Mirrors from Laconia

Images or figures of young girls are not common in ancient Greek art. As the ancient Greeks saw things, adults were more important than children, and males were more important than females, and so adults, and especially males are more prevalent in Greek art of antiquity than are girls. Two exceptions to the rule are grave steles and the bronze mirrors made in Laconia in the 6th century BC. Mirrors were considered to be a typically female belonging, and are the origin of the female symbol ♀ .

Anonymous – Bronze Mirror (c 550 BC – 500 BC)

Laconia is a region in the southern part of the Peloponnese Peninsula. Sparta is the most famous city in Laconia. According to Agnes Bencze of the Department of Art History and Péter Pázmány of Catholic University in Budapest, small scale bronze working was an outstanding facet of ancient Laconian art. Bronze mirrors with handles in the shape of nude girls, often called caryatid mirrors, are characteristic of Laconia in the sixth century BC.

Anonymous – Bronze Mirror, back (c 550 BC – 500 BC)

The term caryatid is derived from the Laconian city Caryae. Pillars in the Temple of Artemis in Caryae are in the shape of women. It is believed that the figurines of girls that form the handles of carytid mirrors represent the nymphs that are the attendants of the goddess Artemis. The Temple of Artemis Orthia was one of the most important religious sanctuaries in ancient Sparta. The “Procession of the Girls” was one of the most ancient and revered ceremonies held at the Temple of Artemis Orthia. When pagan worship was suppressed in the fourth century AD, details of what occurred during the Procession of the Girls was lost.

The first mirror shown here is in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The girl is standing on a lion, and two griffins on her shoulders help support the mirror. The mirror is the disc above the girl’s head, which when new was highly polished bronze. In her left hand the girl holds something which might be a pair of cymbals.

In the next bronze figure, which is also from the Metropolitan Museum, the girl appears to be playing a pair of cymbals. Perhaps cymbals were used during the Procession of the Girls. The actual mirror and the animals or birds on the girl’s shoulders have been broken off and lost, but fortunately we still have the figurine of the girl. Unlike the other mirrors in which the girl stands on a lion, this figure is standing on a frog. Whatever may have been the reason for the lion or frog, the cymbals, and other features has been forgotten.

Anonymous – Bronze Mirror Support (c 540 BC – 530 BC)

Paul Cartledge used an image of the last mirror as the cover illustration for his book Spartan Reflections. This mirror was found at the Laconian town of Hermione. It is similar to the first, but instead of griffins on the girl’s shoulders, there are birds with human heads on the girl’s hair. She seems to have been holding something, now lost, in her left hand.

Anonymous – Bronze Mirror from Hermione (Sixth Century BC)

Kinder (Kids) by Judith Wagner

Judith Wagner was born in Vienna, Austria in 1973. She studied sculpture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and earned her diploma in 1998. She is currently producing both sculpture and drawings. Subjects of her art include people, horses, and centaurs among other things. Most of her work has an abstract, even grotesque quality that can make me feel uneasy, but nevertheless I cannot deny its power. It is apparently the artist’s intention to challenge the viewer, to force him to see things in a new way. Wagner wrote, “The beautiful and the ugly, the abysmal and the sublime, heaven and hell, that is what people carry within them, layered on top of each other. Just as a plastic is created in layers, sometimes the lower layer can be felt through, sometimes the upper layer hides the lower one. That makes it exciting, that makes me pause and look in amazement. To represent that, to comprehend it in form, to make it visible and understandable is my concern.”

Judith Wagner – Kids (2015) (1)

Judith Wagner – Kids (2015) (2)

Kids, also titled in German Kinder, is the topic of this article. It differs from Wagner’s typical work in two ways. First, the subjects are children. Second, they are portrayed with a realism that is lacking in many of Wagner’s other sculptures and drawings. The stern expressions and the staring deep eyes are the most noticeable features of Kids that are common to Wagner’s art.

You can view more of Wagner’s art on her website.  When I enter the name Judith Wagner into a search engine, the first artist by that name that is found is another Judith Wagner that, coincidentally, also uses horses as a subject for her art.  They are not the same person, so don’t confuse the two.

