Ludmila Šechtlová, sculpted by Jan Vítězslav Dušek, and photographed by David Peltán. The statue of a girl holding a beehive is titled Spořivost, which means thrift. Dušek created this statue for the Tábor Savings Bank. Dušek was one of the most prominent Czech sculptors. He is famous for his monuments, portraits, and for his competition as an artist in the 1924 and 1936 Olympic Games.

Josef Jindřich Šechtl – Akt Lidušky (1921)

Spořivost portrays Ludmila as slightly older than she appears in the photographs in which she is identified as “model pro J.V.Duška”. There may be another statue of Ludmila by Dušek, made when Ludmila was younger, but in searching for Dušek’s works on the internet, I could not find it.

Josef Jindřich Šechtl – Akt Lidy Šechtlové (1921)

Josef Jindřich Šechtl died in 1954, and Ludmila’s brother Josef Šechtl inherited the family business. In 1957 the Communist government of Czechoslovakia put Josef Šechtl in prison for a year and confiscated his belongings. The excuse was that he photographed a wedding without obtaining the correct government permit, but the probable real reason was that some people in the Communist Party in 1957 had been supporters of the National Socialist Workers (Nazi) Party during World War II. They believed that the historical photographs documenting Tábor during the war could be embarrassing if the photos gave evidence that they were Nazis, and therefore wanted to confiscate and destroy them. Josef Šechtl’s wife, Marie Šechtlová, was able to save some of the most important negatives, but the majority were lost. It is sad to contemplate what may have been in the art that was destroyed.

Jan Vítězslav Dušek – Spořivost (c1925)

Happy Easter

(Last Updated On April 3, 2023)

Girls often appear on antique Easter greeting cards from around the world. Rejoice at Easter-Tide was commissioned by the J.W. LeMaistre Company as a trade card. As with all cards in this post, Rejoice at Easter-Tide is not dated and no artist is credited. J.W. LeMaistre went out of business in 1897, so the card cannot be any later than that. All cards in this post appear to be of the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Of five children dancing around a giant Easter egg, only one is a token boy. Cards illustrated here all have images of girls, because Pigtails is about girls in art. However, of the hundreds of cards that were viewed in order to select a few to publish here, girls were very common, and boys were rare. Something about girls seems to make them the natural choice for Easter cards.

Unknown – Rejoice at Easter-Tide (no date)

Although Easter is now celebrated as the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, the secular aspects of the holiday are derived from ancient pre-Christian spring holidays. The name “Easter” is derived from the name of the pagan goddess Eostre, the patron deity of flowers and fertility. In Italy she was known as Flora, and her holiday, the Floralia, was celebrated with exhibitions of women dancing nude. I have not found any reference to young girls participating in Floralia during pagan times. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, in Christian Anglo-Saxon England little girls performed erotic dances at Easter. Today neither women nor girls perform the dances, but girls are still dominant in the now completely non-erotic holiday.

Unknown – A Happy Easter (no date)

Unknown – Easter Joy Attend You (no date)

A Happy Easter shows two girls in new fancy clothes with flowers and a rabbit. The tradition of new clothes for Easter may be a reason girls appear much more than boys on Easter cards. Girls enjoy dressing up in fancy clothes more than boys do. A Happy Easter is from an English-speaking country, but which country is not known.

Unknown – Easter Wishes (no date)

Unknown – Häid ülestõusmisepühi (no date)

Easter Joy Attend You has the typical Easter subjects: a girl in elegant dress, willow catkins, and an egg. Surprisingly, the theme of a girl emerging from a giant egg, as in this card, was fairly common. Easter Wishes has all of these symbols of Easter, but in a photograph.

Unknown – Easter Card from Norway (no date) (1)

Unknown – Easter Card from Norway (no date) (2)

Unknown – Easter Card from Norway (no date) (3)

In the Estonian language, häid ülestõusmispühi means happy Easter. Easter cards from the Anglosphere, Estonia, Norway, and France are remarkably similar. The next three cards are from the National Library of Norway. Girls in ornate clothing, willow branches, rabbits, and eggs are featured on the cards, and on one a girl is emerging from a big egg.  The second card from Norway shows a basket of what appear to be artificial eggs that can be opened like the egg in the last card from France.

