titian
Posted: 16 November 2010 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2896
Joined  2007-02-26

I’m told titian hair is red hair.

Is it named for the painter? Why? Did he paint a lot of redheads?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2010 01:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  776
Joined  2007-03-01

Yes, and yes.

A great many of the women in Titian’s paintings have hair of a particular reddish-blonde shade which was the acme of beauty and fashion in Renaissance Venice. Venetian ladies who weren’t naturally fair-haired achieved this colour by regularly washing their hair in urine and sitting out in the sun to let it dry, wearing a special sun hat with no crown but a very broad brim, over which the hair was combed and spread out.  Thus the lady’s hair got maximal exposure to the sun and bleached to the desired shade, while her skin was protected and remained porcelain white – another essential feature of beauty in Europe until the 20th century.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2010 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4478
Joined  2007-01-03

But the term did not arise until the nineteenth century. People in the Renaissance did not refer to Titian hair.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2010 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1890
Joined  2007-02-19

For portrayals of really ravishing red hair, I’d rather have the pre-Raphaelites every time.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2010 01:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  776
Joined  2007-03-01

People in the Renaissance did not refer to Titian hair.

Which is logical, since English-speaking-people in the Renaissance would only have seen Titian’s paintings of Venetian women if they had been to Venice - where they would also have seen so many women with that hair colour that it would logically be associated with the place, not the painter. Only after a century or more of the Grand Tour had filled the stately homes and art galleries of England with Italian Renaissance paintings would it have been possible to refer to ‘titian hair’ and be confident that any cultured English person would know what that looked like.

‘Titian’ became popular, at least in part, because historically red hair had been much disliked in England and to describe a woman as ‘red-haired’ was potentially derogatory; so a term that associated it firmly with culture and beautiful paintings was useful. These quotes from the OED bear this out:

1904 Dundee Advertiser 27 June 8/1 Twenty years ago hair with a reddish tinge was called ‘carrots’; now ‘Titian-coloured’ locks are reckoned a definite beauty. 1904 BENSON Challoners v, The girl..had Titian hair in golden glorious profusion. 1923 Times 3 May 14/6 (Advt.), Tecla pearls..are equally becoming whether worn by blondes, brunettes or Titians.

[ Edited: 18 November 2010 10:27 AM by Syntinen Laulu ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2010 01:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2896
Joined  2007-02-26

"‘Titian’ became popular, at least in part, because historically red hair had been much disliked in England and to describe a woman as ‘red-haired’ was potentially derogatory”

Even after ER? Cheeky.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2010 03:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  429
Joined  2007-02-14

Seems the English are still having problems with ginger people.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2010 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  226
Joined  2008-07-19

And some of our politicians too

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2010 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  803
Joined  2007-06-20

Curious coincidence that “ginger” is an anagram of the “n” word.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ Wanhope      wank ››