On the Way to Anacapri by Gerda Wegener - 1922 private collection On the Way to Anacapri by Gerda Wegener - 1922 private collection

On the Way to Anacapri

oil on canvas •
  • Gerda Wegener - 15 March 1886 - 28 July 1940 Gerda Wegener 1922

Well, June is Pride Month! To be more exact, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. On this occasion, we want to share with you the story of Gerda Wegener and Lili Elbe, which is also known thanks to the movie The Danish Girl

Gerda, who painted today's masterpiece, was a Danish illustrator and painter. She is known for her fashion illustrations and later her paintings that pushed the boundaries of gender and love of her time. These works were classified as "lesbian erotica" at times and many were inspired by her partner, the transgender woman Lili Elbe. Lili, born Einar Wegener, was also an artist and among the early recipients of sex reassignment surgery. After transitioning in 1930, she changed her legal name to Lili Ilse Elvenes and stopped painting; she later adopted the surname Elbe. She died from complications following a uterus transplant.

Gerda drew and painted several pictures of her and Lili together. In 1922 she painted one of the finest examples on one of the couple’s many journeys to Italy, including several to Capri—this double portrait. Both women wear make-up as well as jewelry and dresses in red shades. Lili is taller; their rings are identical. The picture is painted in delicate colors and has an almost ethereal, dreamlike lightness as if the moment is timeless. Again, there is a certain Renaissance atmosphere, especially in the strict profile of the self-portrait.

P.S. Fascinated by Gerda Wegener? Here you can read more on this Art Deco feminist!