Searching a photo for the end of summer holidays post this butterfly taking a rest on my straw hat was the one I liked at once.My first thought was to write how summer holidays always end even before a butterfly opens its wings,and how the butterfly effect on the other side bears some possibility that also a too short vacation could change our perspectives in the future.Then I noticed the nice structure of my straw hat and wandered what it is made from, recognizing this post ca not be only about ending summer holidays, butterfly effect or my dear hat, but mostly about common wheat and Sorolla.
Near the place I live is Domzale-today almost a suburb of Ljubljana,but not so far ago a center for production of straw hats.It all has begun in the first half of 18-th century, when country women have started with straw plaiting as it has been a good possibility to earn some extra money during winter months. During wheat harvest the proper wheat plants were chosen and picked manually, then sorted (the tiniest straw was more expensive) and prepared for plaiting. In 1879 there were 12000 people (half of the population) involved in production of straw hats,in 1880 the production was estimated to be 1 million hats ,made in 6 hat factories in Domzale. These straw hats were exported all around the world,it could be that even the ladies from the picture of the Spanish painter Sorolla do wear those hats,very modern at the time.This picture is one of my favorites,not only as I love straw hats and white dresses and the sea,but mainly for this feeling of summer Sorolla managed to catch so well…….
PASEO A ORILLAS DEL MAR,1909, from:http://museosorolla.mcu.es/colec_pintura.html
Sorolla was certainly a master of summer light,his paintings of his garden make you feel like it is possible to step further, right into the garden shade……………
JARDÍN DE LA CASA SOROLLA, 1920,from:http://museosorolla.mcu.es/colec_pintura.html
JARDÍN DE LA CASA SOROLLA,1918-1919, from:http://museosorolla.mcu.es/colec_pintura.html
Being in garden once again,here comes the picture of common wheat used (also) for straw hat the butterfly on my pic was sitting on…………
from:USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Miscellaneous Publication No. 200. Washington, DC.
2 replies on “Triticum aestivum , straw hat and Sorolla”
What a lovely post to read! I like those pretty straw hats and your story is a wonderful combination of botanical knowledge, historical research and art.
About the straw plaiting: I learned how that was done by watching the fantastic BBC series ‘Victorian Farm’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_Farm) in which Ruth, the farmer-wife, sits in the countryside next to a field with wheat and show the viewers how she has learned and mastered straw plaiting. It is an old skill that shouldn’t get lost to younger generations.
I absolutely agree, this old skill should be preserved-for it is quiet sustainable and part of our common culture.Have to tell you I watched and liked that TV series, too ,it was a great one!