Raison d'etre

I am enthusiastic about home design and love French antique and vintage treasures.

This blog is about the things I find and use.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Van Gogh's Hat

Some time ago I bought three 19th century French straw hats

and they reminded me of the images of peasants in many Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings.

In Van Gogh’s self portrait he is wearing a similar hat - the crown is high but the brim not as floppy as the ones I have:
But this painting by Julien Dupré is nearer the mark

as is this:

I love this painting of a gardener by Pissaro, suffused as it is with afternoon sun and the colours of a French summer

Straw hats such as these were cheaply produced for farm workers and just as necessary today as in the 19th century, especially as much of France is still agricultural.  My neighbour M.Vialle always wore a hat like this even through he was a town dweller - he said there was nothing better to guard against the sun and his had come from his father who had had several when he worked on a vineyard near Bordeaux - he was wearing them out for him .  

He was right - I use one as a gardening hat - on the few days in the UK when the sun is strong enough to warrant it.


BusyLizzie said...

gorgeous hats.... thank you for your blog comment.. might see you at Newark then? Lizzie

angebleu said...

Yes indeed. I'll look you out.

Sea Angels said...

Gorgeous hats I loved the bleached shades Lynn xx

Sheila Bury said...

That was the hat I borrowed when I stayed with you that glorious summer !!!