Judith Wagner – Pink Kid (2015)

Judith Wagner – Blue Kid (2015)

Judith Wagner – Red Kid (2015)

Judith Wagner – Green Kid (2015)

The figures are life size; ranging in height from 4 feet 3 inches to 5 feet. Although the title is gender neutral, all four figures are girls. The original Kids of 2015 are painted resin. A second edition of Kids was made of white concrete in 2018.

Judith Wagner – Second Edition Kids (2018)

The model for the blue Kid is shown with Wagner’s abstract drawings of horses in the background.

Judith Wagner – Blue Kid and Model (2015)

Shoetsu Otomo and His Models

Shoetsu Otomo (大友正悦) was born in 1950. Very little information about his life prior to meeting his most famous model, Satomi Hiromoto (廣本悟己)is available. At the time he met her, in the latter half of 1980 or the first half of 1981, Otomo was already a photographer. When the Kanji characters for his name are entered into an automatic translator, the name is rendered as Masayoshi Otomo. On the covers of his books, however, Otomo spells his name with the Latin alphabet as Shoetsu Otomo, and that is the spelling I will use. Many thanks to a Pigtails reader who provided most of the photographs that illustrate this article.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi (circa 1984)

An article on the lolicon website Argonorakuza implies that Otomo specialized in travel and landscape photography. Children often appeared in the background of the scenes he photographed. Otomo was quoted as saying , “I can’t compete with the smiles of children.” and “When you meet the smiles of cute children, you can’t help but press the shutter.”

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi at Age Eight (1980-81) (1)

Satomi Hiromoto was born in Tokyo, Japan on June 5, 1972. In 1979 she entered Oizumi Elementary School attached to Tokyo Gakugei University. When Satomi was eight years old, Otomo noticed her playing in a park. He approached Satomi’s mother and asked if he could take some photos of the daughter. The mother agreed, and in the discussion with her, Otomo learned that Satomi’s family was quite artistic. Satomi’s father was a painter, and her brother was a pianist. Satomi could also paint and play piano, but her main interest was the practice of classical ballet. Over the next two years, Otomo became a friend of the Hiromoto family. In addition to whatever photos were taken in the park, Otomo photographed Satomi at age eight wearing a white dress and frolicking in a field of tall grass. Although these photos were taken in 1980 or 1981, they were not published until 1995.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi at Age Eight (1980-81) (2)

When Satomi was ten years old, in the summer of 1982, Otomo planned a photo shoot for her in Spain. This shoot would be Satomi’s first experience in nude modeling, and would provide material for Otomo’s first lolicon book. Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea, was chosen as the location for the photo shoot. Otomo, Satomi, and a crew including a producer and a stylist travelled over 6,000 miles on a flight that lasted over 22 hours for the shoot. It was quite an elaborate production, and a gamble for Otomo who had never made a lolicon book before. It paid off when the photo book Satomi 10 Year Old Myth (さとみ十歳の神話) was released in January 1983 and quickly became one of lolicon’s biggest hits.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Spain (1982) (1)

Satomi was photographed both indoors and outdoors, both clothed and nude. She was usually alone, but a Spanish woman and a Spanish girl are present in a few of the photos. It is remarkable how comfortable she appears on her first nude shoot and in a foriegn land. Her training as a ballerina is evident in the grace with which she handles many of the poses. In photographs by Otomo, more than other lolicon photographers, it is apparent that the both the model and the photographer contribute to the success of the image. This is especially shown in the indoor photos of Satomi in Spain; note how she positions her arms and legs. In the photograph of Satomi with a seated Spanish woman, the woman is sitting casually while Satomi seems to be in a ballet inspired pose. In three illustrations for this article, Satomi is standing with one knee up and her foot resting against her leg. This is a common pose for Satomi, but it is not used by Otomo’s other models. This leads me to believe that posing this way is Satomi’s idea, rather than a pose dictated by the photographer.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Spain (1982) (2)

There are sequences in which Satomi stood by a mirror or lay on the floor and asssumed various poses while Otomo snapped the pictures. Satomi was uninhibited in her poses, but Otomo was restrained in choosing what to photograph and publish. When Satomi posed with legs open too far, if Otomo photographed it at all he did so at an angle from which the pubic area was not visible. He did this in the top photo of the illustration captioned Satomi in Spain (1982) (7); a page from the book Satomi Forever. A Spanish man is with Satomi in two of the photos in Satomi 10 Year Old Myth. Whenever a male is present in a photograph by Otomo, all figures, male and female, are clothed.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Spain (1982) (4)