9- Unknown – Joyeuses Pâques (no date)

Unknown – Pâques (1905) (1)

Unknown – Pâques (1905) (2)

Unknown – Mlle Printemps (no date)

The last four cards are from France. None are dated, but dates for two of them can be estimated from the post marks. Joyeuses Pâques is unusual in that instead of a rabbit, the girl wears a cap with rabbit ears. Some French cards show a girl breaking out of an egg, like the girls in Easter Joy Attend You and the second card from Norway. In Mlle Printemps the girl does not break the egg, because the egg is in two parts so she can open it. The caption translates into English as, “Miss Spring probably wants to prove the saying wrong: ‘in April, don’t remove a thread!'” The French dictum means that April weather is unpredictable, so don’t remove your heavy winter clothing yet.

Girls on Turtles

(Last Updated On April 29, 2023)

The first illustration in this article is Will O’The Wisp located at the end of the Colonnade Garden at Oakhurst in Muncie, Indiana. The sculpture shows a girl standing on the back of a snapping turtle. According to visitmuncie.org, the back of the shell is signed, “Edward Borse, Sc, Gorham Co., GFC Foundries.” The statue is owned by Ball State University. I am assuming that “Sc” is an abbreviation for “sculptor” and that Gorham Co. is the Gorham Manufacturing Company of Providence, Rhode Island. A will o’the wisp is a glow in the air over marshy ground that disappears when approached, and is used metaphorically to mean a goal that cannot be achieved.

Edward Berge – Will O’The Wisp (no date)

When I saw the photograph of this statue, I searched for more information about the statue or the sculptor, but could find nothing.  After this article was published I discovered that the attribution to Edward Borse is an error; the actual sculptor is Edward Berge.  The caption has been corrected.

Some general information about works of art with girls or women standing on turtles was found. Phidias (circa 480 – 420 BC) may have been the first sculptor to create a statue of a female standing on a turtle. His gold and ivory statue of the goddess Aphrodite depicts her with one foot on a small turtle. Plutarch (circa AD 46 – after 119) commented on the statue, and wrote that because a turtle is always at home in its shell, and has no voice, it represents the ideal woman who always remains at home and does not speak. Apparently Plutarch was not a feminist. This interpretation of the turtle is suspect because Aphrodite was a sexually adventurous goddess, the opposite of a quiet homebody. Others have speculated that the turtle may have been used sarcastically. I find the statue Aprodite with a small turtle under one foot reminiscent of statues of the Virgin Mary with a small serpent under one foot. Just as these statues of Mary represent her victory over the evil represented by the serpent, perhaps Phidias’ statue is meant to show Aphrodite crushing underfoot the stereotype for the “ideal woman” represented by the turtle.

Unknown – Illustration from On the Excellence of the Female Sex (1643)

Plutarch’s interpretation seems to have influenced later artists, and it is common to find depictions that were created during the Renaissance and later, through the 18th century, of women on turtles. The example shown here is an illustration from On the Excellence of the Female Sex by Johan van Beverwijck. Now it is obvious that the woman is not trampling on the turtle, but rather is riding it. In this illustration from 1643 the female on the turtle is still an adult, but in later examples of this motif it is usually a child on the turtle. Some modern statues show a boy on a turtle, but a girl is more common.

Beatrice Fenton – The Artist and Seaweed Fountain (circa 1920)

Beatrice Fenton – Seaweed Fountain at Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina (circa 1920)

Seaweed Fountain by Beatrice Fenton is one of the most famous statues of a young girl on a turtle. Beatrice Fenton (1887 – 1983) was one of the outstanding American sculptors of the early 20th century. Fenton was awarded the George D. Widener Memorial Gold Medal in 1922 for Seaweed Fountain.  Mary Wilson Wallace was the model for Seaweed Fountain; she was six years old when she posed for it.

