Ask Morgana 091: Gerda Wegener
Gerda Wegener (1886-1940) was a Danish painter of French heritage. Her early work was very much in the Art Nouveau style, but developed into something that seemed to typify the 1920s. She was well-known for her erotic subject-matter, and many of her paintings depict languid ladies, affectionate female/female couples, nudes, and sexual acts. I’m including examples of all of these.
I love her colours – they remind me of Clarice Cliff teacups, or japonaiserie printed fabric – and the langour on the faces of her subjects. One of my favourites is the painting that depicts one woman playing the guitar while her companion looks on; to me it expresses intimacy.
Wegener’s style did not progress much further, however, and fashion left her behind. I like to think of her, therefore, as an artist who gave us a kind of snapshot of a particular, short-lived era.
Images reproduced under ‘fair use’ provisions.