A Wallachian or a Romanian shepherd? : a contribution to the iconography of Wallachian shepherds in the 18th and early 19th centuries
Source document: . Ikonografické prameny ke studiu tradiční kultury. 1. vyd. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2011, pp. 106-122
In the literature in the late 18th and early 19th centuries Wallachian shepherds were described as the archetype of village people reminding us, due to their innocence, of biblical characters, depicted in a simple shirt, trousers, peasant shoes and a cap called "husárek", which became the main attribute of this character. Husárek originally formed a part of Hungarian uniforms, later permeating folk environment as well, and in Wallachia it spread fast through groups of bandits and the army. The first essential depiction of the shepherd appeared in an engraving by S. Mansfeld in a book by A. Hanke of Hankenštejn from 1786. This graphic art became the model for other authors, e.g. J. H. A. Gallaš and the painters of nativity scenes; the shepherd was included among miscellaneous curious characters in the paintings in South-Bohemian castles in the 18th century and on the shooting target in Olomouc. The conspicuous correspondence between the shepherds' clothes in the Moravian Wallachia and in the Carpathian part of today's Romania led many researchers to confuse them, which the author uncovered on the basis of iconographic materials.
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