Historic Alcohol Art


Above is the famous (and controversial) French 1882 Édouard Manet painting, Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère (well, sort of…hey! I could have been that other girl in another life!). It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergère nightclub in Paris (one of the great Parisian cafés-concerts, a kind of beer hall with music, circus acts and other entertainment).  It shows a crème de menthe bottle, champagne bottles, and a Bass beer bottle. I took the two photos into photoshop to make one cool one. That’s one way to time travel!


There have been many revisions (is that the right word?) of this famous and controversial painting. Below are some I found through a quick google search. I love the Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley one.


I decided to put my head on the barmaid.


There may be older paintings that my cocktail historian/archeologists friends like Gary Regan, David Wondrich, Ted Haigh, Robert Hess and Anistasia Miller & Jared Brown can find (I’d love to see them!), but the oldest I’ve found is from the Dutch artist that was born in 1626 named Jan Steen. This “Baroque Era” painter painted daily life and many drink related images were captured. Tavern Garden, Tavern Scene, The Drunken Woman, Merry Company on a Terrace, In the Tavern, Jug, Celebrating the Birth, Feast of the Chamber and many many more. My favorite is the one below. I’m amazed that a conical shaped glass was painted in the 1600s. Plus! There is a flair high pour being performed in the painting.


Here are some of the other Jan Steen paintings below.


Another artist from the 17th century that painted many drink related was David Teniers the Younger. Here are some of his below.


I know that there are other related artworks from artists like William Hogarth, Van Gogh, Picasso, and more so please feel free to send them my way.

Hope you enjoyed the historic art!



Filed under Bar Fun, Cocktails in Film & Other Media

3 responses to “Historic Alcohol Art

  1. If the “revised” version ever goes to auction, I will start the bidding.

    And I love that you are wearing the Ice Cube Ring!!!


  2. Wow! you noticed! I’m impressed! Yes! I’m wearing my Ice Cube Ring!

  3. If memory serves me correctly this early in the morning, at Tales of the Cocktail, Darcy O’Neil did a presentation about the early days of the saloons, and used a lot of old historic paintings of drinking to tell the story. I didn’t see it, but I heard it was great!

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