lördag 27 april 2013
Origines of the Gnome Hat
In the painting above of Jacques-Louis David in 1788, an interesting item is exposed. The painting reflect a motive from ancient Greece, the seduction of Helen by Paris of Troy. The Illiad by Homeros, where this story is told is supposed to relate to a time approximately a thousand years B.C. If we suppose that this is an indication that the hat of the garden gnome has that kind of history, it is older than 3,000 years. There is good proof of this as a mural painting of the Greek go Priapos was found in an excavation in Casa dei Vetti, Pompeii, Southern Italy, and thereby ought to be at least about 2,000 years old. The painting of Priapos expose him earing a hat similar to the ones used by our contemporary garden gnomes.
One question though of interest is, where did David get the idea of equpping Paris with such a hat? The classisist painter David is connected to the era of Romanticism and the historic accuracy of his motives could be discussed. But what about this one?