Event Title

Absinthe in Art

Presenter Information

Madeleine Joern, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Diamond 146

Start Date

30-4-2015 2:20 PM

End Date

30-4-2015 3:25 PM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

Throughout the 19th century, absinthe evolved from a medicinal military beverage and a popular bourgeois aperitif to the favorite of the bohemian Parisian art world and eventually the symbol of a nation's alcoholism. This major transition is apparent in the art of the time. As public perception of the green liquor changed, so did its use and meaning within works of art. Early absinthe imagery from advertisements praises the drink as patriotic and healthy. By the beginning of the 20th century, these ads had changed to propaganda disparaging the once adored green fairy. The drinks popularity, low price, and high alcohol content soon made it an easy target for the growing temperance movement. Images of heroically slain green goddesses and posters of absinthe drinking asylum patients effectively garnered anti-alcohol support. The absinthe ban soon became an issue of nationalism. Supporting the drink meant supporting France's growing insane asylum population along with the nations defeat in the upcoming Great War.

Faculty Sponsor

Veronique Plesch

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Art Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Humanities

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1738

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Apr 30th, 2:20 PM Apr 30th, 3:25 PM

Absinthe in Art

Diamond 146

Throughout the 19th century, absinthe evolved from a medicinal military beverage and a popular bourgeois aperitif to the favorite of the bohemian Parisian art world and eventually the symbol of a nation's alcoholism. This major transition is apparent in the art of the time. As public perception of the green liquor changed, so did its use and meaning within works of art. Early absinthe imagery from advertisements praises the drink as patriotic and healthy. By the beginning of the 20th century, these ads had changed to propaganda disparaging the once adored green fairy. The drinks popularity, low price, and high alcohol content soon made it an easy target for the growing temperance movement. Images of heroically slain green goddesses and posters of absinthe drinking asylum patients effectively garnered anti-alcohol support. The absinthe ban soon became an issue of nationalism. Supporting the drink meant supporting France's growing insane asylum population along with the nations defeat in the upcoming Great War.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/230