Random Images: Xaver Bergmann

(Last Updated On January 5, 2021)

A reader came across this unusual figurine for auction. The really remarkable thing about it is that it is overtly erotic and looking at the physique of the girl, she is clearly very young. It would have been interesting to get into the head of the artist to understand the logic for composing this kind of subject for a Vienna Bronze. I own a very small one of a girl with a mandolin and so it must have been quite common to feature nude subjects in this medium.

Xaver Bergmann – Orientale mit Katze (1850s?)

I believe the title (Easterner [Arab] with Cat) was meant to be suggestive implying an erotic subject. Although there is no date indicated in the auction, Vienna Bronzes were made starting in the 1850s.

Maiden Voyages: Happy New Year 2021!

(Last Updated On December 28, 2020)

Readers can make a perfectly reasonable case that I have been neglectful the past few months. And although we try to present things as professionally as possible, I should reiterate that this is a volunteer enterprise and work can only be done as time permits. I have been promised some articles from a few of our readers, but only Moko has followed through so far.

Young Environmental Activists: We mentioned the work of Greta Thunberg and Ralyn Satidtanasarn who captured the public imagination as among of the youngest activists. In a sense, age is not a requirement to be effective protester. In fact, it could be these girls’ innocence that might finally move us grown-ups to affect some meaningful change. We can now add Licypriya Kangujam from India to the list (Instagram account). I only hope the novelty of these youngsters does not wear off before real progress is made.

The Trouble with Controversies: The release of controversial materials is not just a legal/ethical matter. But because there tends to be some kind of public outcry, it becomes almost impossible to the judge the merits of the piece objectively and discuss whether the nudity or sexual content is just sensationalism or an essential part of the work. A case in point is the 2020 film Cuties (French, Mignonnes), a coming-of-age story of a young dancer (trailer here). In typical corporate fashion, Netflix has apologized in response to protests, really satisfying no one (sorry but not sorry). You can find some of the discussion here, here, here and here. I would be interested in what Pigtails readers think.

Our Artist Fans: It is always a delight when a living artist sees our site and is pleased with it. This happened recently with Dolphine (Andrei Sharapov, aka d’Elf) who requested a dedicated post. Pip discovered this artist long ago and there are numerous lovely submissions, but given the extensive coverage already given here (and my limited time), we have to decline. However, I am happy to share key links to his gallery and Instagram.

Defunct Websites: We aren’t the only ones operating on a as-time-permits basis. That is why some sites have disappeared, most notably Novel Activist. It was my intent to reissue some of the more important pieces right here (with the author’s permission). Fortunately, our internet host has taken it upon himself to reconstruct the site in full and make it available. The project is basically complete but cannot be published until some sense is made of the connecting links. Also, some of the images are missing or of poor quality so some assistance will be needed by our readers when the reissue is released.

Last Chance for the Movie Guide: I remind readers of an excellent resource recently released for movies featuring young girls, Quilty’s Guide to Nymphets in the Movies. It is not simply a list of films but bona fide reviews with the author’s opinion of the merit (or lack thereof) of each one. I am told that the book will be removed soon from Blurb and will be sold for a higher price on the secondary market so if you intended to get this one, do so soon.

Postcard Archives: Although we gripe about the amount of censorship of legitimate artistic nudity, sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. A reader found a collection with a couple of adolescent nudes and I simply share them with you (here and here).

Album Covers: 2020 Submissions

(Last Updated On December 23, 2020)

We periodically get album cover leads since Pip got the ball rolling years ago. the problem is that even though they can be found online, their quality is often poor or they’re too small. So we’re killing two birds with one stone here: 1) Informing readers of cover art of interest and 2) Soliciting higher quality images from readers which we can put in a dedicated post. My apologies that I can’t say much about the music itself since I mostly like Classical and music you can dance to!

Trem da Alegria (1986)

Trem da Alegria (Train of Happiness) was a children’s musical band based in Brazil. They released eight albums between 1984 and 1992.

La Chorale Des Enfants De L’Opera De Paris: Children Of France is, just as the title suggests, a vocal selection performed by children from France first released in 1971. Besides the charming cover, if you click on “more images”, you will find another sweet image of the smiling children.

Mulekada was a Brazilian children’s musical group. This group was active from 1998–2003 and featured a Latin-Pop style of music.