Satomi 10 Year Old Myth also contains photographs of the Spanish landscape and architecture. Satomi is present in most, but not all of the landscape photos. Otomo is known for photographing models in natural settings. The photo of Satomi standing at the corner of a building Is typical of Otomo’s architectural compositions. I believe this photo is from Pohnpei, but it could also be from Hawaii.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Spain (1982) (5)

More photos from the Spanish photo shoot were released in the book Lolita Doll (ロリータ・ドール) in August 1983, but there were no new photos of Satomi for over a year after Satomi 10 Year Old Myth. Disappointed fans thought that Satomi would be one of many lolicon models with only one photo shoot. Then in July 1984 Otomo’s and Satomi’s second book, Peek-A-Boo (original title in English) was released.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Spain (1982) (6)

Peek-A-Boo, like Satomi 10 Year Old Myth, was a very expensive production of photo shoots in natural settings at exotic locales. Two separate locations over 3,000 miles (nearly 5,000 kilometers) apart were used for the photo shoots in Peek-A-Boo. It appears that most photos in Peek-A-Boo were shot on the island of Pohnpei. It is reported that some were shot in Hawaii. This raises the question of why Otomo chose Pohnpei and Hawaii for the photo shoots. Both are tropical Pacific islands with lush vegetation and blue water, but there are other tropical locations that are more economically accessible from Japan. In order to travel from Japan to Pohnpei by commercial air, one must first go to either Hawaii or Guam, then change airplanes to go the Pohnpei. Guam is significantly closer to both Japan and Pohnpei than is Hawaii.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Spain (1982) (7)

Satomi was not photographed with any unique features of either Pohnpei or Hawaii, such as the volcanoes of Hawaii, or in the ruins of Nan Madol of Pohnpei. Therefore, to a layman there seems to be no reason to go to the expense of paying for a production crew to go to the remote locale. There may be subtle differences in the scenery that makes Pohnpei a better choice than other places for an artist like Otomo, but it is likely that Otomo’s passion for artistry resulted in a lower profit margin. Perhaps Otomo and Satomi cared more about fine art than about making money.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Peek-A-Boo (1984) (1)

Peek-A-Boo was released in July 1984, when Satomi was twelve years and one month old. Some sources state that Satomi was twelve when photographed for Peek-A-Boo; according to others she was eleven. It is possible that both are correct, if her twelfth birthday occurred during the project.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Peek-A-Boo (1984) (2)

Satomi’s next, and last photo project was for the book Fly-A-Way, released in December 1984. She was twelve years old when photographed for Fly-A-Way, but she looks older. She was still a minor, but because she matured so quickly Fly-A-Way, in my opinion, is closer to the teen idol genre than to actual lolicon. Fly-A-Way was shot in two locations near opposite ends of Japan; Hokkaido in the north and Yakushima in the south. Yakushima is a small island, most of which is covered by tropical forest, south of the Japanese main islands. Both the photos and a video for Fly-A-Way were recorded in the summer of 1984.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Satomi Forever (1984) (1)

Otomo photographed Satomi in the summer in Spain and Japan, and her other photo shoots were in the tropics. However, photos of Satomi in the winter snow were published in Satomi Forever. I have not been able to discover when or where the winter photos were taken.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Satomi Forever (1984) (2)

Satomi seemed to be proud of her work, and wanted her fans to know her. Unlike many lolicon models, she always used her real name when modeling. She put personal details in her books; for example, her favorite colors are purple and burgundy, she enjoys reading fairy tales, and her favorite food is shrimp.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Fly-A-Way (1984)

On September 27, 1984 Satomi hosted a video release party at the Capitol Tokyu Hotel, a luxury hotel in the Nagatacho district of Tokyo. Fans and the news media were invited. Satomi’s parents and grandparents were there. Satomi’s brother played piano to entertain the guests. Satomi wore a sailor suit, held a press conference, and was reported to be a gracious hostess and a charming young lady. She said that her hope for the future was to become an actress. In my opinion, the video release party illustrates the Japanese attitude about lolicon at the height of the lolicon era. Lolicon was art; it was respectable. One of Tokyo’s finest hotels had no problem with being the site of the lolicon release party, and the mainstream press attended. Support that Satomi received from family, friends, and the public for her art as a nude model was no different than the support she would have received if her art had been painting or ballet. Her fans expected that Satomi would continue modeling.

