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Pen Pineapple Apple Pen – Art Edition

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Pen Pineapple Apple Pen – Art Edition

I’m pretty sure you know the new viral youtube song.

While watching it for a hundredth time, I remembered a real artistic folly bearing an (in)famous title of “the most bizarre building in Scotland”: the PINEAPPLE HOUSE. Yes, it really exists and you can go and see it in Dunmore, near Airth in Stirlingshire.

I have a house. I have a pineapple. … Pineapple house!

 

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Why pineapples?


Pineapple was brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493. The fruits were mostly imported from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, which made them a very exquisite and rare delicacy. Therefore, pineapple became a symbol of wealth, prosperity and, what’s interesting, hospitality. This is why the 4th Earl of Dunmore, John Murray, decided to make his house an embodiment of such prestigious qualities.

Cupola detail. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Cupola detail. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

When was it built?

The building of the house was began in 1761, but nobody knows when exactly the pineapple was built. Some say that it took place in 1776 after John Murray had returned from Virginia where he was the last Colonial Governor. Especially that in Virginia there was a tradition that sailors coming back from the sea would put a pineapple on top of the boat. Did John Murray want to announce this way his glorious return to the motherland?

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

 Who did it?


It’s a mystery who was the designer of this funny but ingenious idea. (Nobody wanted to get a credit for it? I wonder why…).
The pineapple is about 14 m high and is an example of a stunning stonemason’s work. As you can see, each of the curving stone leaves is separately drained to prevent the accumulation of water and frost damage.

If you like to have quirky vacation, you can rent a room in the Pineapple house.


 

Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

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