The Smart Set: Informally Yours is a US LP/Vinyl release of easy-listening Jazz which came out in 1959. A cute and innocent bath scene.

Surprise Party Au Bord De La Mer is a collection released in France in 1958. Once again illustrating the convention of very young children not having to wear clothing at all at the beach.

Bonemen of Barumba: Driving the Bats Thru Jerusalem was released in LP and CD in 1982. Straight beach nudity but not clear the thematic intent.

Mu Dv Ay Ne: L.D. 50 is a Heavy Metal Vinyl and CD release from 2000. The artist’s name is actually Mudvayne but this album is made to appear like atomic symbols from the periodic table (only Ne [Neon] is legit BTW).

Carnaval dos Baixinhos is an LP cover released in Brazil in 1988. The titles of the songs seems to suggest that this is marketed for children. The cover shows plenty of toddler skin but it is somewhat jarring given the theme of Carnival. The good news is that the faces are not visible so there should be no concerns about stigmatization for these two who would now be in their 30s.

J’L’Tismé: Le Jour J is a hip-hop label released in 2000. Images like this are both amusing and provocative with the baby seeming to engage in grown-up vices.

Random Images: May von Krogh

(Last Updated On December 22, 2020)

Another contribution from a reader. May von Krogh is a Norwegian sculptor of ceramic installations. A recent submission featured what has been called “children in peril”. It is not as one might assume about child abuse per se but the anxieties and traumas associated with being a child. The emotions are subtle and in some cases only apparent upon close examination. Funnily enough the pieces were inspired by a simple nursery rhyme: Mary Had a Little Lamb. The lamb is not only an important of symbol of innocence but of Christianity as well and the artist discusses a personal memory about her faith.

May von Krogh – For you a thousand times over (closeup of girl) (c2016)

Random Images: Arturo Checchi

(Last Updated On December 28, 2020)

There are a number of statues in the Piazza Italia in Perugia, Italy. The most famous is an equestrian bronze but below and little ways away there is a fountain with a lovely statue of a young girl. She appears very small in photos found on the internet because she is seldom the main focus of the square. One of our readers was kind enough to send some photos of the statue during a recent visit. He could not get close enough to it to make out the name of the sculptor so Patricia came to the rescue and identified him as Arturo Checchi (1886–1971).

Arturo Checchi – Bimba al sole (1935) (1)

Arturo Checchi – Bimba al sole (1935) (2)

Arturo Checchi – Bimba al sole (1935) (closeup)

Unfortunately, our photographer did not have exclusive access so the images are somewhat marred by the presence of other tourists, modern vehicles, etc.

Merry Christmas!

(Last Updated On December 22, 2020)

This is an unattributed photo in the Corbis collection and made into a postcard. This was Christian’s Christmas card to me this year. It is unknown whether the photo is just of unknown provenance or was staged to look like a period piece. The date is just a guess and the Corbis copyright says 2004. Sometimes photographers are hired for a commercial job and not credited so who knows.

Anonymous – Who’s Fooling Who? (c1960?)

Pigtails in Paint wishes all our readers a Merry Christmas!

Comparative Anatomy: Ladybird Books

(Last Updated On December 20, 2020)

In a discussion on contrivances, the subject of sex education (really just anatomy education) the subject of drawings versus photos was discussed. In the Will McBride book, photos were used but given that these are actual children, using their bodies in an illustrative text might be stigmatic and ethically questionable. The most obvious solution is to use realistic (and accurate) drawings. That way, the particular personality of the child would not be identified as some real person even if there was a life model originally. The amusing bit is that with the English-speaking world’s discomfort with frank presentations of the naked body, many books have become overly cartoonish, offering little useful detail. Ladybird Books was cited to by a number of readers as a good exception. Your Body was published in 1967 and a blogger (The Serendipity Project) took the trouble to scan its contents.

Robert Ayton – from Your Body (1967)

Interestingly, one of the other images in that book shows a family at the beach and guess what? The little girl is wearing no top! Yet another can of worms that has been discussed on this site regarding the convention of topless girl children on public beaches.

Random Images: Guy Peellaert

(Last Updated On December 20, 2020)

One of the most interesting leads from one of our readers the past few months was Belgian artist Guy Peellaert (1934–2008). According to our contributor, he is one of the unidentified artists in an earlier post but did not give specifics. Perhaps another reader will come forward with the details. In a sense, this post is almost an ‘Album Covers’ entry as many of the works were used in that capacity.

