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Despite Brains...

05/17/2016

 

Despite Brains

 

Those two words could be the beginning of any sentence describing American politics in 2016.

 

Or perhaps any variety of sentences describing my own life: “Despite Brains, I took up downhill mountain biking at age 45.” I nearly laughed out loud when I did finally find this translation for the word:  “Trotzkopfchen”.

 

I have a miniature painting from Germany. It’s an oil painting – but perhaps it looks like some sort of print that someone painted over. And it is tiny thing -  2 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches. I didn’t understand it at all at first. I thought “Trotzkopfchen” meant headstrong so I thought perhaps the girl or the boy was considered headstrong – maybe him peering at her made him head strong, or her looking so guilty meant she had done some sort of headstrong act.

 

Upon further research, I found the whole image in the form of a postcard, that I think is for sale (it was german ebay so I really don’t know if its for sale or not), and you can see the doll, on the ground, being pecked at by chickens.  Presumably, the painter, von Hans W. Schmidt, was poking fun at the children (who appear dutch unless lots of people wore wooden clogs in other countries), and implying that despite having brains, somehow her doll is getting eaten by chickens. From t

he little I found on the internet, the image was likely created around 1910. Hans Schmidt’s life span was from 1859 – 1950. I found it really intriguing to think of what he saw – all the changes and struggles and wars. He painted Kaiser Wilhelm and saw World War One And Two. I know next to nothing about him, and I wonder why the information is so sparse on the internet. Once again, anyone with information, please email me.

 

 

 

I wish I knew more about him. I think I found that he was a professor and maybe there was some sort of Czech connection with the postcards. But mostly, this is just another mystery – who painted this little painting of mine? Was it a print that someone painted over? Did he actually paint it and sell such little things for money? Will I make any money off selling it? It’s definitely old and I daresay an antique. Once again, alas, I have more questions than answers… However, I believe I have made up for my lack of knowledge in this post with the two words that would begin any Mad Lib story about most of our lives – you fill in your own blank, and I am sure you would chuckle. “Despite Brains, I …………….”

 

 

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