The Red Sisterhood


For the pleasure of the colour……….




A sampler in wool plain weave with silk embroidery in cross, finished in September, 1770,herringbone, fan and eyelet stitches.

  Made in England by Sarah Cogger, born 1759, unknown date of death. 


Adam alone in paradise did grieve.  And thought Eden a desert without Eve

Until God pitying his lonesome state, Crowned all his wishes with a lovely mate

No reason then have men to fight or flout her Since Adam in paradise could not

                                          live without her. 


The text is from Female Pre-Eminence or the Dignity and Excellency of That Sex above Male written in 1529 by Henry Agrippa, English.

Philadelphia Museum of Art.




Piero del Pollaiuolo, 1441-1496- Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a Lady, tempera on panel.  Piero del Pollaiuolo, Italian, 1441-1496.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY 






Courtly Scene, c. 1525-30, oil on wood panel.  Unknown artist, Netherlandish or German.  Philadelphia Art Museum


DSC05575Portrait of a Lady, oil on wood panel, 1577-80.  Attributed to El Greco, Spanish born Crete, 1541-1614.  Philadelphia Art Museum







Woman with a Pink, early 1660’s, oil on canvas. 

Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669, Dutch.  Metropolitan Museum of Art







Hayne Hudjihini, Eagle of Delight, 1832-33, oil on canvas.  Henry Inman, 1801- 1846, American.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

The tatoo on her forehead denotes her royal lineage (Otoe-Missouria).  This portrait was commissioned by a Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent who met her in Washington DC and fell in love with her.








Paris, Rue de Parme on Bastille Day, 1890, oil on canvas. 

Pierre Bonnard, 1867-1947, French.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC





Mrs. Hugh Hammersley, oil on canvas, 1892, by John Singer Sargent, 1856-1925, American. Metropolitan Museum of Art





The Three Sisters, 1896, oil on canvas.  Leon Frederic, 1856-1940, Belgian.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY






The Lie,  oil on artist’s board, 1897.  Felix Valotton, 1865-1925, French born Switzerland.  Baltimore Museum of Art. 

Originally one of 10 woodcuts on the vagaries of the married life, this one scene to be later produced in this painting






King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1 and detail; oil on canvas,  1898.  Edwin Austin Abbey, American,  1852-1911, American.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.






The Visit by Lamplight, 1899-1900, oil on cardboard.  Felix Valloton, 1865-1925, Franco-Swiss.  Kunst Museum Winterthur on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2019/2020



amanjeanwomanpinkWoman in Pink (c 1900), pastel

Edmond Aman-Jean, 1858–1936, French. Private collection.  This image taken fro the blog Eclectic Light Company.  Wikimedia Commons


amanjeanwomangloveWoman with Glove (c 1900-02), pastel on wood,

Edmond Aman-Jean, 1858–1936, French

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, Dijon, France. Image by Rama. This image taken from the Eclectic Light Company blogpost. Via Wikimedia Commons.





An Actress, Portrait of Suzanne Santje, 1903, oil on canvas. Thomas Eakins, American, 1844 – 1916, Philadelphia Musuem of Art





Interior with Woman in Red, 1903, oil on canvas.  Felix Vailloton, 1865-1925, Franco-Swiss.   Kunsthaus Zurich on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2019/2020






At the Lapin Agile, 1905, oil on canvas.  Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

The museum’s notes say:  a self-portrait of Picasso with his recent lover, Germaine Pinchot, the former lover and obsession of Picasso’s friend, Carles Casagemas who killed himself in 1901. 

This painting was the only Picasso work on view in Paris between 1905 and 1912 when it was sold. 

It was commissioned by the proprietor of the cabaret in Montmartre, Fredo Gérard, who is seen in the background.






A Rose (Rebecca H. Whelan) 1907; and detail. Oil on canvas; Thomas Anschutz, American, 1851-1912.  Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2016





Maria, 1907-1910, oil on canvas.  Kees Van Dongen, 1877-1968, French.  Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum, NY





Young Girl, oil on canvas, 1912.  Jacques Villon (Gaston Duchamp), 1875-1963.  Philadelphia Art Museum






Dancer at Pigalle’s, 1912, oil and sequins on sculpted gesso on artist’s canvasboard.  Gino Severini, 1863-1966, Italian.  Baltimore Museum of Art






Woman in Red Blouse with Tulips, c. 1913-14, oil on canvas.  William James Glackens, 1870-1930, American.  Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia





Three Women by a Garden, 1922, oil on canvas.  Fernand Leger, 1881-1955, French. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY






The Mirror, 1925, oil on canvas.  Fernand Leger, 1881-1955, French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY







The Kiss, 1925-26, oil and enamel paint on canvas.  Francis Picabia, French, 1879-1953. On loan to MOMA, NY 2016-2017





Self-portrait in Velvet, 1926, oil on canvas.  Frieda Kahlo, 1907-1954, Mexican.  Exhibited in the winter of 2016 at the Philadelphia Art Museum.





