Δευτέρα, 6 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010

LILY ELBE by GERDA WEGENER.



It is not a woman who served as the model for these paintings, but Gerda Wegener's husband, Einar Wegener. Lili Elbe was "born" one day when Gerda asked Einar to wear stockings and heels so that she could substitute Einar's legs for those of her model. Over time, Gerda became famous for her paintings of beautiful women with haunting almond-shaped eyes dressed in chic fashions. In approximately 1913, the unsuspecting public was shocked to discover that the model who inspired Gerda's depictions of petite femmes fatales was in fact Einar. He was himself a painter, felt more a women than a man and was one of the earliest to have an operation to switch genders.

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Gerda Wegener (Danish, 1886-1940) was an Art Deco illustrator and painter. She moved to Copenhagen to pursue her education at the Royal Art Academy, and married fellow artist Einar Wegener in 1904. After moving to Paris in 1912, she found much success both as a painter and illustrating for Vogue, La Vie Parisienne, Fantasio, and many other magazines. As she found fame in Paris, Gerda also developed a following in her home country. She held exhibitions at Ole Haslunds gallery in Copenhagen at regular intervals. Her career relied on a phenomenal talent but perhaps even more so on her notorious diligence, and the advantages her unusual marriage brought her.
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