Satyr’s Daughters by Judy Fox

Satyr’s Daughters is a group of five painted ceramic sculptures by Judy Fox. The artist was born in New Jersey in 1957, and currently lives in New York. She is most famous for her life-size realistic terra-cotta nudes of women and children. Satyr’s Daughters was created in 1999 and originally displayed in the PPOW Gallery in New York City. The display included four statues of girls, each about seven years old (the daughters), and one adult man (the satyr). The four girls were displayed on high pedestals on one side of the room; they were meant to be viewed from below. The Satyr was on the other side of the room on a low platform, and was looking at the daughters. Although they were displayed in one group, each of the five statues was sold individually. Since Pigtails is about girls, this post will concentrate on the daughters.

Judy Fox – Satyr’s Daughters (1999)

The four daughters represent four different geographical areas: India, Africa, China, and Europe. Fox said that she chose models at an age when they were becoming conscious of their beauty, but were still innocent of its sexual implications. Fox considers herself to be a feminist, and strives for her art to reflect that.

Lakshmi represents India. Lakshmi is the name of a Hindu goddess, but the Lakshmi of Satyr’s Daughters has an appearance different from traditional portrayals of the divinity. Hindus worship Lakshmi as the goddess of wealth, love, beauty, joy and prosperity. Lakshmi is conventionally depicted as an adult woman with four arms, as in the painting by Raja Ravi Varma. However, Lakshmi was incarnate on Earth as Sita and as Rukmini, so it may not be entirely contrary to Hindu doctrine to portray her as a young girl. At least, I have not read of any Hindus objecting to the Lakshmi statue in Satyr’s Daughters.

Judy Fox – Lakshmi (1999)

Ravi Varma -Goddess Lakshmi (1848 – 1906)

Africa is represented by Onile. Onile is the Earth and metalworking goddess of the Yoruba people of Nigeria and Benin. She is often portrayed in abstract bronze statuettes in a pose similar to the Onile of Judy Fox. Although Onile is divine, I have not read of any Yoruba complaining of the Onile in Satyr’s Daughters as sacrilege.

Judy Fox – Onile (1999)

Judy Fox – Onile (1999)

Unknown Nigerian Artist – Onile Yoruba Figurine (20th century)

Court Lady is the daughter for China. This statue is reminiscent of Tang Dynasty figurines of Chinese ladies. Court Lady replicates the posture and hair of the figurines, but with a nude child instead of a clothed adult. Photographs of live models were used to make the Satyr’s Daughters statues. Judy Fox lives and works in New York City, and it seems likely that her models were all from that area. Fox included details in the hair, posture, and titles of the sculptures to indicate that the girls represent different parts of the world and different cultures; not merely New York girls who happen to be of different ethnic backgrounds.

Judy Fox – Court Lady (1999)

Judy Fox – Court Lady (1999)

Anonymous – Tang Dynasty Figurine (618 – 906)

Rapunzel is Europe’s daughter. It is a good choice, I think, to use a fairy tale character from Grimm to represent Europe. The Grimm brothers collected their folk tales in 19th century Germany, but the tales are common in all European countries and are centuries old. Rapunzel is probably the best of Grimm’s Tales for the Satyr’s Daughters series because of her long hair. Since the figures are nude, the hair is one of the details necessary to give each daughter her individuality.

Judy Fox – Rapunzel (1999)

Judy Fox – Rapunzel (1999)

Controversy could potentially arise from the fact that real girls modeled for Satyr’s Daughters, and realistic nude statues of the girls were put on public display. If anything was done to make the models unrecognizable from the statues, it was not mentioned in any review that I read. Yet despite the fact that the girls were originally displayed with a satyr, and satyrs are by definition lascivious, I have not read of any objections in this regard to Satyr’s Daughters.

Norman Rockwell’s Girls

Norman Rockwell was one of 20th century America’s most popular painters. He is famous for his paintings of contemporary everyday life that some critics dismiss as overly sentimental. Rockwell is best known for his cover illustrations for Boy’s Life and The Saturday Evening Post magazines, and for the Boy Scout calendars. He was a perfectionist who tried to get the details right. One his paintings was posted on Pigtails here. Another illustration based on a Rockwell painting, but with a new background, was posted here.

Rockwell created many paintings of children. Although his paintings of boys are better known, there are paintings of girls too. The Young Lady with the Shiner is the first of Rockwell’s paintings that will be included in this post. A young girl has been called to the principal’s office for fighting in school. There are three things about this picture that are typical of Rockwell’s art. First is that the girl appears strangely happy even though she has a bruised eye and is about to be punished by the principal. Finding humor and optimism in unlikely situations is a rockwellesque trait. This can be taken as belittling children’s legitimate problems, and therefore has often been criticized. Pip Starr in an earlier post here wrote “Rockwell’s work tends to sacrifice children’s dignity on the altar of humor…” The second thing is that this painting shows the aftermath of the fight instead of the fight itself. Rockwell often chose to paint the prelude or the consequence of an event rather than the main event. Realistic detail is another characteristic of Rockwell. He did not want to give the model a real black eye, and makeup was not, in his judgement, realistic enough. Therefore Rockwell advertised for a model with a black eye, who would model only for the eye. Mary Whalen posed for everything except the black eye of the girl in the painting.

Norman Rockwell – The Young Lady with the Shiner (1953)

Norman Rockwell – The Young Lady with the Shiner Photo (1953)

When Mary was called from class to go to the principal’s office, she thought that she was actually in trouble. She started to cry, and the teacher let her twin brother go with her for moral support. When she saw that she was only there to be a model, she was relieved. She had posed for Rockwell before. The artist asked her to smile as if she had just won a fight with her brother. Below are the painting and the photograph of Mary from which Rockwell made the painting.

Mary Whalen also modeled for A Day in the Life of a Girl. This painting was done when Mary was 9 years old, the year before The Young Lady with the Shiner. A Day in the Life of a Girl is actually a series of twenty-two pictures illustrating a typical day in the life of an American girl in 1952. The boy in these pictures was modeled by ten year old Chuck Marsh. The painting and the photographs for the painting are shown below. Note the difference between the painting and the fourth from the last photo. Chuck said later that Mr. Rockwell tried very hard to get him to kiss Mary, but even though he liked Mary a lot, Chuck was too shy. Finally Rockwell gave up and let Chuck pretend to kiss a bronze bust instead of Mary.

Norman Rockwell – A Day in the Life of a Girl (1952)

Norman Rockwell – A Day in the Life of a Girl Photo (1952)

I don’t think it would be that hard today to get a ten-year-old boy who is a paid model to kiss a girl. Especially since it’s only an attempted kiss on the forehead. The 1950s were a different time. Rockwell painted cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post from 1916 through 1963. People who never lived in rural America at that time may find it hard to believe, but Rockwell’s depictions of rural and small town life in that era are quite realistic. At least they appear realistic to me, and I lived in rural America during the latter part of that period.

