L'Absinthe  

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-[[Image:L'Absinthe (1876) - Edgar Degas.jpg|thumb|right|200px|''[[L'Absinthe]]'' ([[1876]]) - [[Edgar Degas]]]]+[[Image:L'Absinthe (1876) - Edgar Degas.jpg|thumb|left|200px|''[[L'Absinthe]]'' (1876) - Edgar Degas]]
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-'''Absinthe''' (also '''absinth''') distilled, highly alcoholic, anise-flavoured spirit derived from natural [[herb]]s.+'''''L'Absinthe''''' (English: '''''The [[Absinthe]] Drinker''''' or '''''Glass of Absinthe''''') is a painting by [[Edgar Degas]]. Some original title translations are ''A sketch of a French Café'', then ''Figures at Café'', the title was finally changed in 1893 to ''L'Absinthe'' (the name the piece is known by today). It is now in the permanent collection of the [[Musée d'Orsay]] in [[Paris]].
-Absinthe originated in [[Switzerland]] as an [[elixir]]/[[tincture]], used in a similar capacity as [[patent medicine]]s would be used later in the United States. However, it is better known for its popularity in late 19th and early 20th century [[France]], particularly among [[Paris]]ian [[Bohemian]] artists and writers whose [[romantic]] associations with the drink still linger in [[popular culture]]. At the height of this popularity, absinthe was portrayed as a dangerously [[Addiction|addictive]], [[psychoactive]] drug. By [[1915]], it was banned in a number of European countries and the [[United States]]. Even though it was vilified, no evidence shows it to be any more dangerous or psychoactive than ordinary alcohol.+==Description==
 +Painted in 1875–1876, the picture depicts two figures, a woman and man, who sit at the center and right of this painting, respectively. The man, wearing a hat, looks to the right, off the canvas, while the woman, dressed formally and also wearing a hat, stares vacantly downward. A glass filled with the [[Absinthe|eponymous greenish liquid]] sits before her. The painting is a representation of the increasing social isolation in Paris during its stage of rapid growth.
-A modern absinthe revival began in the 1990s, as countries in the [[European Union]] began to reauthorise its manufacture and sale.+The woman in the painting is [[Ellen Andrée]], actress, and the man is [[Marcellin Desboutin]], a painter, printmaker and [[Bohemianism|bohemian]]. The café where they are taking their refreshment is the [[Nouvelle Athènes|Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes]] in Paris.
-==History==+
-...+
-Absinthe's popularity grew steadily until the [[1840s]], when absinthe was given to French [[troop]]s as a [[fever]] preventative. When the troops returned home, they brought their taste for absinthe with them, and it became popular at [[bar]]s and [[bistro]]s.+==Reception==
 +In its first showing in 1876, the picture was panned by critics, who called it ugly and disgusting. It was put into storage until an 1892 exhibit where it was booed off the easel. It was shown again in England in 1893 (this time entitled ''L'Absinthe''), where it sparked controversy. The persons represented in the painting were considered by English critics to be shockingly degraded and uncouth. Many regarded the painting as a blow to morality; this was the general view of such Victorians as Sir [[William Blake Richmond]] and [[Walter Crane]] when shown this painting in London. The reaction is an instance of the deep suspicion with which Victorian England had regarded art in France since the early days of the [[Barbizon School]] and the need to find a morally uplifting lesson in works of art that was typical of the age. Many English critics viewed it as a warning lesson against absinthe and the French in general. [[George Moore (novelist)|George Moore]] described the woman in the painting: "What a [[whore]]!" He added, "the tale is not a pleasant one, but it is a lesson". However, in ''[[Modern Painting]]'' he regretted assigning a moral lesson to the painting, claiming that "the picture is merely a work of art, and has nothing to do with drink or sociology."
-By the 1860s, absinthe had become so popular that in most [[café]]s and [[cabaret]]s 5 p.m. signalled ''l’heure verte'' ('the green hour'). Still, it remained expensive and was favoured mainly by the [[bourgeoisie]] and eccentric [[Bohemian]] artists. By the 1880s, however, the price had dropped significantly, the market expanded, and absinthe soon became ''the'' drink of France; by 1910 the French were consuming 36 million [[liter|litres]] of absinthe per year.+==See also==
 +*[[Cultural references to absinthe]]
 +*''[[Automat (painting)]]'', similar subject
 +*''[[Grandville Mon Amour]]'', Bryan Talbot incorporates the picture into his graphic novel page 33, ISBN 978-0-224-09000-1
