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Infanta Esau

"Infanta Esau" is copyright  ©  2003 by James G. Mundie. All rights reserved.  Reproduction prohibited.

Pen and ink, 10.75 x 7.75 inches, 2003

Hairy children were — and still are — a great attraction. While the current fashion is to describe such individuals as “wolf boys” or “wolf girls” the Victorian era preferred a biblical allusion to hirsute Esau, son of Abraham and twin brother of smooth-faced Jacob. Showmen such as P.T. Barnum took their cue from the passage describing the twins' birth:

And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
(Genesis 25:25)

Those were more religious times, so hairy children, regardless of sex, were frequently advertised as “The Infant Esau.” One such child was the young Annie Jones (who as a fully blossomed bearded woman is featured as the Pre-Raphaelite subject of another of my drawings, Ritratto di Annie Jones).

In this portrait, Annie poses as a wee Spanish princess after a painting by Velázquez.


[To purchase this drawing, please contact
Stanek Gallery
242 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia PA 19106]


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All Images and Text © James G. Mundie 2003 - 2018