“Transplanting Jasmine Rice, Thailand”
Yvonne Esmée Kennedy (née Blessley) (1922-2009)
Oil on panel
43.3 cm high x 35.cm wide (image)
An attractive painting executed in a vigorous impasto technique, depicting a traditional Thai rice farmer transplanting jasmine rice seedlings from bundles of the young rice plants out into rice fields, with palm trees beyond. The worker in the picture is wearing a traditional "Thai farmer's hat" or "ngob".
Fragrant jasmine rice is one of the staple crops of Thailand. Transplanting season officially starts in May with Royal ceremonies in Bangkok and runs throughout June and July. It is one of the most important annual events in the Thai countryside, with rice seedlings being moved from their nursery paddies on to the larger flooded paddy fields to ensure their successful growth. The seedlings are transplanted by hand, one-by-one to ensure to ensure that they have space to grow and are properly rooted. Transplanting is one of the iconic postcard images of Thailand.
Y Esmée Kennedy was an accomplished amateur painter whose works occasionally appear at auction. Her first husband, whom she married in 1947, was Derrick North-Lewis MBE (1914-2010), a Kenyan vet and livestock farmer. She later married Richard A. Kennedy, who worked for The Shell Company of Thailand.
Well framed with a stamp for the artist's suppliers Uthai & Son, Bangkok, Thailand verso and with an inscription of the the artist's details c/o "The Shell Co. P.O. Box 345" (the address of Shell Oil, Thailand).
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