This and many others are part of a series of images published in Rolling Stones magazine. Perhaps most remarkable is a 1974 book Rock Dreams produced in collaboration with early Rock chronicler Nik Cohn, the Ulster-raised son of psychologist Norman Cohn. The impetus of these works is to create a series of farcical pictures that portray the what-might-have-been of famous personalities. One in particular is extremely edgy even for work of that genre. In fact, Pip apparently knew about it but was reluctant to post it because readers would not accept it as an expression of satire.

Guy Peelleart – from Rock Dreams [#14] (c1974)

The images from that book were lovingly scanned and posted in a blog (Diet) Coke and Sympathy. There was a reprint of the book but, in that version, the image was split by the unsightly crease of the binding. The author painstaking searched for the first edition so that we may have the pristine example shown above.

One of the nagging questions I have is: where did the models came from? The girls are lovingly rendered and realistic. I have the feeling that I have seen that girl at the piano in a photograph before (I believe in an Edwardian postcard). So maybe there’s a real expert out there who could help us out.

Random Images: Lady Ottoline Morrell et al

(Last Updated On December 19, 2020)

This lead is from Moko. He found some interesting photos of young girls in the British National Portrait Gallery while browsing. There are too many relevant examples to list here so you should take a look for yourself here. Worth noting are several nude photos of young girls by Lady Ottoline Morrell, including the photographer’s daughter Julian Morrell Vinogradoff. There is also a photo by an unknown photographer of the noted surgeon Dr. Ann Davies Synge and her friend, computer scientist Christopher Strachey, when they were both young children. What’s peculiar about this photo is that while Ann is fully nude, Christopher is fully dressed.

Artist Unknown – Ann Davies Synge (née Stephen); Christopher Strachey (1926)

A Roman Knucklebone Player

(Last Updated On December 17, 2020)

Ancient Greek and Roman art has a realistic quality that sets it apart from the art of other ancient civilizations. Some types of ancient art, such as Egyptian, were for the purpose of conveying information more than for aesthetics. Greeks artists strived for an idealized version of realism. Romans based their art on the Greek, but with an important difference. Romans were less concerned with idealizing their subjects. If a Roman model had a less than perfect face or figure, the artist portrayed reality, warts and all. Today it is popular to display classical statues as white marble. In antiquity the statues were painted, making them even more lifelike. Current technology allows us to detect tiny remnants of paint invisible to the naked eye, and computer programs can then be used to generate an image of the statue as it appeared when it was painted. As far as I know, this statue has never been computer-restored to its painted condition.

Anonymous -Knöchelspielendes Mädchen (circa130-150)

The Roman statue pictured here has been given the modern title Knöchelspielendes Mädchen (Girl Playing Knucklebones) by Altes Museum in Berlin, where the statue is now on display. It was found on the Caelian Hill in Rome, Italy. This statue was sculpted about AD 130-150, the period when Roman art was at its height. It is a copy of a Hellenistic Greek original. Knucklebone games were very popular with children, especially girls, in antiquity. Sources on the internet say that knucklebone games were similar to modern dice games or jacks. They don’t say what was used in place of the rubber needed for a game of jacks.

The girl wears a chiton that may not have been as clinging as shown in the statue. That was a convention of Greek art that was copied by the Romans. Her cornrow hair style was popular in ancient Rome, and may be even more popular in sculpture than in life, due to the ease of carving this style in marble.

Two more versions of the statue are shown below. The first, from the British Museum, shows a more mature girl with a different hair style. It is Roman, from the first or second centuries AD. The second is a French copy made of cast iron in about 1850.

Anonymous -Knucklebone Player (circa First – Second Century)

Anonymous – A Young Girl Playing Knucklebones (circa1850)

Most Roman art portrayed adults, political leaders, and deities. Statues of children are less common, and the relatively few that were made were less likely to be preserved. It seems strange now, but there was a time when Roman works of art were considered to be old junk rather than valuable antiques. Most bronze statues were melted down for scrap metal. Many marble statues were burned for lime. Buildings (such as the Coliseum before it was protected) were used as sources of building stone for new structures. We are fortunate that Knöchelspielendes Mädchen has survived.