Even though children were more shy then, there was young romance. It was just more subdued. The next two paintings are from Rockwell’s Four Seasons Portfolio. They illustrate young love in the summer and fall.

Norman Rockwell – Young Love Walking to School (1949)

Norman Rockwell – Young Love Swinging (1949)

The next paintings illustrate typical feminine characteristics. The girl is happy to dress up in new school clothes, but the boy is not. Girls also like dolls. In the painting Girl With Christmas Doll, two dolls seem to be vying for the girl’s attention. Apparently the girl is holding her old doll, and the Christmas doll is on the floor. The girl has a problem because she loves her old doll and may feel that it would be unfaithful to give her affection to a new doll.

Norman Rockwell – Mother Sending Children Off to School (1919)

Norman Rockwell – Girl With Christmas Doll (1917)

A doll is also featured in The Doctor and the Doll. Rockwell tends to portray people as good and understanding. The girl is intimidated because the doctor will examine her. The kind-hearted physician tries to put the girl at ease by examining her doll first.

Norman Rockwell – The Doctor and the Doll (1929)

The American Way was painted in 1944, during World War II. The title refers to the fact that Americans boasted that it was “the American way” to help people in need, just as the American GI is helping the little girl. Today it is fashionable to emphasize the negative, but Rockwell wanted to inspire people to try to emulate the positive virtues of characters in his paintings. Today many would observe that the little girl may not have been in need of help if the Americans had not made war in her country, but people did not think that way in 1944. Rockwell did not completely ignore the bad parts of American life (See his painting Murder in Mississippi.), but usually he tried to highlight the good. Although Rockwell always tried to get the details right, he made a mistake in The American Way. The soldier wears an ammunition belt for the M1 Garand rifle, but the weapon shown with him is a Thompson submachine gun.

Norman Rockwell – The American Way (1944)

Girl Returning From Camp was the illustration for the August 24th, 1940 cover of The Saturday Evening Post. Magazines were very popular at that time before the internet, and The Saturday Evening Post was one of the most popular magazines in America. Rockwell, and other popular artists created covers for The Saturday Evening Post. Girl Returning From Camp inspired more people to write letters to the magazine than any other cover illustration. It surprises me that it was so controversial. A lot of readers were not sure if the child on the cover was a boy or a girl.

Norman Rockwell – Girl Returning from Camp (1940)

It is obvious to me, from her hairstyle and her skirt, that she is a girl. Boys did not wear long hair in 1940. Why would people think she was a boy? Maybe it is because she seems unhappy to return from camp where she enjoyed the rough adventure even though she had minor injuries on her finger and knee. I grew up on a farm, and my girl cousins and classmates were not afraid of snakes or of getting dirty in the woods. Perhaps residents of more urban areas had a different idea of what little girls should be like. The public reaction to the painting may tell us something about the city dweller’s perception of young girls. You can read about the controversy in an essay here.

A few details are worth noting in Girl Returning From Camp. Rockwell painted the snake and turtle so realistically that I could look up the species of each. I believe the snake is Opheodrys vernalis and the turtle is Chrysemys picta. Both species are indigenous to the eastern United States where the girl presumably went to camp. Note the chips in the blade of the girl’s hatchet. Rockwell undoubtedly knew, from his close association with the Boy Scouts, that a properly used hatchet should not have a chipped blade. The insinuation is that this girl may have been a little wild and reckless at camp.

April Fool 1948 will be the last painting in this post. April Fools covers for The Saturday Evening Post were painted in 1943, 1945 and 1948. Only the 1948 cover features a girl. These covers were intended to be games for the readers of the magazine, who would try to find all of the errors in the picture. I get the feeling that there is more to it than just an April Fools game, but I don’t know how to interpret it. I will point out only one of the many strange things that make this painting so surreal. The girl holding the ugly doll with cloven hooves appears in the painting two more times: in the lower right holding a skunk and in the upper left as a marble bust. You can see a list of fifty-six errors in April Fool 1948 here. If anybody has insight into this painting, please leave a comment.

Norman Rockwell – April Fool, 1948 (1948)

Girls of Oceania Part 2: Melanesia and Micronesia

Melanesia is by far the part of Oceania with the most land area. The island of New Guinea has more than twice as much land as Polynesia and Micronesia combined. It is also the earliest inhabited part of Oceania. If you look at a map, it will not be obvious why Melanesia is considered to be part of Oceania. On the map, a swarm of large islands, close together, extends from the Malay Peninsula to the Fiji Islands.

The islands from New Guinea to Fiji are considered to be Melanesia, and the islands west of New Guinea are said to be part of Asia. The reason for dividing Melanesia from Asia at New Guinea is that the people who inhabit the islands west of New Guinea are of the same race as the Malay people on the Asian mainland. From New Guinea east to Fiji the people are of a Black race with an appearance similar to the people of Africa. Melanesia is big enough and old enough to have a rich diversity of cultures, and most of the images of Melanesia in this post are from ethnographic works.

An ethnographic contrivance by Francis Barton, along with some information about the photographer, was posted in Pigtails in Paint here.  Another of Captain Barton’s photographs is shown below. It was published in the book Melanesians of British New Guinea by Charles Seligman. The purpose of the photograph is to show the tattoo patterns of the girl’s tribe.

Francis Rickman Barton – Tattooed Girl (1904-1910)

J. G. Pasteur was another photographer who documented the life on New Guinea in about the time of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pasteur sent the negatives of his work to Europe, and his friend C. H. Stratz published the photos in his books after Pasteur’s death. The Stratz books are not art books, but the photos definitely have an artistic composition. Stratz wrote in Naturgeschichte des Menschen that J. G. Pasteur created the most beautiful and artistically perfect Papua pictures (Papua is another name for New Guinea). Although Naturgeschichte des Menschen is a scientific book, Stratz was clearly interested in the artistic value of the photographs.

J.G. Pasteur – Papuamädchen von Acht bis Zehn Jahren (circa 1900)

J.G. Pasteur – Papuamädchen von Etwa Zehn Jahren (circa1900)

J.G. Pasteur – Mädchen von Vierzehn Jahren aus Taubadji (circa1900)

The next two Melanesian photos are anonymous images from the Solomon Islands and New Britain Island. The picture of the Solomon Islands girl with the wide smile and flowers in her hair is particularly evocative of a happy childhood. The New Britain girl appears more somber. She was probably posed that way by an ethnologist to demonstrate the musical instrument of her tribe.

Anonymous – Solomon Island Girl (circa1920)

Museum für Völkerkunde, Dresden – A Girl from Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain, Playing on Pongolo (before 1930)

The next photograph is from the collection of the American physician Sylvester M. Lambert. Lambert spent twenty years in the Pacific islands as a doctor for the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Health Board. During that time he took many photographs that document the life of the island people. His photos have the appearance of an amateur snapshot. This is a photo of Melanesian women and girls. One source says the photo was taken on Santa Ana Island, while another says that it is from Santa Catalina Island. Santa Ana (Owaraha) and Santa Catalina (Owariki) are both in the Solomon Islands, and are separated by less than two miles of water.