Shoetsu Otomo – Satomi in Winter (no date)

Surprisingly, Satomi was never in another commercial photo shoot. Also, she never pursued her dream of becoming an actress. In April 1985 some photos of Satomi from old photo shoots, as well as photos of other models were published in Beppin Special Edition Lolita Scramble. After that, no photos of Satomi were published until November 1995. Why did her career end so abrubtly? I don’t know, but I can speculate.

Shoetsu Otomo – Reona (1998)

In 1985 Satomi entered junior high school. There was a report that she had difficulty in getting along with others. It was not specified who made the report or why Satomi had difficulties, but there may be an obvious reason why. Satomi was a glamorous model. She was paid well to travel to exotic locations and be photographed. Her photos were published in books which no doubt attracted favorable attention of the boys in her school. It would seem natural, in these circumstances, for girls in her school to be jealous of Satomi. Perhaps Satomi felt that she had to choose between continuing her career as a model or being accepted by her female classmates. On graduating from school Satomi married and devoted her time to raising a family; she had no time for a career away from home.

Shoetsu Otomo – Aoi (1996) (1)

Another possibility for the reason she quit modeling could be that she was getting old for lolicon. I don’t think that was the reason she quit modeling, because other lolicon models continued to model as adults. Of the many lolicon models that were active during the 1969 through 1999 lolicon era in Japan, four of them, Satomi Hiromoto, Rika Nishimura (real name unknown), Nozomi Kurahashi (aka Ayumi Yoshizawa) and Shiori Suwano (real name Shigeko Niimi) achieved exceptionally great popularity and may be considered lolicon supermodels. Rika and Nozomi continued to model successfully as adults. Shiori did not like modeling, but used the fame she gained as a model to launch a successful acting career. Otomo photographed models well past puberty, so it seems unlikely that he quit photographing Satomi because of her age.

Shoetsu Otomo – The Room (1997)

Although there were no new photos of Satomi, photos from old shoots were again published after she graduated high school. Two books exclusively dedicated to Satomi were Satomi, released November 1995; and Satomi Forever, released November 1998. Satomi and other models photographed by Shoetsu Otomo were featured in the book Dreams, released May 1998. After Satomi was printed, but before it was released for sale, three American service men on Okinawa gang raped and severely beat a young Japanese girl. I remember seeing news reports of the incident in both American media and an English language newspaper from the Philippines. Although it was reported from different viewpoints, I do not remember any report that lolicon was in any way involved. Nevertheless, the publisher of Satomi decided that because of the rape, it would be best to censor the book. Sandpaper was used to erase the pubic area of photos in books sold in bookstores. The books sent by mail to individuals who ordered them were not censored. They were mailed in white boxes and are known as “White Satomi“; they are sought after as collector’s items today.

Shoetsu Otomo – Shinobu on Saipan (1984) (1)

Shoetsu Otomo photographed eight other models, in addition to Satomi, who are usually classified as lolicon. Five of them are in my opinion, a little old for lolicon. Reona (Minori Ishiki) began her career as an advertising model at age five. She is one of the famous models of the lolicon era, and was very good at modeling. She was twelve when she modeled for Otomo, and was well developed for her age. She was still a child, but looked more like a teenager with fully developed breasts, a womanly figure, and pubic hair. Two photo books of Reona photographed by Otomo were released in 1998, and she was also in the book Dreams released the same year. Aoi Inoue, a Japanese actress, was fourteen when she modeled for Otomo, and also too old for lolicon in the strictest sense. Her book Sonatine was released in 1996. Three anonymous southeast Asian teen girls modeled for Otomo in the book The Room (1997). One source stated they were from the Philippines. They appear to be amateurs and trying not to laugh, aware that they are getting away with something (posing nude) that would not normally be allowed. The Room appears to be a low budget work, shot in one session in a hotel room with local amateur girls.

