History of the fan: from China to Spain and Colombia

History of the fan: from China to Spain and Colombia

Aug 21, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Explore the history of the fan: Chinese origin, creator and route to Spain and Colombia. A cultural and stylistic journey in a unique accessory.

From the Far East to Iberian and American Lands: The Fan

Exploring the legacy of the fan through the centuries

In the vast universe of artistic and cultural objects, few possess the grace and elegance of the fan. From its practical function to its distinguished presence in fashion and society, the fan has woven a rich history that extends from ancient civilizations to the Iberian and American lands. In this exploration, we will unravel the very essence of the fan, its origins in China, the creator who left his mark and the route that took it to Spain and from there to Colombia.


What is the fan? Defining its unique charm

The fan, more than a simple accessory, is a work of art in motion. Emerging as an ingenious response to oppressive heat, its meticulous design creates gentle breezes that soothe and cool. Throughout history, the fan has evolved to become an expression of style and culture, from hand-painted canvases in China to delicate Spanish lace and vibrant Colombian paipais.

“From hand-painted canvases in China to delicate Spanish lace and vibrant Colombian paipais.”


The first steps: A look at the origins

The roots of the fan are intertwined with ancient civilizations in the Far East, such as China and Japan, where its functionality and beauty were appreciated. However, it is in Spain that the range takes on a new dimension. It is said that Beatriz de Silva, a 15th century Spanish lady, introduced the folding form of the fan, revolutionizing its practicality and portability.


The road to Spain: Elegance and distinction

As the fans traveled through trade and cultural routes, they found a special place in the Spanish court. Here, the fan was not only a tool to combat the heat, but also a symbol of status and refinement. The ladies of Spanish high society adopted the fan as an essential accessory, carrying these mobile works of art that reflected their personality and style.


The charm of the paipái: The fan in Colombia

While the fan became established in Spain, it also found its way to Colombia, where it took on a name of its own: the “paipái”. Beyond its practical function, the paipái became an expression of Colombian identity and culture. Local artisans added their creative touch to these fans, using traditional techniques and indigenous materials to create unique and vibrant pieces.

Looking for original fans in Madrid?

The fan in the Nuevas Galerías of the Rastro: A trip through history

At the Nuevas Galerías, we celebrate the rich history and legacy of the fan. Our carefully selected collection ranges from the original Chinese fans to the most modern creations in Spain and Colombia. Each fan is a window to the past, an artistic expression and a link to cultures near and far. Explore with us how this accessory has left its mark on different cultures and eras, and how it is still relevant today.

Discover authentic fans in Madrid. Explore Nuevas Galerías to find original and unique pieces that will transport you back in time. In particular, we recommend that you visit Verde Gabán.


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