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#TBT: The Sensuous Art of Gerda Wegener

TBT: The Sensuous Art of Gerda Wegener

TBT: The Sensuous Art of Gerda Wegener

Throwback Thursday focuses on Gerda Wegener, who was as talented as her story is exciting, dramatic, and ground-breaking.

Aside from her sleek art deco fantasies gracing the pages of Vogue, La Vie Parisienne, Fantasio, and many other magazines, Gerda Wegener (1886-1940) was married to a transgender woman who was had the first publicly recorded sex reassignment surgery.

David Ebershoff's 2001 novel, The Danish Girl, was based on the lives of Gerda Wegener and her husband Einar Wegener (later Lili Elbe, 1882–1931) and their remarkable journey together.

Lili and Gerda's marriage was declared null and void by the King of Denmark in 1930 after the surgery. Lili, who was also a talented artist pulled back on her career to let Gerda take the starring role, but Gerda often used her smokey-eyed, bobbed-haired spouse as a model in many of her paintings and illustrations.

Gerda, for her part, was rediscovered more than 40 years after her death, when some of her erotic watercolor paintings turned up at a Copenhagen junk shop in 1984. We include some of those here — at least the ones we can get away with.

Sources: Wikipedia,



Cuckoo, 1920





Leda and the swan, 1925


Erotic Scene, 1925



Peeping Tom, date unknown


Illustration for La Baionnette, 1919


Pierrot Masquerade Ball, 1914

Date unknown

Painful Pleasures, 1931

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