S. M. Lambert – Women and Girls on Santa Ana (1919–1939)

Note that all of the Melanesian photos shown so far were taken before 1940, and that the girls in the photos have no clothing. The idea that nudity is obscene, although common in Western culture, is not universally held. There are two interesting maps in Die Frauenkleidung und ihre natürliche Entwicklung by C. H. Stratz that show where women routinely went nude in the years 1500 and 1900. This area seems to be most of the tropics in 1500, and a much smaller but still significant area, including part of Melanesia, in 1900. (I think he underestimated the area in South America in 1900.) There is still at least one area in Melanesia where nudity is common today. On the Melanesian island of Malaita, it is customary in some communities for only men, boys, and married women to wear clothes, while girls and young unmarried women go naked. Most of Melanesia has adopted western or at least semi-western modes of dress today. This is shown on the last two images from Melanesia. Both are from the Melanesian Women Today web page.

Melanesian Women Today – Solomon Scholarships (circa2020)

Melanesian Women Today – Takuu (circa2020)

In Micronesia, many people wore clothing, even if only grass skirts, before they adopted western style dress. The next two photographs are of girls on the Micronesian island of Nauru. Nauru is now an independent state, and with a land area of about eight square miles is one of the smallest sovereign states.

Anonymous – Nauru Girls (circa 1920)

Australian War Memorial – Private Corfield with a Young Nauruan Girl (1945)

Micronesian people are related to Polynesians. They are descended from the same group of migrants that left Taiwan in ancient times and went to Indonesia. Some of those people went north to Micronesia while the rest went east to Polynesia. The Micronesian population was later augmented with more migrants from Polynesia and from The Philippines.

Yap is a very traditional Micronesian island, where the old-fashioned grass skirts are still worn for special occasions. The next image is a vintage postcard from Yap showing a girl, a man, and one of the stone wheels that are highly valued by the people on Yap. Following that is a photo taken by an Australian woman and posted on her Lozinyap blog. The two girls were celebrating Yap Day in 2015.

Anonymous – Girl and Man on Yap (circa1940)

Lozinyap – Yapday Girls (2015)

Guam is the biggest and most cosmopolitan island in Micronesia. Gerard Aflague is a Chamorro, an indigenous person of Guam, and an illustrator of children’s books. He has illustrated, and written several books with Christian religious, educational, and Pacific Island themes. His wife is also a writer. He seems to be very proud of his Chamorro heritage, and the first image is the cover of a book written in both Chamorro and English. He has also written and illustrated bilingual books in English and other Pacific island languages.

Gerard Aflague – Cover of Head Shoulders Knees and Toes (2017)

Gerard Aflague – Cover of Little Chamorrita Did I Tell You (2014)

Robert Hunter is a painter living in the Northern Mariana Islands. He has a great deal of experience as a commercial and fine artist, having worked as an artist for the United States Postal Service, the Red Cross and others. Much of his art revolves around Micronesian life and legends. The first painting by Robert Hunter, Things Lost, Things Found , depicts a young girl and a nautilus shell on the beach. The second painting, Piggyback, shows a girl carrying another child.

Robert Hunter – Things Lost, Things Found (2010)

Robert Hunter – Piggyback (2011)

Most of Micronesia consists of U.S. territories or independent states in free association with the United States. The free association status, among other things, makes it easy for the Micronesians to enter the United States. Many people from Chuuk (formerly Truk) have settled in Milan, Minnesota. The mural of a young Chuukese girl shown below is on the wall of Bergen’s Prairie Market in Milan.

Anonymous – Mural of a Micronesian Girl on Bergen’s Prairie Market (circa2020)

The last example of a young island girl in this post is one that people in the USA, and in associated states that use US money, have probably already seen. This is the Northern Marianas Islands quarter dollar for the “America the Beautiful” quarter series. The design depicts a girl at the memorial commemorating the 1944 Battle of Saipan. Donna Weaver designed the quarter, and Phebe Hemphill sculpted it. Phebe Hemphill said on a Youtube video that the person on the quarter is a “young girl”. On the US Mint website, however, the person on the quarter is described as a “young woman”. I agree with the sculptor that she is a girl, and therefore have included the quarter in this post.

Weaver and Hemphill – America the Beautiful Quarter for Northern Mariana Islands (2019)

Girls of Oceania: Part 1 – Polynesia

Some islands are conventionally associated with a continent. For example, Japan and Indonesia are islands in the Pacific, but they are considered to be part of Asia. There are many islands scattered throughout the Pacific that are not associated with any continent; they are known collectively as Oceania. Oceania consists of three sections: Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. This post will be about Polynesia; Melanesia and Micronesia will be covered in Girls of Oceania Part 2.

Polynesian people originated in Taiwan. Over the course of many generations, they migrated south to Philippines and Indonesia, then east until they reached the island groups of Samoa and Tonga about 1000 BC. They remained in Samoa and Tonga for over a thousand years. Then, in a relatively short time, they spread throughout the eastern Pacific. Polynesia expanded to Hawaii in the north, New Zealand in the southwest, and Easter Island in the southeast. This is a huge area of ocean, millions of square miles, but it contains only about 118,000 square miles of land, of which 103,000 square miles are in New Zealand.

These remote islands developed a mystique during the era before air travel, when visiting an isolated island was like going to another planet, with little to no contact with the outside world. There is a romance in being so detached from the rest of the world. In the days of sailing ships when the male crews may have spent weeks without seeing a woman before stopping at a Polynesian island, the women of the islands were of particular interest. Polynesia became famous for women hula dancers, but young girls were also hula dancers.

The first example of a children’s hula, called “keiki hula” in Hawaiian, is this photo of Shirley Temple in her hula costume from the movie Curly Top. This was not an island movie, but hula dancing had become popular everywhere. Polynesian costume looks cute and feminine and therefore is appealing to girls who are not Polynesian. An image of non-Polynesian girls in grass skirts by Shannon Richardson was posted on Pigtails in Paint here.

Fox Studios – Publicity Photo for Curly Top (1935)

Hulas, including keiki hula, are more popular in Polynesia than elsewhere. The next two images show keiki hula shows in Hawaii, the first at the Kona Inn in the 1940s; the second at a shopping mall in the present century.

Anonymous – Keiki Hula at Kona Inn (1940s)

Na Kamalii Nani o Lahaina Hula School – Hula Show at the Mall (circa2016)

Hula girls have inspired several painters, including John Yato. Yato was born in Japan and his family moved to California when he was nine years old. He specializes in bright watercolors of various parts of the world, including the Pacific islands. The following two paintings by John Yato were inspired by Polynesian girls.

John Yato – Little Hulas (circa2010)

John Yato – Paradise Smile (circa2020)

Hawaiian girls are featured in cartoons as well as fine art. Lilo and Stitch, one of the best known Hawaiian-themed cartoons, was released by Disney in 2002. This story of a 6-year old Hawaiian girl who adopts a creature from outer space was a very successful movie. Sequels and a television series of Lilo and Stitch have been made.

