Redhair of the Renaissance

Renaissance painters looked to the beauty of red-haired women when creating their masterpieces. Red hair is striking and stands out from all the other colors, drawing in the viewer. Red hair signifies love, passion and exceptional beauty. Interestingly, several of the Renaissance painters were redheads.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Damsel of the Sanct Grael



birth of venus
The Birth of Venus by Botticelli



Lucca Madonna 1437.jpg
Lucca Madonna by Jan van Eyck


Never A Saint With Red Hair

A Russian proverb states, “There was never a saint with red hair”, meaning all red-heads are prone to evil tempers and dissolute ways. In fact, one of the most famous Irish saints, Brigid, was a red-head.


It all began with Brid, the goddess of fire, patroness of hearth and home, smiths and forges, healers and herbs, poets and language. Honored in ancient Ireland, it was claimed that at birth, a column of fire reached from her red curls up into heaven. Many girls were named Brid, or Brigid, in her honor.

One such girl was Saint Brigid. Born in 435 AD to a chieftain and a slave girl, and raised by Druids, she was beautiful and iron-willed. She refused to be married off, instead choosing to follow the revolutionary teachings of St Patrick and embracing Christianity.

She worked many miracles, from controlling the weather to improving the yield of crops and livestock, and even outwitted Irish Chieftains. She travelled far and wide, eventually building an Abbey in Kildare where she welcomed travelers with legendary hospitality. She was fond of ale, and said to be the best brewer in all of Ireland! She also kept a magic red-eared cow that gave the most and best milk in the land.

Brigid’s feast day is still celebrated on February 1st, the old feast of the goddess Brid. On that day it is said Brigid travels through Ireland with her magic cow, blessing those who remember and honor their sacred roots.

Did Mary Magdalene have red hair?

Regnier Penitent Mary Magdalene

Did Mary Magdalene have red hair? Will we really ever know? We can surmise the reasons why many artists throughout history have illustrated her with golden, curly long hair. Red hair often signifies passion, intelligence and perhaps rebelliousness.









Mary Magdalene was portrayed as a harlot in early history. Recently discovered gnostic gospels, such as The Gospel of Mary Magdalene depict her with leadership roles and independent. Labeled as the Disciple to the Disciples, her feast day is July 22nd. Today, some argue that she was the bride of Jesus.





Damsel of the Sanct Grael by Rosetti


The legend of the Rose Line is about the lineage of Jesus & Mary. Could the Rose Line possibly be about the lineage of red hair instead? Interestingly, red hair does have secrecy about it, skipping generations, thus having the ability to survive without notice. This knowledge could have resurfaced during the Renaissance as many of the painters had red hair. The Inquisition is known to have burnt over 45,000 red-haired women. Coincidence?






lefevre-mary magdalen in a grotto
Mary Magdalen in a Grotto by Lefevre


mary magdalene by solari
Mary Magdalene with her Sacred Jar by the fifteenth-century Italian painter Andrea Solari


Modern Interpretation of Leonardo Davinci’s Last Supper 

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Did Jesus Have Red Hair?

“His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect.”

Most people think that Jesus, being Jewish, must have had dark hair. However, its not out of the question for red hair to be found in the Middle East. In 2014, a gathering of about 200 red-haired Jews came together in Israel. King David is known to have red hair as well.

The proof comes from an actual historical letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar. Pontius Pilate writes:

One day I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected so great was the difference between Him and those who were listening to Him. His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His bearers with their black beards and tawny complexions!

Another source is from the sleeping prophet, Edgar Cayce. Falling into a trance state, Cayce would diagnose illnesses and describe past events. Cayce talked often of the life of Jesus Christ. He described Him as having blue eyes and golden red hair.


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The Redhead Book by Al Sacharov