Unknown – Girl Standing on a Turtle (no date)

Girl Standing on a Turtle was for sale at the Chamberlain Auction Gallery in 2020. This 57-inch high bronze scupture is a fountain; water comes out of the shell the girl holds, and also out of the turtle’s mouth.

Unknown – Tortoise Shell Express (no date)

Tortoise Shell Express is a cast stone statue sold by Garden-Fountains. Strangely, the sculptor is not named. The girl stands on a land tortoise. Seaweed Fountain and Girl Standing on a Turtle are both sea turtles, and Will O’The Wisp is a fresh water snapping turtle. I cannot identify the species of turtle in Illustration from On the Excellence of the Female Sex, but apparently it makes no difference.

Oskar Bottoli – Mädchen auf einer Schildkröte (1954)

Mädchen auf einer Schildkröte is a stone sculpture by Oskar Bottoli and is on display in Vienna, Austria. The girl sits on a land tortoise.

Maiden Voyages: April 2023

(Last Updated On April 3, 2023)

I know many of you have observed a drop in my participation on this site. I am grateful for Moko for contributing articles and when time permits, so will I. We seem to be in a more stable stage for the site right now and would encourage others to contribute articles. Until I get more motivated, my main goal is to just keep this site running so readers can access it and try to keep up with administrative duties such registering new members and responding to comments. -Ron

A Serious Look at Taboo Subjects: For some, the discussion of paraphilic sexuality including pedophilia is uncomfortable. For others, the subject is to be avoided because one might be accused of some perversion simply for expressing an undue interest in the subject. Dr. James Cantor cuts through the crap and helps clarify these phenomena based on science rather than morality-based speculation. As a result, he has certainly experienced more than his fair share of cancel culture. He has appeared on a couple of podcasts and I though I’d share one of the better examples.

Curious Filipino Comic Book Artist: One of our readers cam across a comic strip drawn by Noly Zamora called Kwin seemingly featuring a half-naked little girl. Not much could be found about this artist in English. My best guess is that the text is in Tagalog and maybe someone fluent in that language could find out more for us.

Haunted Painting? There is a painting featuring a little girl and boy that has some creepy paranormal activity associated with it. When the painting The Hands Resist Him (1972) was recently put on auction, the seller felt a disclaimer was needed to warn potential buyers what they might be getting into. On the other hand, the winner of the auction says he never experienced anything unusual. Was this just some hype to jack up the price of the painting?

Future Features: Honestly, I do have an interesting backlog of leads I hope to process in time. What is most interesting is that artists themselves have found our site and are sharing their own work. Also, there have been some submissions making use of the latest versions of graphical AI. Stay tuned; we’ll get these things out to you.

A Figure Study by Muirhead Bone

(Last Updated On March 13, 2023)

Muirhead Bone studied architecture as a young man in the 1890s, and afterwards began studying painting and drawing. Bone used a realistic style in drawings, etchings, and watercolors of landscapes and buildings, including buildings under construction and ruins of demolished buildings. In 1900 he gave art classes in Ayr, Scotland. He was appointed as a British War Artist in 1916 to create propaganda for the war effort in World War I. He was knighted in 1937

Muirhead Bone – Little Girl Nude (no date)

Little Girl Nude is one of over 570 of Bone’s work in the Boston Public Library. Bone delighted in complex drawings of landscapes, machines, and architecture. He did drawings of people less often, and this is the only one I could find in the Boston Public Library collection, or in image searches, that would be appropriate for Pigtails.

At the bottom of the drawing Bone wrote his name, the note “Life Class”, and an illegible note in parentheses. An advertisement for the art classes that Muirhead Bone operated in Ayr said that life classes are included in the instruction; this drawing may be from one of those classes.