Walt Disney Pictures – Lilo and Stitch (c2002)

Barbara Bradley was one of the 20th century’s outstanding illustrators. She made many illustrations of young girls, and I am surprised that she has not already been featured in Pigtails in Paint. Her typical style of drawing was more realistic, but she did a series of Hawaiian kids illustrations for the Dole pineapple company in a cartoon style in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Barbara’s children were models for the Hawaiian kids.

Barbara Bradley – Dole Hawaiian Kids (circa1970)

Barbara Bradley – Dole Hawaiian Kids Girl (circa1970)

In the limited amount of research done for this post I did not find any serious sculptures of young Polynesian girls, but there is a lot of kitsch; bobble head dolls, dashboard ornaments, and souvenir figurines. An example shown below is a solar powered bobble head of a girl playing the ukulele.

KC Hawaii – Keiki Ukulele Bobble Head Solar Doll (circa2020)

Up to this point, all of the images have been of Hawaiians, or at least of generic Polynesians that could be Hawaiian. New Zealand is by far the largest and most populous island group in Polynesia, but for some reason doesn’t have as much young girl art as Hawaii or French Polynesia. Perhaps New Zealand is too big for the feeling of being on a remote isolated little piece of land. The photograph below is from the studio of one of the great early woman photographers, Elizabeth Pullman. She had an intense interest in the Maori (New Zealand Polynesians) and photographed many of their important leaders. The photo below is an anonymous Maori woman and two girls.

Pullman and Son – Maori Woman and Two Children – (1871-1900)

French Polynesia, which includes the island of Tahiti, was the home of the painter Paul Gauguin for several years. Gauguin created many paintings of Tahitian women, but few paintings of young girls. Two of his paintings of Tahitian girls are shown below. Gauguin was probably influenced by photographer Charles Georges Spitz. Spitz lived in Tahiti, but the photograph posted here is from the Tuamotus Islands.

Paul Gauguin – Piti Teina (Two Sisters) (1892)

Paul Gauguin – Tahitian Woman And Two Children (1901)

Charles Georges Spitz – Tuamotus (circa1888)

Roger Parry was another French art photographer and he was also a war correspondent. Parry visited Tahiti in 1932–1933, and took at least four nude photographs of young Tahitian girls. Two are posted here, followed by a photo from Frederick O’Brien. O’Brien was not an artist; he was a bohemian wanderer and social activist who was in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia in 1913–1914. His picture of the kava drinker with two women and a girl became well known. It was published in O’Brien’s book White Shadows in the South Seas in 1919, and in National Geographic Magazine about eighty years later.

Roger Parry – Jeune Fille Nue (1932)

Roger Parry – Jeune Fille Nue aux Algues (1932)

Frederick O’Brien -Kivi, the Kava Drinker with the Hetairae of the Valley (1913-1914)

Only a few of the many islands of Polynesia can be covered in this post. Samoa will be the last group of islands considered here. Most of Samoa had been a German possession. It was formerly believed that various groups of people had certain distinctive characteristics. We Americans are commercial, therefore we have bobble head dolls from Hawaii. British are reserved, therefore we have formal studio portraits from New Zealand. French are artistic, therefore we have Gauguin’s paintings from Tahiti. Germans are scientific, therefore we have tomes detailing the ethnography, geology, botany, etc. of Samoa.

The two photos from Samoa are both from scholarly works. The first is from Die Frauenkleidung und ihre natürliche Entwicklung by Carl Heinrich Stratz. Stratz wrote that the picture is from a book by Selenka, but he does not say that Selenka was the photographer. This same image is found in several other early 20th century books. It is a good example of an ethnographic contrivance; an artistic picture disguised as ethnography to make it appear more serious and respectable. The second photograph is true ethnography with no contrivance. It uses a 14-year old girl to illustrate the physical characteristics of the Polynesian race. This image was taken from Naturgeschichte des Menschen, also by Stratz. The image is attributed to the Godefroy album. Godefroy was a German trading company that operated in the Pacific. This picture also appears in many other books, and in spite of the stiff pose has an innocent appeal.

Selenka – Mädchen aus Samoa im Blumenschmuck (circa1900)

Godefroy Album – 14 Jähriges Mädchen aus Samoa (c1900)

Lehnert and Landrock’s Young Model

The team of Rudolf Franz Lehnert and Ernst Heinrich Landrock is probably the best known of all Orientalist photographers. Lehnert was born in 1878 in what is now the Czech Republic, and was then part of the Hapsburg Empire. Landrock was also born in 1878, in Germany. In 1904 Lehnert and Landrock became partners in a photographic studio in Tunis. For ten years they produced a large quantity of photographs and postcards in Tunisia. Landrock was the manager, and Lehnert was the photographer.

Orientalism, a romanticized depiction of the Middle East, was a popular style of art in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Painters and writers made the genre popular before the advent of photography and thus Lehnert and Landrock adopted the Orientalist style. Some critics have complained that Orientalism is denigrating to the people of the Middle East, but I would disagree. Those opposed to Orientalism say that any portrayal of a non-western culture must necessarily depict it as primitive and inferior. This attitude seems to me to indicate an intolerant attitude of the critic rather than of the Orientalist artist. Opponents also say it is not realistic.

I am not qualified to judge if Lehnert and Landrock postcards realistically portray early 20th century Tunis, but I know that postcards in general are not meant to depict reality. I live in Florida. I know that Florida’s climate is humid, with frequent rain. On beaches here you will see people of all ages and both sexes, and occasionally a discarded soda can. On postcards of Florida beaches you will only see sunny sky, spotlessly clean sand, and attractive young women. It’s true that this is unrealistic, but it is not disparaging of Florida, and most people have enough sense to know that reality may be different from a postcard.

The nudity shown on Lehnert and Landrock postcards may be realistic. Islamic societies are often thought to have strict dress codes for women, but there are exceptions to this rule. Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) visited Cairo in 1869 and wrote of seeing people of both sexes naked in public. (See Chapter 31 of his book The Innocents Abroad) Michael Wolgensinger photographed a girl he saw naked in public in Iran in 1958. Pigtails in Paint posted the photo here.

It would not be possible in one post to adequately cover the vast amount of images that were photographed by Lehnert and Landrock, so this post will be limited to a few of the photos of just one of their many models. She appears to me to be among the youngest of their models. Her name is not known. Although Lehnert and Landrock photographed both clothed and nude models, I have only found nude photos of this particular girl. The first three photos show the girl alone. Titles in French are from the internet source of the photo (most are from Wikimedia Commons). I composed the titles in English for pictures that had no title.

Lehnert and Landrock – Jeune Fille au Mirroir (1904-1914)

Lehnert and Landrock – Girl with a Musical Instrument (1904-1914)

Lehnert and Landrock – Jeune-Femme Nue au Tambourin (1904-1914)

In the next two pictures the girl is with Fathma, one of the few Lehnert and Landrock models whose name is known.

