Friday, March 11, 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday - Goth History

American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930

Grant Wood painted this American icon using a home described as "carpenter Gothic" and the people he fancied would live in this house. His models are his daughter, and his dentist. The couple in the picture are meant to be a farmer and - not his wife - but his spinster daughter. The term, spinster was originally used to describe a woman who spins to make her own living and therefore does not require a man to provide for her.

This is the house shown in Wood's picture. He painted each character and the house separately. They never stood together, and neither stood in front of the house as he painted.

The person who wrote on the postcard has unintelligible handwriting and other than a reference to Christmas, something wonderful and a church, I have no idea what he/she is saying. He must be a product of a public school Education . Or - okay - perhaps he was a Catholic school student who got smacked with a ruler so many times he lost the use of his fingers and therefore was never able to achieve the lovely script of a parochial educated person

What I really intended to do here is write about This Day In History. That would be the siege of Rome that began on March 11, 357 by the Ostrogoths. ( Ostro: think Austria) A Germanic people, who like the Visigoths (Latin for visi =Teutonic and Goth = west), were a subgroup of the Goths. What happened, was the Goths took over Rome in the 5th century and had their own little country right in the middle of Italy. When their leader died the Romans told them to take a hike. So, on the way out of the city the Goths tweeted their posse and lay siege to Rome. A little over a year later, they gave up and left. No known postcards survived the siege, so I used the American Gothic picture instead. It's my blog. That's why.


These are some of the Goths who lay siege. Four of them appear to be standing, and the other two aren't laying at all, they are sitting. Sitting is more accurate , however, because the word siege comes from the Latin word sedere, which means sit as in sedentary, my favorite exercise. Which is what the Goths did. They sat around outside of Rome, disconnected the water supply, kept the Romans inside the city walls and away from food sources and waited for the Romans to die from thirst, starvation, disease, and attacks by the Goths.

This lovely Goth appears to be writing a postcard, but it was probably destroyed during the siege.

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!

Stop by Beth's The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for more Postcard Friendship Friday!


Joy said...

"She wears Dr Martins and a heavy cross, But inside she is a happy goth" I'm sure The Divine Comedy were right about that, especially as you tell us she is writing a postcard:-) By coincidence I posted the gate the Ostrogoths entered Rome last Saturday, if only I had read your post first, I would have known a whole lot more.

Snap said...

i've always liked American Gothic and my favorite goth is the lovely Abby on NCIS! :D :D happy pff!

Heather said...

love your post. I would never have thought that I would learn so much via postcards. Visiting via PFF

viridian said...

Late in visiting this week. Did the Ostrogoths have noserings like today's goths?
It's neat to visit the Art Inst. and see the painting in person!

Coffeedoff said...

I didn't know the meaning of the word spinster. It makes sense! it seems such a derogatory term now. Yet many women support themselves today!

Debby said...

You are ever educational, my friend.