Sunday, February 21, 2010

Babie lato, or, the One I Always Got Wrong

Józef Chełmoński, Babie lato (1875)

Babie lato [Gossamer] is the painting that haunted me throughout childhood, mostly because it hung in my grandmother's living room and then I saw it in the museum with my grandparents. What troubled me about it was that I was sure the figure in the picture was a boy but the title - verbatim: women's summer - introduced some doubt. It was only after a few years in school that I learned that babie lato meant either gossamer or Indian summer. It took several more years before I realized the figure was not a boy but a peasant woman.

What I still don't get is why this Polish peasant woman is wearing a bright yellow turban.

But now my focus has shifted to the dog. It always makes me smile.

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