Lehnert and Landrock - A-Young Girl and Fathma (1904-1914)

Lehnert and Landrock – A-Young Girl and Fathma (1904-1914)

Lehnert and Landrock – A Young Girl and Fathma on a Couch (1904-1914)

The following two photos show the girl with a young boy. His race indicates that he is probably a slave. When the photo was taken, Tunisia was a protectorate of France. Although slavery was illegal in France, the protectorate status meant that Tunisia was internally self-governing and slavery was legal in Tunisia. Note that the boy’s genitals are censored, but the girl’s are not. Lehnert and Landrock made other photos with nude females and clothed or censored males. An example has been posted on Pigtails here. I have not discovered why there was this aversion to male nudity. My guess would be that male nudity was offensive to many of the people who bought postcards; Lehnert and Landrock may have felt they could sell more postcards by avoiding male nudity.

Lehnert and Landrock – Young Girl and Boy (1904-1914)

Lehnert and Landrock – Another Photo of a Young Girl and Boy (1904-1914)

Female nudity was also censored sometimes, usually by only slightly blurring the vulva. I could not find a censored picture of the particular model who is the focus of this post, but here is a censored photo, from a postcard, of another young Lehnert and Landrock model. The following is the same photo from the book Woman, an Historical and Gynaecological and Anthropological Compendium by H.H. Ploss, M. Bartels, and P. Bartels; edited by E. J. Dingwall (1935). This is the only instance in which I have found a censored and uncensored version of the same photo.

Lehnert and Landrock – Jeune Berbère Nue (censored) (1904-1914)

Lehnert and Landrock – Jeune Berbère Nue (1904-1914)

There seems to be no obvious reason why some are censored and some are not. The age of the model, and the situation being photographed appear to have no bearing on whether the photo is censored. If a photo was censored for postcards sold in a more restrictive jurisdiction, I would expect that there would be both censored and uncensored versions of the same postcard. I have not found an example of this (in the photos above the uncensored version is from a book, not a postcard). The next two photos can both be found at multiple places on the internet, and may give an idea of why we don’t find two versions of the same picture. The second photo is merely a cropped version of the first, yet it appears many different places on the internet. Apparently one postcard collector cut the card to fit the space in his album, and multiple internet sites posted scans of that one card. This indicates that although there are many instances of a photo posted on the internet, they may all be scanned from one or two postcards. Therefore, there may be two different versions of the same postcard, but only one has been posted on the net.

Lehnert and Landrock – Garconnet Nu Assis et Fillette Nue Debout (1904-1914)

Lehnert and Landrock – Garconnet Nu Assis et Fillette Nue Debout (cropped) (1904-1914)

In 1914, the First World War began. Lehnert and Landrock were both nationals of countries at war with France, the protecting power in Tunisia. Their business was closed and they had to leave Tunisia. In 1924, after the war, Lehnert and Landrock started their business over again in Cairo, Egypt. Lehnert died in 1948 and Landrock in 1966. Their business in Cairo has continued after the death of its founders. In 1982, the new manager of the shop discovered the old negatives in storage. There was a resurgence in popularity of Lehnert and Landrock’s art. There was some concern that the negatives of nudes may not be safe in Cairo, so they were sent to the Elysée museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-daro

This little statuette is the best known work of art from the Indus Valley civilization, which was, with Egypt and Mesopotamia, one of the great seminal civilizations of the fourth to second millennia BC. The antecedents of the Indus valley culture go back to about 7000 BC. The high civilization began around 3300 BC, and reached its height during the period of 2500 to 1700 BC. Mohenjo-daro, one of the two great cities of the Indus Valley, was destroyed in an invasion circa 1500 BC, but vestiges lingered perhaps as late as 600 BC. Mohenjo-daro is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Anonymous – Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-daro (2300 – 1750 B.C.)

Of the three contemporary river valley civilizations; Egypt (Nile Valley), Mesopotamia (Tigris – Euphrates Valleys), and the Indus Valley, the Indus had the greatest geographical extent. It was also the last to be known to modern historians, having been discovered in 1921 near Harappa, Pakistan. It became apparent that the ancient Indus Valley people were masters of technical skills such as city planning, construction, and drainage. They are believed to have spoken a Dravidian language, and may have had a religion similar to Jainism. They had a system of writing, but we are not able to read it. It is peculiar that there was a form of writing on Easter Island that used characters very similar to some of the Indus characters. Easter Island is near the antipode, the farthest point on earth, from Pakistan.

The Dancing Girl figurine was found in the ruins of a house in Moheno-daro by archaeologist Ernest MacKay in 1926. It is estimated that it was made circa 2300 – 1750 BC. We don’t know if she was really a dancer, but her long limbs and graceful pose seem to indicate a dancer or acrobat. There is a reason that many of the best gymnasts and dancers are young girls. Females have narrower shoulders and wider hips than males. This gives them a lower center of gravity, and therefore better balance than males. Young girls, before their breasts are fully developed, have better balance than women with larger breasts.

Anonymous – Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-daro back (2300 – 1750 B.C.)

The bronze figure is 4.1 inches tall now that the feet have been broken off and lost. It was cast by the lost wax method. The Indus Valley art that survives consists mostly of terra cotta figurines and carved stone seals. Dancing Girl is noted for the serene, perhaps arrogant facial expression. Her right arm is bent, and her left hand rests on her leg. She appears to be resting after a performance. The posture is like that of a figure on a pottery fragment from Bhirrana, in the Indus Valley region of India, dated to about 4000 to 3000 BC. Originally, something was held in Dancing Girl ‘s left hand. My guess would be that it was a stick with a ribbon like those used in rhythmic gymnastic performances.

Anonymous – Bhirrana Potshard (4000 – 3000 BC)

Dancing Girl has been said to resemble the modern Baluchi people of Pakistan. One archaeologist wrote that her face resembles an African. Why more bracelets on one arm than other? There are twenty-four bracelets on the left arm, and four on right. People have speculated about whether her dance was for a religious ceremony or merely for entertainment, but we have no way of knowing.

When Dancing Girl was discovered in 1926, India, Pakistan, and several other countries in the area were part of Britain’s Indian Empire. The statuette is now on display in the National Museum in New Delhi, India. Pakistan claims ownership, and has asked for it to be returned.

A Roman Knucklebone Player

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.

The Art of Girls Residence

I will call the artist Girls Residence because that appears to be his preferred professional name in English.  Girls Residence is Japanese, and in the far east artists commonly use pseudonyms.  His artist’s name in Japanese is 伸長に関する考察. His Japanese name can be written in the Roman alphabet as “Shinchō ni Kansuru Kōsatsu”.  Fantia, a Japanese artist’s website, translates the name into English as “Consideration on Elongation”.  I think “Study of Growth” is a more natural sounding translation.  He also uses the German name Backfischalter. He specializes in drawings of girls, usually age 7 through 16 years old.

