Friday, January 30, 2009

A windmill / Um catavento


It isn't difficult to find an old farm with the unmistakable silhouette of a water pumping windmill.
The models similar to the one in this painting were probably inspired by a distinctive American design of 1875, the "Iron Turbine" built by Mast, Foos, Co. of Springfield, Ohio, which are now pretty rare there. In my country, these locally built "clones" still exist by the dozens in areas around Porto, Barcelos or Aveiro among others, many of them working finely.
You can find pictures of Portuguese windmills in my other blog under the tag Flores de ferro - meaning "Iron flowers" - or even better, in the splendid Vira-vento, from fellow blogger Carlos Silva.
Não é difícil encontrar uma velha quinta onde se destaque a inconfundível silhueta de um catavento para bombagem de água. Os modelos semelhantes ao da imagem serão provavelmente inspirados num distinto desenho Americano de 1875, o do "Iron Turbine", construído pela Mast, Foos & Co de Springfield, Ohio, e que são actualmente uma raridade naquele País. Estes "clones" construídos localmente ainda existem às dezenas nas regiões do Porto, Barcelos ou Aveiro entre outras, e não são raros os que ainda funcionam na perfeição.
Podem ver fotografias de cataventos portugueses no meu outro blogue sob o marcador flores de ferro ou, melhor ainda, no esplêndido Vira-vento, do colega blogger Carlos Silva.
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9 comments:

Stephen Dell'Aria said...

What enchanting scenes you paint. I like the rain swept streets; it must be March and the boy is being escorted off to school by his mother. What is the open structure at left?

Paulo J. Mendes said...

I like the rain swept streets too, and I couldn't help to paint a rainy scene since we have been under such weather for weeks...
The open structure is called an "espigueiro": It's a granary, for storage and drying of corn.

Sheila said...

Oh... Paulo I've become such a fan of your work. I swear when I sell a couple of paintings [okay maybe my first painting] I want to buy one of your beautiful pieces. I love clicking on the image to look at the detail. I always find so many surprises. Today I was amazed at the lettering on the license plate of the bicycle!!! Love it!

Paulo J. Mendes said...

Thank you so much, Sheila!
It may be strange to think about a bicycle having a license plate, but it was mandatory until some years ago and I remember it when I was a child. Today it isn't necessary, but still can be seen, as some older people keep and gets around in their old faithful and rusty vintage bikes.

Villager said...

Que mais limpa fonte de energia para a bombagem de água? Ok, talvez uma nora com uma mula? Pensando melhor, talvez não seja assim tão limpa… No entanto, aqui fica uma sugestão para um futuro trabalho.

Mineke Reinders said...

What an interesting story about the windmills. I grew up in a country of windmills (Holland) but I didn't know any of this - thanks for sharing. Your painting is wonderful as always, I really enjoy the rainy day atmosphere too, which I always like, but especially now that we have been covered with snow and ice for so long here that a bit of rain would be a relief.

Paulo J. Mendes said...

Villager, também existiram algumas noras por esta região. Onde trabalho existe mesmo uma abandonada a poucos metros, que com sorte talvez acabe, como muitas, a enfeitar o jardim de uma vivenda...
Assim que aprender a desenhar uma, será de certeza o tema de um futuro trabalho!!

Mineke, you grew up in a nice country for a windmill lover!! I hope to visit Holland one day, as I am curious about its countryside and landscapes. It's funny that this painting has two things common to Holland: Windmills and bicycles.
Hope you can enjoy a nice rainy day soon. In Portugal, we had plenty for the last few weeks but finally we could enjoy a nice sunny morning, at least here around Porto!

Rob Carey said...

It is always so interesting to read the background to your posts. On this piece I especially like the way you showed the wet surface of the road. Great work again, Paulo.

Paulo J. Mendes said...

Thank you, Rob. I've always been fascinated by this kind of windmills. The road surface is something I see everywhere these wet days, and always make it look more interesting.