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Added by Hexenkult on 16 Sep 2012 06:21
7814 Views 5 Comments

Absinthe: The Green Fairy In Art

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"The Absinthe Drinker" (1858/59) - France
Edouard Manet

Average listal rating (27 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
"L'Absinthe" or "In a Cafe" (1873) - France
Edgar Degas

"La Buveuse d'absinthe" (1877) - France/Namur
Félicien Rops

"The Absinthe Drinker" (1880) - France
Jean-Francois Raffaelli

"The Absinthe Drinkers" (1881) - France
original title: "Les dèclassès"
Jean-Francois Raffaelli

"Le Verre D'absinthe" (????) - France
Jean-Francois Raffaelli

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (left), drinking
absinthe with Lucien Metivet (right) (ca. 1885)

"At Gennelle, Absinthe Drinker" (1886) - France
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

"Portrait de Vincent van Gogh" (1887) - France
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Vincent van Gogh with glass of absinthe

"Monsieur Boileau Au Café" (1893) - France
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

"Still Life with Absinthe" (1887) - France
Vincent Van Gogh

"Night Cafe" (1888) - France
Vincent van Gogh

Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
"Night Cafe In Arles" (1888) - France
Paul Gauguin

Compare with the van Gogh "Night Cafe" painting
above which was in the same cafe (Café de la Gare)
"L'absinthe" (ca. 1888) - France
Emile Bernard

"Absinthe Drinker" (1889) - France
Viktor Oliva

"The Backgammon Players" (1890) - France
Jean Beraud

"The Drinkers" (1908) - France
Jean Beraud

"The Letter" (1908) - France
Jean Beraud

"Au Cafe" (ca. 1908) - France
Jean Beraud

"Au Cafe" (1909) - France
Jean Beraud

"Cafe Society" (early 20th century)
Jean Beraud

"Terminus Absinthe" (1892) - France
Francisco Tamagno

An advertisement for Terminus Absinthe

"Cusenier L'absinthe Oxygénée" (1896) - France
Francisco Tamagno

An advertisement for Cusenier L'absinthe Oxygénée
"Absinthe Parisienne" (1894) - France
Louis Malteste & P. Gélis-Didot

An advertisement for Absinthe Parisienne
"Absinthe Mugnier" (1895) - France
Lucien Lefevre

"Absinthe Berthelot" (1895) - France
Henri Thiriet

An advertisement for Absinthe Berthelot
"Green Muse" (1895) - France
Albert Maignan

"Absinthe Robette" poster (1896) - France
Henri Privat-Livemont

An advertisement for Absinthe Robette
"Le Chat Noir" (1896) - France
Theophile Steinlen

Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat) was a French cabaret
club that opened its doors in 1881 to a veritable who's
who of the "Belle Epoque" period in Paris. The club
commissioned Steinlen to do this poster art. Absinthe
flowed freely, of course!
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
"Absinthe Blanqui" (ca. 1898) - France
L. Revon / "Nover"

An advertisement for Absinthe Blanqui printed by L.
Revon. The artist signature on the poster is "Nover",
but since there was no known poster artist by this
name, and the name only shows up on a few posters
(all printed by L. Revon), it is believed that Revon is
the designer of these posters as well...and "Nover"
also happens to be Revon spelled backwards.

"Absinthe Vichet" (1900) - France
L. Revon / "Nover"

An advertisement for Absinthe Vichet
"Pernod Fils" (ca. 1900) - France
Charles Maire

An advertisement for Pernod Fils absinthe
"Absinthe Bourgeois" (ca. 1900) - France
The Morgue Brothers

An advertisement for Absinthe Bourgeois, which uses
elements from Charles Maire's "Pernod Fils" ad and the
poster ad for "Le Chat Noir" by Theophile Steinlen
"Gempp Pernod Absinthe Superieure" (ca. 1900) - France
Victor Leydet

An advertisement for Gempp Pernod brand absinthe

"Premier Fils Absinthe Superieure" (ca. 1900-1903) - France
Victor Leydet

An advertisement for Premier Fils Absinthe Superieure
"Absinthe Ducros Fils" poster (1901) - France
Leonetto Cappiello

An advertisement for the French absinthe Ducros Fils

"Absinthe Gempp Pernod" poster (1903) - France
Leonetto Cappiello

An advertisement for Gempp Pernod brand absinthe.
Charles Gempp was the son-in-law of Pernod, who's
brand of absinthe was one of the most dominant
ones on the market from the late 18th century
until the absinthe ban

"J. Edouard Pernot Absinthe" poster (ca. 1905) - France
Leonetto Cappiello

An advertisement for J. Edouard Pernot brand absinthe

"Maurin Quina" poster (1906) - France
Leonetto Cappiello

This poster was an advertisement for the French
apéritif, Maurin Quina. It has also become associated
with absinthe since the green devil depicted evokes
"la fée verte" or "the green fairy".
"The Absinthe Drinker" (1901) - France
Pablo Picasso