Shoetsu Otomo – Shinobu on Saipan (1984) (2)

Of the three models, other than Satomi, who definitely are lolicon, the first is Shinobu Nemoto (根本しのぶ). Shinobu started modeling at age eight months in an advertisement for powdered milk. She continued modeling in print advertisements and acting in television commercials through her childhood, appearing in about 200 television commercials and about 3,000 print ads. When Otomo photographed her in 1984, she was one of the most recognized faces in Japan. Shinobu was photographed on Saipan where she celebrated her eleventh birthday on January 19, 1984. The photos were published in the book I’m not a Child (こどもじゃないモン) which was released on May 30, 1984. There are no nudes in the book. The text is handwritten, aledgedly by Shinobu herself, and tells of her impressions of Saipan and the excitement of turning eleven. In the second picture of Shinobu in this article she is holding a seed pod from a tree. She wrote that she enjoyed swinging the pod like a sword. I’m not a Child gives the reader the feeling of being a guest at Shinobu’s birthday party. Saipan is a popular destination for Japanese tourists, and is also the site of Teruo Maeba’s lolicon photos of Shiori Suwano.

Shoetsu Otomo – Emi in Hawaii (c1996) (1)

Emi’s Summer Vacation (えみちゃんの夏休み), released in 1996, is similar to Shinobu’s book, in that both offer the reader a glimpse of the model’s personal life. Emi’s Summer Vacation gives the impression that the reader is tagging along with Emi Hirose (広瀬 絵美) and her parents on a vacation in Hawaii. The text is written in a childish hand by Emi, telling about her trip to Hawaii. Emi is not as polished in her poses as the more experienced models. In some photos she seems bored, as if she wants to stop posing and have fun. Emi’s Summer Vacation was shot in several locations in Hawaii, and even though Emi was not an experienced model, her photo sessions appear to have been an expensive project. Was Emi a relative of Otomo, or the daughter of Otomo’s friends?

Shoetsu Otomo – Emi in Hawaii (c1996) (2)

Satomi married young, and when she was nineteen gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Kirara. Shortly before the new Japanese law brought the lolicon era to an end, Otomo did a nude photo shoot of Satomi’s daughter Kirara. The photos were not published in a book, but were distributed to Satomi’s fans. People who have seen the photos say that Kirara looks much like her mother. If lolicon had lasted a little longer, Kirara may have been the second generation lolicon star in her family.

Shoetsu Otomo – Emi in Hawaii (c1996) (3)

Friedel Grieder

Ida Schweighauser became Friedel Grieder when she married Ernst Grieder in Switzerland in 1913. According to Wikipedia she not only changed her surname to Grieder, but also changed her given name from Ida to Friedel.  It was not explained why.  They had three children, one of whom died shortly after birth. The family lost their money during World War I. Friedel’s husband died in 1927, and their daughter Rösli died in 1929 when she was only 12 years old. In the same year Friedel Grieder, then age 39,entered into psychological treatment to cope with the tragedy in her life.

Friedel Grieder – Dreispitzpark Mädchen (no date) (1)

Friedel Grieder – Dreispitzpark Mädchen (no date) (2)

Her treatment included art therapy, and her talent was immediately evident.  She started sculpting, and created many sculptures of young children.  Two years later, in 1931, she opened her studio in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. Grieder taught and gave art therapy at a sanatorium in Kreuzlingen. Several of her works are on public display in Kreuzlingen. Dreispitzpark Mädchen sits in Dreispitzpark. Wehrlischulhaus Mädchen is by the military schoolhouse. Both portray a girl about 12 years old, the age at which Rösli Grieder died.  Friedel Grieder died in 1980 at age 89.

Friedel Grieder – WehrlischulhausMädchen (1952)

Edward Berge

Edward Henry Berge was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1876. He studied art first in Maryland then went to Paris and studied under Auguste Rodin. He returned to Baltimore and lived there until his death in 1924. Berge sculpted in both marble and bronze.

Edward Berge – Sea Urchin – (1921) (1)

Edward Berge – Sea Urchin – (1921) (2)

Edward Berge – Sea Urchin – (1921) (3)

Sea Urchin is a four-foot-tall statue of a girl standing on a sea urchin. It was sculpted in 1921 for a public fountain in Baltimore. Smaller editions were made, as shown in the second and third illustrations. In 1961 the Sea Urchin was replaced by a copy sculpted by Berge’s son, and the original was moved to Johns Hopkins University. Edward Berge had two sons who were also artists, and Edward’s father was a German gravestone carver.

