My familiarity with traditional Bavarian haymaking came initially from a fine original oil painting on the wall of a dear Santa Cruz friend who had brought it with her in her migration from Vienna before the War.
She knew of my interest and asked me to discover what I could about the artist, Desiree Thomassin (1858-1933).
I was please to discover that Thomassin, born in Austria but most active in southern Germany, seemed to be almost exclusively a hay painter, sharing with Martin Johnson Heade and Julien Dupre a tendency to combine and recombine an intricate pictorial vocabulary of hay-making activities.
Thomassin's charming hayscapes are evidently absent both from today's Bavarian meadows and from the great museums of Munich and Vienna.
Most of the following scenes were culled from the internet at the time of their sale to private collections.
Given the style and content of the first image, I had originally put the work in the 19th century, but later discovered the very similar second image dated 1916.
The Great War may explain the relatively high number of women workers.
Thomassin paintings, with Munchen under the signature, led me to change the place from Austria to Germany.
Note the unusual pairing in number one of horse and ox under the same yoke.
A rare variation in number two is the presence of two equally prominent wagons, the slightly smaller horse-drawn load oriented, eccentrically for Thomassin, towards the left of the frame.
The third image is the one I have closely inspected in the original.
German and northern Alpine hay: art, nostalgia and therapy.