Christmas in Germany with Hans Baluschek

Hans Balusche,  Beim Weihnachtsbaumverkauf (Public Domain)

 

Hans Baluschek’s painting,  Beim Weihnachtsbaumverkauf  (translated: When selling Christmas trees) reminded me of the festive spirit that pervades the month of December.   A father with parcels in hand, accompanied by a young daughter, is in the background. Father and daughter appear to be entering a grocery store. But the focus is the conversation in the foreground.  Are the seller and buyer in a price negotiation? Do they know each other?  Perhaps they are asking after each other’s family and plans for Christmas.

Beim Weihnachtsbaumverkauf  is a delightful confirmation of Hans Baluschek’s desire to portray life of real people, who worked, played and laughed.

Hans Baluschek Self-portrait, 1918 {Public Domain)

15 Comments »

  1. Lovely!!!
    My mother’s parents immigrated from Poland at the turn of the last century. Baba came when she was about 12 with her younger brother. The family saved up for the kids first. Her brother died aboard the ship, and her mother passed away in Poland before the boat reached Canada.
    Life was hard, and this is interesting painting.

    • Life was indeed hard. There were no support systems in place other than family and small communities. Hospitals, doctors, dentists, antibiotics, shelters, etc were unavailable. When the families were separated, there was a higher risk to all involved. Great sacrifices were made. This is one of the reasons why I am interviewing my mother on Tea Toast & Trivia. I don’t want to lose the stories and an understanding of what it was like in the past. We continue to make progress, to look for ways in which to build the necessary support systems. It is work that continues, but is never finished. Thank you so much for your friendship and presence within our blogging community. Hugs.

  2. I enjoyed reading your description of the painting. So much to see there. I love the mention of fresh fruit in the Christmas season. As a child, Santa Clause always left an apple and an orange, and if available, other fruit in our stockings. The painting is full of interesting items. I also like his self portrait–those piercing eyes and his penetrating gaze–I am sure that was painted by special design. Or were his looks like that ! !!

    • I always enjoy viewing a artist’s self-portraits – especially the eyes as your mentioned -because it gives great insight into how the artist viewed his creativity as well as the world around him. I loved this photo because it was ordinary moments, that become extraordinary! when we give a backward look.

  3. I love that the woman’s nose is red from the cold, and the man holds an axe used in cutting down the trees, which must be fresh! I looked up the storefront’s meaning, and it translates “fresh, tropical, or southern fruits” which I recall from my childhood were always a treat 🙂 I remember Christmas stockings stuffed with fresh fruit and nuts. Thank you for this tender rendition of shared traditions honoring another branch of my diverse family tree. Hugs!

    • “Fresh, tropical or southern fruits” – very interesting. We forget, in our age of international business and globalization, that fresh fruit was a delicacy back in the 1800’s. You just reminded me of the childhood visits to my grandparents during the Christmas holidays. (We lived a far distance from them). Our stockings were huge, stuffed with nuts and fresh fruits. And thank you for mentioning diversity, which is so important to me. Hugs coming back.

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