The Pre-Raphaelites and Red Hair

We have received a request from a student researching Pre-Raphaelitism and red hair for volunteers to answer the following questions. If you would like to take part, please email your answers to

What were the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood trying to say with their art?

Have any other painters/art movements used redheads in their work so frequently before the Pre-Raphaelites?

Is there something about the colour red that catches people’s attention in paintings?

Do you think there was a turning point in the acceptance/approval of red hair during the Pre-Raphaelite movement?

Why do you think the artists were so open to using red headed models?

What do you think the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood were trying to do by using models with red hair?
There is a high number of red headed men in Pre-Raphaelite paintings, why do you think this is?

Do you think the red headed men have as much significance as red headed women in Pre-Raphaelites, and why?

Do you think the passion Rossetti had for his models was fuelled by the colour of their hair?

Were people accepting of the Pre-Raphaelites use of red haired models when they first started using Elizabeth Siddal?

Does the story/myth of Siddal’s red hair still being so vibrant when they dug up the grave for the book of poems add or subtract from  both Rossetti’s and Siddal’s reputations?


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