Edward Berge – Wild Flower (1909) (1)

Edward Berge – Wild Flower (1909) (2)

Some of Berge’s finest work are his fountain statues of nude girls. Wildflower is one of his more famous. Originally cast life-size in 1909, subsequent editions were cast in 1916 and 1923. Professor Moses Slaughter purchased Wildflower in 1917 and donated it to the Madison Wisconsin Public Library in memory of his two daughters. Wildflower was placed in a pool fountain outside the library building. In the 1960s, the library was moved to a new location. Wildflower was moved to an indoor location on the second floor of the new library, and in 2015 it was moved again to the children’s room of the new library. Another copy of Wildflower is in Homeland Garden, Baltimore.

Edward Berge – Violet (c1916) (1)

Edward Berge – Violet (c1916) (2)

Violet is another sculpture that is similar to Wildflower. Three violets are in the girl’s hair. Violet was intended as a fountain, with water flowing from the girl’s hands.

Edward Berge – At Water’s Edge (1914)

At Water’s Edge differs from the other statues in this article in that it features a sitting girl. The serene expression on her face, however, is like the others.

Edward Berge – Poppy (1922) (1)

Edward Berge – Poppy (1922) (2)

Poppy represents a tiny wood nymph with a poppy on her head. Nymph on a Turtle (aka Will-o’-the-Wisp) is a water nymph on a turtle. This statue was featured in a previous article here.

Edward Berge – Nymph on a Turtle (date unknown)

The dates given for the sculptures in the captions are often the date from a particular example. When I could find the date a work was originally created, I used that date. Duck Mother is dated 1924. If that is the date of the original, it may be one of Berge’s last pieces.

Edward Berge – Duck Mother (1923)

Random Images: Full-Body Exposure

My apologies for the provocative-sounding title; I just couldn’t help myself. The exposure being referred to is sunlight. The prevalence of rickets increased after the advent of the Industrial Revolution but it was not until the early 20th century that the connection was made between this disease and a deficiency in Vitamin D. It was also learned that the human body produces this nutrient when exposed to adequate sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Although it is common practice to simply provide supplements in pill form, some people are unable to metabolize this nutrient in this form and sunlamps are sometimes needed. This technique was quite popular in middle of the 20th century, especially for children of more affluent parents or in a clinic where multiple children could be treated concurrently.

A reader provided a link to a photographic collection featuring images of this sunlight treatment. Browsing the images, one can see that these examples come from many countries in more northerly latitudes such as: the Soviet Union, Germany, UK, Canada and the US. Undoubtedly, other northern countries were also represented. I would recommend perusing the many examples that can be found with the above link including vintage advertisements for the lamps and treatment.

(Photographer Unknown) – From the Bundesarchiv, Berlin (1940)

Maiden Voyages: August 2023

Your Nickname: Understandably, many readers of this site prefer to write comments and articles under an alias. Many of you have requested that a nickname appear when making comments. Members can do this themselves by logging in then selecting ‘users’. Your profile should appear. Under ‘nickname’, you can enter a new name and then just below it, select that new nickname under ‘name appears as’. From then on, your alias will appear when you make comments.

150 Years of Photographing Children: A reader came forward with an interesting link to a project dedicated to the photography of children from 1865 to 2023. Some of the names will be familiar but many will undoubtedly not be. Images are categorized by date, by artist name or by theme.

Nude in the News: One of our Russian readers gave me a lead years ago about a newspaper that actually requested pictures of naked children from its readers to publish. I planned to do a post on this because a website actually posted the relevant images. Now there is a new site with a little more detail about the context of this promotion. Because these images were scanned from a newspaper, they are of low fidelity, but still one can get a clear idea of the range of ages, poses and props in the photographs submitted. In addition to extensive details about this story, this website has pages covering numerous portrayals of nudity with a number of items clearly gleaned from Pigtails. I am told that many other leads came from this site which focuses on female underage nudity and makes a special point of only sharing examples which are not lascivious.

Brooke Shields’ Attitudes: After reading the post on Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby starring Brooke Shields, a reader did some additional research which I thought would be of interest to others. I have appended this material to the end of that post. We also received a nice testimonial from that reader which I reproduce here:

In the first instance, I am writing to compliment you on your splendid website, which I have followed for some time now. I enjoy seeing the beautiful artwork and reading the thoughtful and well researched articles. You tackle topics that are often neglected and avoided by others. Your dedication and resilience in keeping the site going in the face of attacks from a number of quarters is also really commendable. I’m sure it can’t have been easy, and you must have had dark days of doubt. I hope you will be able to continue.

