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 FondaciĆ³n 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!!!