PARASOL

A Parasol is a canopy designed to protect against rain or sunlight. The word parasol usually refers to an item designed to protect from the sun. Often the difference is the material; some parasols are not waterproof. The word “parasol” (Spanish or French) is a combination of para, meaning to stop or to shield, and sol, meaning sun. “Parapluie” (French) similarly consists of paracombined with pluie, which means rain (which in turn derives from pluvia, the Latin word for rain). Hence, a parasol shields from sunlight while a parapluie shields from rain. Our model is Ash Lee.

In Persia the parasol is repeatedly found in the carved work of Persepolis, and Sir John Malcom has an article on the subject in his 1815 “History of Persia.”  In some sculptures, the figure of a king appears attended by a servant, who carries over his head an umbrella, with stretchers and runner complete.  In other sculptures on the rock at Taghe-Bostan, supposed to be not less than twelve centuries old, a deer-hunt is represented, at which a king looks on, seated on a horse, and having an parasol borne over his head by an attendant.

AshLee

In Egypt, the parasol is found in various shapes. In some instances it is depicted as a flagellum, a fan of palm-leaves or coloured feathers fixed on a long handle, resembling those now carried behind the Pope in processions. Gardiner Wilkinson in his work on Egypt, has an engraving of an Ethiopian princess travelling through Upper Egypt in a chariot; a kind of umbrella fastened to a stout pole rises in the centre, bearing a close affinity to what are now termed chaise umbrellas. According to Wilkinson’s account, the umbrella was generally used throughout Egypt, partly as a mark of distinction, but more on account of its useful than its ornamental qualities. In some paintings on a temple wall, a parasol is held over the figure of a god carried in procession.

AshLee

Since the 18th and 19th centuries, however, the umbrella has come into general use, and in consequence numerous improvements have been effected in it. In China people learned how to waterproof their umbrellas by waxing and lacquering their paper Parasols. The transition to the present portable form is due, partly to the substitution of silk and gingham for the heavy and troublesome oiled silk, which admitted of the ribs and frames being made much lighter, and also to many ingenious mechanical improvements in the framework.

 

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Parasol| Featuring: Ash Lee

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