"L'Absinthe" (1901) - France
Pablo Picasso

"The Absinthe Drinker" (1901) - France
Pablo Picasso

"Femme ivre se fatigue" (Drunk woman is tired) (1902) - France
Pablo Picasso

"Portrait of Angel Fernández de Soto" (1903) - France
Pablo Picasso

"L'Absinthe, le poete Cornuty" (1902/03) - France
Pablo Picasso


"Glass of Absinthe" (1914) - France
Pablo Picasso

painted bronze sculpture
"La Buveuse d’Absinthe" (1902) - Netherlands
Kees van Dongen
"Messieurs...c'est l'heure - Le Fin de la Fee Verte" (1910)
Albert Gantner

An anti-prohibition poster regarding the ban on
absinthe in Switzerland in 1910
"Pierrot Absinthe" (1911) - France
Lucien Metivet

an advertisement for Pierrot absinthe
"The Old Absinthe House" (1916/17) - USA
Louis Oscar Griffith

The Old Absinthe House has been in operation in New
Orleans since 1874 and is still open today
"Felix Pernod - Feli 45" (ca. 1935) - France
Raymond Ducatez

An advertisement for Felix Pernod
"The Butler's In Love" (1989) - USA
Mark Stock

"Absinthe Drinker and the Hostile Silence" (2011) - USA
Pamela wilson

Absinthe is steeped in mystery, myth, and history. Even its origins are clouded by legend. What is known for sure is that a man named Major Dubied acquired the formula in 1797 and opened the first absinthe distillery in Switzerland called Dubied Père et Fils. Dubied had a son-in-law named Henry-Louis Pernod, and in 1805 they opened a second distillery in Pontarlier, France called Maison Pernod Fils. Pernod Fils brand absinthe would remain the best and most popular brand of absinthe all the way up to the absinthe ban in France in 1914. And even today, it's considered the "gold standard" of absinthes.

In the 1840s absinthe was given to French soldiers to help prevent malaria and when the soldiers returned home they brought their newly acquired taste for absinthe with them. The popularity of the drink rapidly spread to bistros, bars, and cafes across France, so that by the 1860s the hour of 5:PM became known as "l'heure verte"(the green hour). Also around this time many artists began singing the praises of "the green fairy" or "the green muse" as absinthe was being called. It was also known as "the green witch" or "the green devil", depending on what side of prohibition you fell on. Contrary to myth and popular belief, the notion of the green fairy is not based on hallucinating and seeing green fairies when you drink absinthe; but rather it is derived from the absinthe ritual in which roughly an ounce of absinthe is poured into a glass, then a perforated spoon (or absinthe spoon) is placed across the rim of the glass with a sugar cube on top, and ice water is slowly dripped over the cube from a water fountain or caraffe. The water drips into the glass of absinthe causing it to "louche", which turns the absinthe from a translucent pale green color to an opalescent milky green, releasing the essence of the essential herbs from which absinthe is made, and thus releasing "the green fairy".

At any rate, French artists started featuring absinthe and absinthe drinkers in there artwork, usually in the setting of a night cafe or bistro. In the 1880s, mass production of absinthe to meet public demand caused a price drop, which meant that the drink could be enjoyed (and/or abused) by all social classes. This mass production also opened the door for sub-par brands of absinthe being churned out using questionable ingredients, harmful chemicals and improper distilling methods. A lot of poster art advertisements for absinthe also began popping up around this time, many featuring an Art Nouveau style that would influence future artists and designers.

By the 1890s the "Belle Époque" period in France was in full swing and absinthe was the drink of choice among the demi-monde and "Bohemian" crowd populating the cafes and cabarets. By the time the 1900s came around, absinthe had begun taking a big chunk out of wine sails in France and chronic alcoholism was being put under the microscope thanks to the "temperance movement" taking hold in France about this time. Anti-absinthe posters, as well as anti-prohibition posters, began popping up. Absinthe became the scapegoat for the ills and evils of the time, with many people claiming that drinking it will lead to madness, crime, and an early grave.

In 1905 a Swiss farmer named Jean Lanfray murdered his family. It had been reported that absinthe was the cause of the crime. The fact that Lanfray was a chronic alcoholic who had been drinking mass quantities of wine and brandy prior to having a glass or two of absinthe didn't matter. Absinthe took the full blame, and by 1910 it was banned in Switzerland, with the U.S. following suit in 1912, and France in 1914. The ban has since been lifted in all three of these countries, after nearly a hundred years.

This list contains fine art as well as poster art advertisements with absinthe as the subject. The list is in chronological order by date of the artwork.

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