Saturday, May 21, 2011

John Collier: Painter of Long Hair

Artist John Collier (1850-1934) is famous for his portraits of women with gorgeous long hair.
Following is an interview from Everywoman's Encyclopaedia, 1912, Vol 7, pp 4657-4659.

Guinevere's Maying 
 Guinevere's Maying By John Collier (1850-1934)

 "At her best the English girl is a remarkable fine specimen of humanity... One great beauty of the English girl is the variety of tint her hair assumes. It ranges from dark brown or black, through auburn to red, and through flaxen almost to white. One has only to keep ones eyes open when going through the streets to notice this characteristic and to learn to admire its beauty.

"It strikes the artist , whose eyes are naturally more highly trained in the faculty of observation than other people, and I constantly notice the number of well-known models who have beautiful hair. Indeed, some get more sittings for their hair than for anything else, on account of its beauty and abundance.

"I once painted a portrait of a lady whose hair was just over six feet long. I painted her lying on a sofa, with her three children about her playing with her hair, of which she was very proud. It was a rich golden brown, and when she stood upright it rested for six or seven inches on the ground. One day she told me she had combed out rather a long hair, and asked me whether I should like to have it. I took it and measured it. It measured six feet one and a half inches. I still have that hair."