Wednesday 13 June 2012

A Bearded woman

Magdalena Ventura of the Abruzzi with her husband and child, Ribera, 1631

OK so strictly speaking this isn't in London, it is in the Museo Fondación Duque de Lerma in Toledo, but I have included it by way of an apology for my absence from the blog. I mean it's not often that you see a bearded woman breast feeding a baby.

This is Magdalena Ventura of the Abruzzi, at the age of 37 after having two children she grew a beard. Here she is shown carrying her third child.

Growing a little bit of extra facial hair was not very kindly looked upon in the seventeenth century, Ribera has probably been a bit over dramatic. Poor woman!!!