In Japan there has long been an interest in glamor and erotica featuring young girls.  Photography, including nude photography, of young girls was popular in Japan in the last part of the 20th century.  The photography could not legally include any sexual activity, but still aroused some controversy, and when the internet made these Japanese nude photos available to people in other countries, pressure was put on Japan to outlaw nude photography of minors.  It was outlawed in 1999, but drawings and paintings remained legal.  There are many artists in Japan who draw young girls in manga (comics) and anime (animated cartoons), but no other is quite like Girls Residence.

Girls Residence does not illustrate manga stories.  His drawings usually show girls in ordinary situations; at school, celebrating holidays, playing sports, at the pool, etc.  What makes him unique is that his girls are given a name, age, height, and weight.  His drawings realistically portray how a girl of the designated age and measurements would actually appear.  For example, the first illustration is a New Year’s greeting posted on Girls Residence’s page at Fantia.  The girl is Kana Hasegawa, a fictional character created by Girls Residence.  Kana is 10 years old, 135.8 cm tall, and weighs  31.4 kg.  The height and weight are realistic for a normal 10-year old Japanese girl.  Her clothing and hairstyle are also realistic for what a Japanese girl might wear on New Year’s Day 2020.  Although this is from a Japanese site, the greeting is in English.

Girls Residence – Happy New Year 2020

Girls Residence usually draws Japanese girls, but he sometimes draws girls of other races.  The following illustration compares a typical 11-year-old Japanese girl and a 12-year-old American girl.

Girls Residence – Haruka-chan (11) and Dororu Lelou (12) who came from the United States of the 1950s-2017

Girls Residence publishes his art on the Japanese websites Fantia and Pixiv.  He also creates art books of his illustrations. The following three pictures are the front covers of some of his books.  The first is the cover of Tiddlywinks.  The girl is Yuka Fujino (11 years old, 142.7cm tall, weight 31.2kg).  The next cover, of Puberties, features the Tachibana sisters Ayano (10yo / 140cm / 31.4 kg), and Ayaka (13yo / 153cm / 44.7kg).  Kana Hasegawa, the same girl that gave the New Year’s greeting for 2020, is on the cover of Morphology.  Even though these girls have names, all of the characters drawn by Girls Residence are fictional.

Girls Residence – Tiddlywinks Cover (2017)

Girls Residence – Puberties Cover 2019

Girls Residence – Morphology Cover (2019)

Most of Girls Residence’s pictures are rendered in at least two versions; one clothed and one nude.  Often there are other versions as well, such as in underwear and with or without suntan.  Most of the nude versions are available only to those who subscribe to the Girls Residence fanclub at Fantia, or to those who purchase his books.  To be fair to the artist I have not included any of those pictures in this post, but the following two pictures with nude versions are available free on his Pixiv page.  In the first picture, News of C91,  Kana Hasegawa on the right tells you where and when to find the site at the Comic Convention where they are selling Girls Residence’s art book Chrysalis.  Yuka Fujino on the left says that she looks forward to seeing you there.  The caption on the bottom informs the reader that the girls will not really be at the convention.  The next two illustrations appear in the book Chrysalis as well as the Pixiv site.  These show, from left to right, a 6th grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade girl in swimsuits and nude.  The title, I’m Sorry, seems strange.  Also notice that unlike most of Girls Residence’s variations, the eyes are shifted between the clothed and nude versions of both illustrations.

Girls Residence – News of C91 (uniforms) (2016)

Girls Residence – News of C91 (nude) (2016)

Girls Residence – I’m Sorry (swimsuit) (2016)

Girls Residence – I’m Sorry (nude) (2016)

On Pixiv, both News of C91 and I’m Sorry are as shown here; they are not censored. However, the picture I’m Sorry is censored in the book Chrysalis.  The pubic areas of the girls are pixilated in the book.  Censorship seems to be applied inconsistently by Japanese illustrators, including Girls Residence.  The Pixiv site is hosted in Japan.  Search for nude illustrations on that site, and you will find that some artists censor their pictures while others do not.  As far as I can tell, it appears to be left up to the discretion of the individual artist.  Girls Residence does not censor his work on Pixiv or Fantia, but he does censor it in all of his books.  The books are published and sold in Japan, so why would they have different standards of censorship for books than websites that are hosted in Japan?

In addition to his own art books, Girls Residence collaborates with Yasuda Juku (also known as Yasuda Yasuhiro) in producing educational books.  Yasuda writes the text for these books, while Girls Residence illustrates them.  Girls Residence uses a clean, realistic style which is well suited for educational pictures.  All necessary detail is shown with no areas in shadow as may occur in a photograph.  On the other hand, the illustrations are not cluttered with unnecessary detail that could distract the viewer.  The next two pictures are the front and back covers of  Growth and Development in Japanese Girls, Trends and Perspectives.  The girls on the covers are Ayaka Tachibana and Kana Hasegawa.

Girls Residence – Growth and Development Front Cover (2017)

Girls Residence – Growth and Development Back Cover (2017)

This is a very interesting book.  It contains 27 pages, in addition to the covers.  Fourteen pages contain only text, or text with graphs.  Four pages have both text and illustrations.  There are nine pages of illustrations with only minimal or no text.  Therefore, the main part of the book is text, with some illustrations to support the wording.  The book includes copious references to serious scientific and medical works, most in Japanese but some in English.  Viewing the book in isolation, it would appear to be primarily educational, with some artistic illustrations added as “medical contrivances”.  However, the book is promoted and sold in venues with other works of manga and hentai.  I have not been able to find it sold by vendors of medical, scientific, or educational books.

It is hard to classify Growth and Development in Japanese Girls, Trends and Perspectives as art or educational.  It, and the other collaborations of Girls Residence and Yasuda Juku are both. Yasuda Juku makes the following description of Growth and Development in Japanese Girls, Trends and Perspectives on his Fantia page.  I have used translate Google to translate it from Japanese: “[It is a] super sex education art book & essay with pictures by Consideration about Elongation. Based on medical knowledge and physical data, what is the difference between third graders, fourth graders, fifth graders, and sixth graders? Junior high school students? Menarche? What about pubic hair? How tall are they? Bust? [This book will] answer questions visually, such as. Girl physique that I want to deliver to everyone who draws girls.”

The following are Girls Residence illustrations for books by Yasuda Juku.  The cover of Child Health and Physical Education features Lisa (10yo/144cm/36kg/B2/Ph2), Kana Hasegawa and Ayaka Tachibana.  Four girls on the cover of Child Sexual Education are Yurina Yamashina (14yo / 155.6cm / 48.1kg / B4 / Ph4), Mana Onodera (7yo / 118.6cm / 22.2kg / B1 / Ph1), Kana Hasegawa (10yo / 135.8cm / 31.4kg / B2 / Ph1), and Aoi Yoshikawa (16yo / 157.3cm / 51.6kg / B5 / Ph5).  The next illustration shows Kana Hasegawa and Rena Okazaki  (9yo/130cm/27.3kg/B1/Ph1) announcing a lecture by Yasuda Juku about his book Child Sexual Education.  Why are Kana and Rena wearing fox ears to announce a lecture?

