Gnomes, gnomes, gnomes...they are everywhere!
Let's take a look at the history of the gnome.
First, small stone statues were place din gardens in ancient Rome, representing fertility gods. It would seem that gnomes next appeared as magical creatures during the Renaissance period. 'Grotesques', as they were called, made of stone and garishly painted, were placed in gardens of well-to-do people. By the late 1700s porcelain gnomes became popular for home decor. The 1840s saw gnomes manufactured in Germany and brought to Britain, France, and other European countries.
Typically male, often bearded and wearing red caps, they could be portrayed fishing or napping, amongst other easy-going pastimes.
They became popular again in the United States after the premiere of the Disney Snow White movie in the 1930s.
During the 1970s, they experienced another resurgence in popularity, with more humorous
styles becoming available.
Somewhere along the timeline, they were eventually renamed. The new moniker, Gnomes, thought to be taken from the German term, 'gnomen-figuren', meaning miniature figures.
Recently, it seems that gnomes have made a huge comeback, they have appeared in social media, stores and more. The decorative painting world has been especially populated with gnomes. Many new versions of gnomes have appeared, painted on wood. Current artists such as Renee Mullins, Deb Antonik, Sandy LeFore, and Christy Hartman, to name a few, have come up with some charming designs. Some of these have had a hand in the emergence of Santa gnomes, so cute! While I'm not able to show their work, I do highly recommend you do an online search to find these and many more.
Photo Credits - Pixabay.com, Diane M. Kellogg
Sources - Wikipedia , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_gnome