Kazuo Kenmochi, Ryuzaburo Umehara, Tae Umehara and the Origin of Photo-Lolicon

(Last Updated On February 26, 2023)

Ron coined the term Photo-Lolicon and defines it, in the Pipeline entry for Kishin Shinoyama, as “… a kind of obsession, with erotic undertones, with the intimate life of a young girl.” A review of a book featuring a selection of Photo-Lolicon artists was published in Pigtails here.

Kazuo Kenmochi (剣持加津夫) is usually credited as having originated the Photo-Lolicon movement in Japan with the publication of his photo book Twelve-Year-Old Myth (12歳の神話) in November 1969. Photo-Lolicon came about as a result of the serendipitous contacts between Kazuo Kenmochi, the photographer; Ryuzaburo Umehara (梅原 龍三郎), the painter; and Tae Umehara (梅原 多絵), the model. The Kanji characters that are conventionally translated as “myth” are literally “divine story”, so in this context myth should be taken as a mythologic legend rather than as a false belief. Before we get into Twelve-Year-Old Myth, let’s consider the antecedents of Photo-Lolicon.

Kazuo Kenmochi – Tae Umehara (1969) (1)

In traditional Japanese culture, nudity was not as taboo as in the West. Japanese families would go to the public sento bath where people of both sexes and all ages bathed together. It may seem that under those circumstances, artistic nudes would be as common as pictures of landscapes or cherry blossoms, but this was not the case. An article in the Japanese Wikipedia states that the first appearance of nude girl photos in a book in Japan came in 1943 when Der Körper des Kindes und seine Pflege by Stratz was translated into Japanese and sold in that country. This did not immediately lead to more nude photo books because two years later World War II ended and Japan was put under American occupation until 1952. American standards regarding nudity were imposed, which ruled out nude photo books.

Kazuo Kenmochi – Tae Umehara (1969) (2)

The end of the War also allowed the Japanese people to see Japan as it was viewed by other countries. What they saw was not pretty; Japan in 1945 had a reputation of brutality and cruelty. Whether the reputation was deserved or the result of anti-Japanese prejudice is not something to be discussed here, but it is important that whatever the cause of the stigma, Japanese people wanted to overcome it. Gentler aspects of Japan were emphasized, such as youth, beauty, and cuteness. Thus the stage was set for the appearance of Photo-Lolicon.

Ryuzaburo Umehara (1888–1986) traveled to Europe as a young man and studied the art of the Impressionist masters, particularly Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Gauguin, Matisse and Nolde also served as inspiration for Umehara, who introduced Impressionist painting to Japan. In 1969 Ryuzaburo Umehara was Japan’s greatest living artist.

Kazuo Kenmochi – Tae Umehara (1969) (3)

Girls like to have pictures of themselves made. If you have been reading Pigtails for a while, you may have noticed that girls from artistic families often model for artists. Apparently Tae Umehara, the granddaughter of Ryuzaburo Umehara, wanted to be a model. I could not find any source that stated why Ryuzaburo Umehara did not paint a picture of Tae. Although Ryuzaburo Umehara did paint nudes, he did so in an Impressionist style. His nudes definitely have artistic merit, but they are not cute. Perhaps Tae did not want a painting of herself in her grandfather’s style. My opinion is that either Ryuzaburo or Tae or both of them decided that a more realistic image would be more becoming of Tae.

Kazuo Kenmochi – Tae Umehara (1969) (4)

Fortunately, Ryuzaburo Umehara had contacts in the artistic community in Japan, and was acquainted with Kazuo Kenmochi. Kenmochi was a talented photographer famous for documenting the problem of drug addiction in Japan. Art photos of a young girl (Tae Umehara was twelve years old at the time) would be something different for him. He accepted the project, and met with Tae and Ryuzaburo Umehara. Kenmochi had his idea of how the photos should be made. Ryuzaburo had other ideas, and annoyed Kenmochi with his kibitzing. Despite the friction between the two artists, the photo session was completed very successfully.