Follow Up on Goebbels Children: I did a post based on a Graham Ovenden poem regarding the group suicide of the children of Joseph and Magda Goebbels during the defeat of Nazi Germany during WWII. A reader did a little digging and offered more details which were appended to the end of that post.

Digging into Divine Forms: A woman who runs a web page was drawn to our site in the course of researching Azuma Itsuko. One of the discoveries was that the books of this artist were published by Sanrio Co., Ltd. who also publish the famous Hello Kitty materials. The Sanrio fan page can be found here.

On the Store Shelf: I have often wondered about the models—babies, toddlers and very young children—on the packages of diapers, training pants and the like. Are these real people? Or a photo-realistic rendering of an artist? I ask these questions because I imagine that being known as a diaper model might attract ridicule later in life and one would not want images of oneself on the packages in the local store. Well, it appears that these are images are of real people and I came across a story of a little girl being filmed while discovering her image on packages in a local store. Perhaps these name brands are responsible enough to move on to other models after a little while, but now there’s another problem: now that this video is on the internet, will this girl ever be able to genuinely put her past behind her? Or will she continue to harbor a kind of strange pride about this stage in her “career”?

Album Covers: Bijelo Dugme

Translated as “White Button”, Bijelo Dugme was perhaps the most important band in Yugoslav rock. Since Yugoslavia was a non-aligned state equally open towards the Eastern bloc and the West, it was able to absorb musical influences like rock ‘n’ roll. The band would appear in local festivals in the region including the Italian San Remo festival which aired on television.

Although interest in rock waned in Yugoslavia by the 1980s, there was a real resurgence with Bijelo Dugme, a group from Bosnia led by international music star Goran Bregović. As was the case with many of their contemporaries, they had to publish four successful singles before they were given the opportunity to record an album. Their appeal most likely came in combining Bosnian traditional music with prog-rock. Unusually, their LPs were as popular as their singles and record companies started to understand that rock albums were a viable commercial product. This likely opened the doors for the next generation of rockers to publish their own labels, culminating in the 1980s boom of Yugoslav rock. The album shown here was from a live performance on April 5, 1981 at a club called Kulušić in Zagreb. This was their last performance of a tour starting in 1980 called Doživjeti stotu (Live to Be a Hundred).

Bijelo dugme – 5. april ’81 (1981)

Bijelo dugme – 5. april ’81 (1981) (CD cover)

The album cover was designed by photographer Dragan S. Stefanović who held a photo session with the daughter of actor Mladen Jeličić. The girl was wearing a grownup’s robe and high heels but she started taking her clothes off when she needed to use the potty. Stefanović continued shooting and three of those ended up on the album cover. During that time in Yugoslav history, no one gave a second thought to such images. The later mix of US puritanical influence and reestablishment of the Catholic religion in Croatia, required that the CD version be released omitting the middle image.

Research for this post came from a devoted reader and was only edited down to the current length to cover only the most relevant aspects of the album. You can find more on this band and the album here, here and here. -Ron

Two Nude images by Carl Larsson

Carl Olof Larsson was a Swedish painter who has been featured in Pigtails here and here. Larsson was born in 1853, and had an unhappy childhood because of his irresponsible father. At age 13 he applied for the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, and was accepted. Larsson became a professional illustrator for two newspapers, as well as books and magazines. His income was sufficient to support his parents as well as himself.

Carl Larsson – Graziella Asking Whether She will do as a Model (1888)

In 1877 Carl Larsson moved to Paris and in 1882 moved to a Scandinavian artists’ colony at Grez-sur-Loing. There he met the Swedish artist Karin Bergöö, whom he married. They had eight children. In 1888 the Larsson family returned to Sweden. Larsson is most famous for his depictions of happy family life, often using his own family as models. Larsson wrote in his memoirs of the family paintings, “… these pictures are of course a very genuine expression of my personality, of my deepest feelings, of all my limitless love for my wife and children.”

Larsson is also famous for his frescos in public buildings. His nudes are not as well known, even though he won his first medal in art, while still a teenager, for drawing nudes. The two illustrations in this article are examples of his nude illustrations.