Girls Residence – Child Health and Physical Education Cover (2018)

Girls Residence – Child Sexual Education (2017)

Girls Residence – Lecture Announcement (2017)

The next illustration is a sample page posted by the manga bookseller Toranoana from the book Sixth Grade Elementary School Picture Book by Yasuda Juku, illustrated by Girls Residence.  The girl is Nozomi Naruse (12yo / 144.9cm / 34.0kg / B2 / Ph1).  The text explains that she is often mistaken for a fifth grade student because she is smaller and less developed than most sixth graders.  The table at the bottom of the page gives her measurements.

Girls Residence – Fifth Grade Elementary School Record Sample Page (2019)

The final three pictures are  a few of Girls Residence works that I find particularly pleasing.  The first shows Haruka Inoue (11yo / 142.7cm / 34.8kg / B3 / Ph1) and Ayano Tachibana (10yo / 140cm / 31.4 kg) modeling their school uniforms.   The second shows Kana and Haruka ready for Halloween, and the last shows Girls Residence marching band with Rena Okazaki (9yo / 130cm / 27.3kg / B1 / Ph1) playing the fife, Kana Hasegawa (10yo / 135cm / 30.2kg / B2 / Ph1) as drum major, and Ayano Tachibana (10yo / 140cm / 31.4 kg / B2 / Ph1) on the drum.

Girls Residence – Classroom girls (2018)

Girls Residence – Girls Who Want Candy (2017)

Girls Residence – Extracurricular Activities Cover Drawing (2018)

Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie

I would guess that most already know who Annie is. For the benefit a few of the younger readers who may not be familiar with her, she is the protagonist of the Little Orphan Annie comic strip. Annie is a young orphan girl who left the orphanage to become the ward of the incredibly rich Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. She then battled dangerous criminals around the world with the help of Daddy Warbucks and his bodyguards, Punjab and the Asp. Her courage, common sense, and integrity made her one of the most popular fictional characters of the 20th century.

Harold Gray- Little Orphan Annie (1937)

Little Orphan Annie was not in the local newspaper when I was growing up, so it was not one of the comics I read frequently as a child. I read it a few times in out-of-town newspapers, but because Annie’s adventures continued over many issues of the paper, I was never able to follow a complete story. Millions of people did follow Little Orphan Annie from its inception in 1924 until Harold Gray’s death in 1968, and it became one of the most popular comic strips in the world. The strip was continued by other artists until 2010. It has inspired movies and a popular musical. What made Little Orphan Annie loved by so many?

Harold Gray- Little Orphan Annie (1964)

Many believe that the choice of a female protagonist for the strip helped its popularity. Harold Gray stated that he chose a young girl of about eleven years old as his protagonist because there were many more boys than girls in the comics at that time, especially in the adventure strips. A girl would make his strip different and stand out. He modeled the character with frizzy red hair and a red dress after a street urchin he once met. The name Annie is derived from the poem Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Gray initially planned the strip about a boy called Little Orphan Otto. He changed the character to a girl at the request of the Chicago Tribune Syndicate, which published the strip.

Regardless of whose idea it was to make the strip about a girl, it was a huge success. A girl in the lead role caught the readers’ attention in the 1920s. Feminism was becoming mainstream, but female heros were still relatively rare. Annie’s blank eyes, and the eyes of other characters, also grabbed the reader. I don’t know why Gray decided to draw eyes without pupils, but the vacant orbs drew the viewer into the strip.

In addition to the fact that a girl heroine was unusual, I believe that a girl who is being mistreated, or who is in a dangerous situation, arouses more sympathy than a boy in similar circumstances. It is in our genes that we should feel this way. For a population to survive and reproduce, it is necessary to have sperm cells, egg cells, and wombs. Sperm and eggs are abundant, but wombs are not. Anybody who has a womb, therefore, is more important for the survival of the population than those who do not have wombs (by the reckoning of evolutionary theory). It may be sexist and unfair, but nevertheless true that evolution has hardwired our nervous systems to be more alarmed by a damsel in distress than by a male in a similar plight.

Another advantage of a girl as the heroine is that it may have been easier for children, both boys and girls, to identify with a character whose ability to fight was no greater than an ordinary child. It is socially acceptable for Annie to be an ordinary little girl, relying on Punjab or Asp to provide the muscle when confronted by tough adult male criminals. A boy would be expected to fight for himself. If he beat the bad guy it would be unrealistic and children would have a harder time identifying with him. If he relied on others to fight for him he would be perceived as a wimp.

Note that Punjab and the Asp are both people of color; Punjab from India and the Asp from an unnamed country in East Asia. I believe Gray made these characters non-white to make them exotic, rather than for diversity. Regardless of his reasons, Harold Gray was ahead of his time by including racial diversity in his comic. This is noticeable in the following strip from 1942. Annie had organized a “Junior Commando” unit to help with the war effort on the home front. The strip inspired real children to imitate Annie’s work by forming real Junior Commando organizations. At that time the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was not part of the Army. It became the Women’s Army Corps, part of the Army, the following year. Black soldiers were not integrated into the same units as whites until after the war. Annie’s unit had boys and girls in the same unit, and she even made an African-American boy a sergeant with authority over white members of the unit! At the time this was quite radical, and the strip aroused some controversy.

Harold Gray- Little Orphan Annie (1942)

Don’t think this means that Gray was the kind of person who would be considered “woke” today. He was the opposite; a rugged individualist who despised government programs, socialism, labor unions, the New Deal, and President Roosevelt. The characters in Little Orphan Annie echo Gray’s personal and political philosophy. Note that in the first strip in this post, the Asp even disdains the role of government in enforcing the law and punishing criminals. Asp, like Annie, Daddy Warbucks, and Harold Gray himself, would rather do it himself than depend on the government. Daddy Warbucks died of despair in 1944 because Franklin Roosevelt was reelected. In 1945 his death was changed to a coma. He recovered and was back in the strip.

Little Orphan Annie was adapted as a movie in 1932, 1938, 1982, 1999, and 2014. It was a Broadway musical in 1977. Little Orphan Annie is also featured in many children’s books and toys. Annie has appeared in the Dick Tracy comic strip after Little Orphan Annie was discontinued. The following illustrations are a Little Orphan Annie strip from 1970, drawn by Tex Blaisdell, and Aileen Quinn as Annie in the 1982 movie.

Tex Blaisdell- Little Orphan Annie (1970)

Columbia Pictures- Aileen Quinn as Annie (1982)

Girls in the Art of Egypt’s New Kingdom

Egypt is one of the world’s oldest civilizations and one of the most enduring. Narmer, who united Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt to become the first Pharaoh, began his reign in about 3100 BC. Cleopatra VII died in 30 BC, over three thousand years later. We are closer in time to Cleopatra than Cleopatra was to the first King of Egypt.

