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Iconic Mediterranean Holiday Map
Brothers Beyond Blood. Our Customers Specsavers. Oranges carried sacred overtones in religion, Sicilian folklore and fairytales. Even the name for orange, arancia , links it to the female gender. So, it is not surprising that the golden fruits were often presented to the consumer in the hands of a goddess or country maiden.
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His sensuous renderings would become a symbol of feminine beauty in Italy, and of Italian abundance in general; tanned, bountiful women with opulent curves representing or modeled after the rolling hills of the landscape, her youth is a symbol of the health and vitality of rural Italy itself. Female figures holding up a sample of the golden fruit, ripe for the consumers taking, became one of the most popular themes on orange wrappers utilized right up to the present day.
The evolution of imagery on ephemera occurring in this period represents a wider cultural shift.
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Images that once promoted rural values and historically nostalgic landscapes, begin to reflect a movement away from the past, toward the future, propelled by images that would resonate with daily life, propagated through mass media and popular culture. The vision that Sicily wants to show to the world is no longer tied exclusively to the past … but is engaged in the here and now.
The effects of mass media and popular culture on wrapper designs are increasingly apparent after World War II. A protagonist in the new consumer era helping to shape the moods and aspirations of the period was cinema. Italian cinema was strongly dominated by Hollywood imports; goddesses from the silver screen filled the pages of fan magazines, becoming role models for many young Italian men and women.
Southern Italians identified with popular Italian dive such as Sofia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida because of their humble social origins.
So, it should be no surprise that citrus exporters would utilize these likenesses on their orange wrappers. These were the homegrown, flesh and blood versions of Italian abundance that proliferated a generation before. But unlike their more rural ancestors, the images now portray modern, urban bombshells donning current hairdos, dresses, and jewelry. Wrappers displayed current popular fashion; the first nylon stockings, miniskirts, and bikinis, even the Vespa, all were documented.
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But it was the arrival of television in that arguably had the greatest impact on modern visual culture. The animated characters seen in the little stories and cartoons of Carosello became iconic, widely recognized and loved by children and adults alike.
As such, figures like Topo Gigio and Calimero soon made their way onto orange wrappers. Television captured the attention of the entire world with global broadcasts of events such as the lunar landing in , which also became immortalized on wrappers; oranges taking on ever-more imaginative roles in space and on the moon. Images of classic Disney characters, Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, Lassie, King Kong, characters from youthful decades have all made appearances and reappearances. The fact that so many of these wrappers survive in collections today is a testament to their effectiveness, and also indicates that people were reluctant to throw them away.
You cannot return to the past, but you can experience it again, simply by eating an orange!
What these simple throwaway ephemeral examples of orange wrappers illustrate is adaptability, malleability, a whimsical infusion of styles, of popular culture, past and present, into something that is unique as the fruits they contain. Orange wrappers effectively exported a strong sense of Italian national pride to their customers abroad, infused with Sicilian communal identity.
Italy has always been associated with a culture of artistry and craftsmanship.