When Larsson was living in France, aspiring models frequented the artists’ colony looking for work. In 1888, before the Larsson family moved to Sweden, a young Italian girl came to Larsson’s studio and asked if she would do as a model. Larsson apparently thought that Graziella, the girl, would do as a model, for we have this drawing he made of her. She was more slender than was considered to be ideal at the time. Her expression is not one of confidence. Nevertheless, Larsson’s drawing of her is quite touching. Suzanne Larsson, Carl’s oldest child, would have been about four years old when Graziella modeled for this drawing. Perhaps the artist’s affection for his daughter, who was only a few years younger than Graziella, helped him to create a sympathetic image of Graziella. I found two examples of this drawing online, a scan of an etching and a scan of a postage stamp. The illustration on a 1982 Swedish postage stamp is sharper than a scan of the etching, so it is the one shown here.

Carl Larsson – Mammas och Småflickornas Rum (1897)

The second nude in this post is typical of Larsson’s paintings of family life. The painting shows the mother’s and little girls’ room. Since it was painted in 1897, the nude girl on the left must be the artist’s daughter Brita, who was born in 1893. The infant in the middle of the painting would be Kersti, born 1896, and the older girl on the right would be Lisbeth, born in 1891.

Allan Österlind

In 1874, 18-year old Allan Österlind began his studies at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. In 1877 he went to Paris, and enrolled in École des Beaux-Arts the following year. He wanted to study sculpture, but his teacher recommended that he instead become a painter. He became well known for his watercolor paintings. In 1893 he visited Spain, making several sketches from which he would later paint watercolors. After the death of his wife in 1916 he developed severe depression, and died in poverty in 1938.

The first of Österlind’s paintings in this article is Modell Framför Staffliet (Model in front of the Easel). The watercolor painting is approximately 20 inches by 29 inches. I was surprised to see that this painting was sold in 2014 for $409, and again in 2021 for $328. A beautiful painting by a famous artist sold for what seems to me to be a low price in 2014, and in spite of inflation sold for less in 2021. The girl’s right hand is positioned as if she has drawn back the bowstring, yet the bow is flexed very little if at all. If the model actually held back the bowstring, it would be difficult for her to hold the pose for any reasonable length of time.

Allan Österlind – Modell Framför Staffliet (no date)

The next painting is Spansk Gatuscen (Spanish Street Scene). This 24-inch by 19-inch oil painting, like most paintings in this article, is not dated. It was painted some time after Österlind’s 1893 trip to Spain. Spansk Gatuscen, like Modell Framför Staffliet, is a realistic depiction of a scene familiar to the artist.

Allan Österlind – Spansk Gatuscen (no date)

Råttfångaren från Hameln (The Rat Catcher from Hamelin) is Österlind’s interpretation of the Pied Piper legend. The oil painting is approximately five feet long by two feet wide. The haunting expressions on the faces of the doomed children is typical of the dark style that is present in many of Österlind’s later paintings. In the standard version of the legend the piper led the children into a cave. In an alternate version, apparently the one used for this painting, they were drowned in the river. According to records in the city of Hamelin, this incredible event actually happened in the year 1284. Österlind painted both the piper and the girls dressed in 1890s style, contemporary with the painting. This contributes to the somber mood of the painting by making the incident appear as happening in the present, rather than “once upon a time” in an ancient fairy tale.

Allan Österlind – Råttfångaren från Hameln (1897)

Thirteen children in the front of the line are all girls. Details of the children farther behind are hazy, but they may also be girls. Why did Österlind not include any boys among the ill-fated children? Did he think girls would arouse more sympathy? Did he like painting girls better than boys?  One of the girls looks directly at the piper, and he looks back coldly, not in malice, but in what seems to be a complete lack of emotion.

The last painting is titled in French Autour de l’enfant (Around the Child). It is a watercolor, slightly larger than three feet by two feet. As in the previous painting, the facial expression of the child is disturbing. I am not sure what is happening in this painting. It appears that the girl is either being treated for an injury, or is being treated for a disease by bloodletting, which continued to be practiced into the early part of the 20th century. The child’s face is in the light, and is more realistic than that of the adults in the painting. She is staring at the viewer in apparent fright, while the adults are calm. There is something disturbing about the scene.

Allan Österlind – Autour de l’enfant (no date)