Kazuo Kenmochi – Tae Umehara (1969) (5)

Photographs from the session are available here and here. All are outdoors: some at the shore and some at an inland location. Although a book containing these photos was later published under the title Europe, there is nothing that would indicate that the photos were taken in Europe. Tae is fully nude in all photos that appear online. The first two shown here are closeup portraits of Tae. In one of them the colors are modified to give a surreal look. It is the only non-realistic photo of Tae that I have seen. In the second portrait she seems uncomfortable that a dragonfly is on her.

Kazuo Kenmochi – Tae Umehara (1969) (6)

The next three are typical monochrome images. The first of these was taken at about the same level as the model. In the second the camera is looking up at Tae, and in the third it is looking down on her.

The last two images are color. Only a few color photographs are in the book. The second color image is the cover for singer Horie Mitsuko’s single Twelve-Year-Old Myth. The same photo is in the book Twelve-Year-Old Myth. The record was released in March 1970, a few days after Horie Mitsuko’s thirteenth birthday. Horie Mitsuko was a twelve-year-old girl when she recorded the song.

Kazuo Kenmochi – Tae Umehara (1969) (7)

The book Twelve-Year-Old Myth was extremely popular. After the first edition sold out others were printed. Then a condensed volume, エウロペ (Europe) was published, containing what the editor considered to be the best of the previous editions. The last of the editions, Europe II, was released in December 1978, and sold for 3300 Yen. Recently a used copy was for sale at a price of 27,905 Yen, which was equal to $210.43. Other photographers sought to imitate Kenmochi’s success, and the Photo-Lolicon craze of the 1980s followed.

Statues by Kjeld Moseholm

(Last Updated On February 16, 2023)

Kjeld Moseholm-Jørgensen (aka Kjeld Moseholm) was born in Denmark in 1936. He is one of Denmark’s most famous sculptors, with his art exhibited in public places in Denmark and in other countries. Moseholm’s style is usually abstract. His figures are often bulbous, lending his work a touch of comedy. Nevertheless, there is a melancholic aspect to his sculpture. His abstract figures are often in strange postures or situations.

Kjeld Moseholm – Anette (1994)

The five works covered in this post are different from Moseholm’s typical work in two ways. First, each includes a young girl. Second, they are realistic figures in realistic poses. The Moseholm realistic statues I have seen are all females, usually nudes, or are a group of statues that contains a female. Perhaps he thought that the female figure is very aesthetically pleasing in a lifelike representation, and there was no way to improve on it with abstraction.

Kjeld Moseholm – Annette at Rudkøbing (1994)

Anette or Annette is peculiar in that two examples of the statue have slightly different names. The first image is of Anette in the city park Borås, Sweden. The second image, Annette, is on the grounds of the church in Rudkøbing, Denmark. I could not find information about the model for this statue. Where I live, in the US, it probably would not be acceptable to have a statue of a nude girl on the grounds of a church.

Kjeld Moseholm – Barn på Gungbräda (1992)

Barn på Gungbräda (Children on a Seesaw) is also in the city park Borås, Sweden. Moseholm sculpted many female nudes, but sometimes made statue pairs with both a boy and a girl, as in Barn på Gungbräda.

Kjeld Moseholm – Børn (1976)

The statues pair titled Børn (Children) is on display by the Nordea Bank in Assens, Denmark.

Kjeld Moseholm – Kommunikation (1989)

Most of the Moseholm girl statues I found are nudes, but the next one is an exception. The group includes a boy wearing shorts, a girl wearing a short dress, and a pigeon. The girl is writing; the boy is reading, and the pigeon may be a carrier pigeon. The group is titled Kommunikation (Communication), and is at the Post Office in Ringe, Denmark.

Kjeld Moseholm – Siddende Pige (1988)

Sitting Girl, aka Siddende Pige, aka Fille Sur Une Chaise is another popular statue with a simple pose. The first photo shows this statue in the garden behind the Slagelse, Denmark library. The next photo is of the statue in a public park in Monaco. The statue was installed in Monaco in 1981, and in Slagelse in 1988.

Kjeld Moseholm – Fille Sur Une Chaise (1981)