The period known as the New Kingdom, approximately 1560 BC to 1070 BC, is to me the most interesting time in Egyptian history. The New Kingdom is the Egypt of the Book of Exodus and of King Tut. It was when Egypt became a world power. It was the time of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten who sought to replace Egypt’s religion with the monotheistic worship of Aten. Art was at its height during the New Kingdom.

Egyptian painting was very distinctive. The purpose of painting in ancient Egypt was to convey information, rather than produce works of artistic merit. Fortunately, it often did both. Paintings on the walls of tombs were thought to help the deceased enjoy the activities portrayed in the paintings. Therefore, we have some very informative pictures of life in ancient Egypt, including family life.

Paintings are generally flat, without perspective or shading. The background is either omitted, or shown in a way that everything the painter wants to show is clearly visible. Faces are almost always shown in profile, but eyes are shown as if seen from the front. Bodies are also in profile, but shoulders are shown frontally. This allows the painter to depict each arm clearly and completely. It allows the painter to give the viewer a detailed picture of what the subject is doing with each arm. The proportions of the human figure are fairly constant; children are usually shown as miniature adults.

The first painting of family life in the New Kingdom is from the tomb of Inherkau. Inherkau is seated in his home with his wife, surrounded by their four daughters. He holds a curl of one daughter’s elaborate hair-do, and pats her gently on the head. I find this to be an endearing representation of a loving family from over three thousand years ago.

Anonymous – Family of Inherkau (circa 1100 B.C.)

The next is a family outing to the marshes from the tomb of Menna. Menna, his wife, a grown daughter, a young daughter and a young son are on a papyrus raft. Hunting scenes show more of the surroundings than other paintings because the artist wants to present the rich bounty of wildlife in the marsh. Menna is hunting ducks, holding live ducks for a decoy in one hand and a throwing stick in the other. His wife stands behind him, and their grown daughter stands behind her mother. A second, sitting image of the older daughter is in the upper left. A young daughter is beside Menna, leaning over the raft to gather lotus flowers. A young son holding ducks stands in front of Menna.

Anonymous – Hunting Scene from the Tomb of Menna (circa 1400- 1352 B.C.)

Social status is represented by the height of each figure. Menna is the tallest, his wife slightly shorter, the grown daughter is still shorter, and the two younger children are the lowest. However, if you were to straighten out the youngest daughter and put her in a standing position, she would be slightly taller than the grown daughter. The young daughter’s head is in a lower position, and that is enough to show her status. The artist may not have wanted her to appear too tiny in her bent posture, like the young girl in the tomb painting from the tomb of Pashedu.

Anonymous – Young Girl from the Tomb of Pashedu (circa 1279 – 1213 B.C.)

Another scene of a family in the marsh is from the tomb of Nakht. It is similar to the previous marsh scene in that it portrays a husband, a wife, an older daughter, a younger daughter, and a son. A strange thing about this painting is that Nakht has his arms positioned as if he is holding a fishing spear, and yet no spear is visible. It appears that for some unknown reason, the spear was never painted.

Anonymous -Fishing Scene from the Tomb of Nakht (circa 1500 B.C.)

The bas-relief below shows the royal family of Pharaoh Akhenaten, Queen Nefertiti, and three of their children. This depiction of a happy family is similar to that of Inherkhau. Nefertiti and Akhenaten had a total of six children, all girls. Akhenaten has a long face, skinny arms, and a pot belly. Pharaohs were normally depicted in an idealized fashion, but during the reign of Akhenaten there was a movement toward more realistic art. This is why the deformed heads of the girls are also shown realistically. We know from study of mummies of the family that the deformity was real. The unusual shape of the heads are also shown on the fragment of a tomb painting and the statue below.

Anonymous – Family of Pharaoh Akhenaten (circa 1353 – 1336 B.C.)


Anonymous – Two Daughters of Pharaoh Akhenaten (circa 1353 – 1336 B.C.)

The little statue, slightly over one foot high, is believed to be Princess Ankhesenpaaten, the third daughter of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. The statue is one of over 1,000 artifacts that was stolen or destroyed in August 2013 when a mob looted the Mallawi City Museum. Fortunately, it has been recovered. It is an enigmatic little statue; it appears that the sculptor was going to carve another face on the side of the head. I can’t decide if her expression is supposed to be serene or arrogant. What is that ball she holds?

Anonymous – Princess Ankhesenpaaten (circa 1353 – 1336 B.C.)

The following bas-relief depicts Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Meriaten (their eldest daughter), and another princess adoring Aten, the solar disc. Meriaten holds a sistrum, and wears the same style robe as her mother. In the previous examples of New Kingdom art, the young girls were depicted in the nude. It is common for children to be nude in Egyptian art, but we know that they were sometimes clothed. Children’s clothing has been recovered from archeological sites. It gets too cold in Egyptian winters to always go without clothes. Egyptologists think that girls went naked part of the time, but that it was an artistic convention to show them nude nearly all of the time.

Anonymous-Family of Pharaoh Akhenaten Adoring Aten(circa 1353 – 1336 B.C.)

Dr. Gay Robins devotes a section in her book Women in Ancient Egypt to the “naked adolescent girl” motif in New Kingdom art. She states that there is a sexual connotation to the motif. Sometimes, however, it is not obvious today that there is anything sexual implied. The next two examples of New Kingdom art were included in that section of Women in Ancient Egypt. The first is a cosmetics container in the likeness of a young girl carrying a burden. It appears to be merely a cute little girl, but the sexual connotation is supposed to be evident to an ancient Egyptian because the girl wears an amulet depicting the God Bes, and Bes is associated with sexuality.

Anonymous – Cosmetics Container (circa 1370 B.C.)

The second example from Dr. Robins’ book is this banquet scene from the tomb of Nebamun. Nude serving girls are attending to the guests at the party. Note that all of the guests in this painting are women. Note also that although the serving girls are nude, the serving boys are clothed. If the purpose of the nudity were to titillate the guests, shouldn’t the boys be nude too? Is it possible that the girls are nude merely because it is a custom without any sexual connotation?

Anonymous – Feast for Nebamun (circa 1350 B.C.)

The next two paintings also show girls at work, but they are working at a job that seems very strange today. They are professional mourners. They were paid to cry and wail at their client’s funeral. Most of the mourners are adults, but there is a girl in the painting from the tomb of Pharaoh Ramose, and four girls in the painting from the tomb of Khonsuemheb.

Anonymous – Mourners from the Tomb of Ramose (circa 1375 B.C.)

Anonymous – Mourners from the Tomb of Khonsuemheb (circa 1292 – 1069 B.C.)

The final Egyptian girl in this post was in a musical band. Four women in the band have instruments, but the girl does not. Nevertheless, her enthusiasm for the music is apparent even in the flat, conventional style of New Kingdom painting.

Anonymous – Musicians from the Tomb of Djeserkaraseneb, Thebes (circa 1450 B.C.)