Dance in Tehuantepec, 1928, oil on canvas.  Diego Rivera, 1886-1967, Mexican.  Exhibited in the winter of 2016 at the Philadelphia Art Museum in an exhibition about the art of the Mexican Revolution. 




Portrait of Madeleine Castaing, oil on canvas, c. 1929.  Chaim Soutine, 1893-1943, French born Lithuania.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY





A  portion of a panel of a suite of 10 panels from America Today, 1930-’31, egg tempera with oil glazing over Permalba on a gesso ground on linen mounted to wood panels with a honeycomb interior.  Thomas Hart Benton, American, 1889-1975, American.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  Originally made for the board room and a class room of the New School for Social Research, NY.





A portion of a panel from America Today, 1930-’31, egg tempera with oil glazing over Permalba on a gesso ground on linen mounted to wood panels with a honeycomb interior.  Thomas Hart Benton, American, 1889-1975, American.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.    Originally made for the board room and a class room of the New School for Social Research, NY.






Panel, lacquered wood and copper powder.  Jean Dunand,  1877-1942, French born Switzerland. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY





In the Salon, 1893, pastel and oil on paperboard.  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864-1901, French.

Thannhauser Collection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York





Frantisek Kupka, Mme. Kupka Among Verticals, 1910-11. MOMA-2

Mme. Kupka (whose husband has given her a range of colours to wear if she feels like it) among The Verticals, 1910-11.   And details. Oil on canvas.   A painting of Frantisek Kupka, Czech, 1871-1957. MOMA, NY. 2016 






Spring, c. 1937/38-43, oil on canvas.  Francis Picabia, 1879-1953, French.  Menil Collection, Houston, on loan in the winter of 2016/7 to MOMA, NY







Portrait of Sarah Ruth Wood Ferguson (1890-1969), oil on canvas board, 1943.  Violet Oakley, 1874-1961, American

  Collection of George McNeely IV, on loan to the Woodmere Museum in 2017




Self-portrait of Francoise Gilot, born 1921, France.  Painted when she was 22. I do not know what became of this painting.






A Widow, oil on canvas, 1943.  Jean Dubuffet, 1901-1985, French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY





Helen at the Easel, 1947, casein tempera underpaint, and oil-varnish glaze on panel.  A portrait by John Sloan (1871-1951) of his second wife.  Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington






Cape Cod Morning, 1950, oil on canvas.  Edward Hopper, 1882, 1967, American.  Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington DC






Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) and detail, oil on canvas, 1957.  Fairfield Porter, 1907-1975, American.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY







The Little Concert and detail, 1968, oil on canvas.  Marc Chagall, 1887-1985, French born Russia.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY




Faith Ringgold, 1977, oil paint on canvas, and detail. 

Alice Neel, 1900-1984.  Private collection on loan to Brooklyn Museum in 2018/19








House of Fire, 1981, oil on canvas, and detail.

  James Rosenquist, American, 1933 -2017.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY




Alex Katz’s oil on canvas of 1982, Red Coat, on loan to the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, New York in 2016.  Alex Katz, born 1927, American.



2015 Summer Collection of the Korean-American designer and philanthropist, Christina Kim, in a display in London






Stencil, spray paint, 2004.  Mircea Cantor, Romanian, born 1977.  Philadelphia Art Museum

The Museum notes that in 2000, the artists Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno bought the copyright to the Japanese  comic character AnnLee in order to use her in their art.  They also invited a number of peer artists to do the same.

Two years later they attempted to block further use of this character’s image by transferring these rights to an independent AnnLee Association.

Mircea Cantor then inserted this image into a museum context to refute the notion that the meaning of images can be exhausted by their ownership. 

The salient word, of course, is ‘meaning’ because copyright runs everywhere and there are always hierarchies of power trying to own and control whatever they want to.






 Nicole, 2014; oil on canvas. Alex Katz, American, born 1927.  On loan in 2016 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.




Molly Goddard, British fashion designer, born 1988;  March 2017, Paris





A photo taken by Landen Nordman for the NY Times at the Tom Ford, fall 2018 Ready To Wear show in New York








Handmaid’s Costume from the Handmaid’s Tale 2017 , wool with polyster fleece lining, cotton bonnet, underbonnet and belt, rayon dress. Designed by Ane Crabtree, American.

Philadelphia Art Museum on loan from Metro Goldwyn Mayer in 2019/2020.





Extinction Rebellion demonstrating in Westminster, London on October 7, 2019 (men may be among the red-attired ones).  Photo from the net.



























2 thoughts on “The Red Sisterhood

    1. Sometimes, Louis, I wake up in the morning with a large urge to see the colour red. But, as you say, it is rare now any more!


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