Drinks throughout art history

5th April, 2013 by db_staff

From allegory to advertising, artists have frequently depicted the pleasures and pitfalls of drink in their work, writes Olivia Bodle.

the-absinthe-drinker-portrait-of-angel-fernandez-de-soto-1It’s found in the hollow-eyed stare of Picasso’s Absinthe Drinker (above) depicting Bohemian ennui, Nicloas Poussin’s The Triumph of Pan (below right) and its orgiastic Bacchic excess or Manet’s more measured but slightly ominous Bar at the Folies-Bergère (bottom), with its sad, expectant bar girl waiting to take another order.

Those three works might be described as a warning concerning the evils of drink – or at least its excesses but others have portrayed alcohol in rather more Nicolas_Poussin_-_The_Triumph_of_Pan_-_WGA18298pleasurable light.

These include the sun-drenched world of Champagne or pastis advertising or the more libertine connotations of the absinthe fairy – where these stand in regard to today’s alcohol advertising restrictions is open to question.

The still life paintings of the old masters, which often included a bottle of wine, among the fruit, flowers, fish and game, have also been mimicked recently by photographer Colin Hampden-White.

The first of his photographs that are meant to capture the flavours and aromas of noble grape varieties were featured recently on the drinks business‘ website.

If you know of any other famous paintings connected to wine, beer and spirits or perhaps have a favourite art deco or pop art advert connected to drinks, tell us.

Drinking it in ... Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882)

One Response to “Drinks throughout art history”

  1. john szabo says:

    See Jean François de Troy’s 1735 paiting Le Déjeuner d’Huîtres, a serious oyster and champagne party. This could well be the first paiting that depicts champagne as we know it today – sparkling. Look closely at the four aristocrats looking up at the popped champagne cork in the middle of the painting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

PR Account Executive

Clementine Communications Ltd
Fulham, UK

PR Senior Account Manager

Clementine Communications Ltd
Fulham, London

Marketing Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Brand Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more