 +*''[[The Plum]]'' by Manet, similar subject
-Absinthe (with anise) has been consumed in [[Czech lands]] (then part of [[Austria-Hungary]]) since at least 1888, notably by Czech artists, some of whom had an affinity for France, frequenting [[Prague]]'s Cafe Slavia. Its wider appeal is uncertain, though it was sold in many shops in and around Prague. There is evidence that at least one local liquor distillery, in Bohemia, was purporting to make absinthe at the turn of the 19th to 20th century. 
- 
-===Ban=== 
-Spurred by the [[temperance movement]] and wine makers' associations, absinthe was publicised in connection with several violent crimes supposedly committed under the influence of the drink. This, combined with rising hard-liquor consumption caused by the [[Phylloxera|wine shortage in France]] during the 1880s and 1890s, effectively labelled absinthe a social menace. Its critics said that "Absinthe makes you crazy and criminal, provokes epilepsy and tuberculosis, and has killed thousands of French people. It makes a ferocious beast of man, a martyr of woman, and a degenerate of the infant, it disorganises and ruins the family and menaces the future of the country." [[Edgar Degas]]' 1876 painting [[L'Absinthe]] (''Absinthe'') (now at the [[Musée d'Orsay]]) epitomised the popular view of absinthe 'addicts' as sodden and benumbed; [[Émile Zola]] described their serious intoxication in his novel ''[[L'Assommoir]]''. 
- 
-In 1905, it was reported that a man named Jean Lanfray murdered his family and attempted to kill himself after drinking absinthe. The fact that he was an alcoholic who had drunk considerably after the two glasses of absinthe in the morning was overlooked, and the murders were blamed solely on absinthe. The Lanfray murders were the last straw, and a petition to ban absinthe in Switzerland was quickly signed by over 82,000 people. 
- 
-Soon thereafter (in 1906), [[Belgium]] and [[Brazil]] banned the sale and redistribution of absinthe, although they were not the first. Absinthe was banned as early as 1898 in the [[Congo Free State]] (later Belgian Congo). In [[Switzerland]], the prohibition of absinthe was even written into the constitution in 1907, following a popular initiative. [[The Netherlands]] came next, banning absinthe in 1909, followed by the United States in 1912 and [[France]] in 1915. Around the same time, [[Australia]] banned the liquor too. The prohibition of absinthe in France led to the growing popularity of ''[[pastis]]'' and ''[[ouzo]]'', anise-flavoured liqueurs that do not use wormwood. Although Pernod moved their absinthe production to [[Spain]], where absinthe was still legal, slow sales eventually caused it to close down. In Switzerland, it drove absinthe underground. Evidence suggests small home clandestine distillers have been producing absinthe since the ban, focusing on [[La Bleues]] as it was easier to hide a clear product. Many countries never banned absinthe, notably the United Kingdom, which eventually led to its revival. 
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L'Absinthe (1876) - Edgar Degas
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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L'Absinthe (English: The Absinthe Drinker or Glass of Absinthe) is a painting by Edgar Degas. Some original title translations are A sketch of a French Café, then Figures at Café, the title was finally changed in 1893 to L'Absinthe (the name the piece is known by today). It is now in the permanent collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

Description

Painted in 1875–1876, the picture depicts two figures, a woman and man, who sit at the center and right of this painting, respectively. The man, wearing a hat, looks to the right, off the canvas, while the woman, dressed formally and also wearing a hat, stares vacantly downward. A glass filled with the eponymous greenish liquid sits before her. The painting is a representation of the increasing social isolation in Paris during its stage of rapid growth.

The woman in the painting is Ellen Andrée, actress, and the man is Marcellin Desboutin, a painter, printmaker and bohemian. The café where they are taking their refreshment is the Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes in Paris.

Reception

In its first showing in 1876, the picture was panned by critics, who called it ugly and disgusting. It was put into storage until an 1892 exhibit where it was booed off the easel. It was shown again in England in 1893 (this time entitled L'Absinthe), where it sparked controversy. The persons represented in the painting were considered by English critics to be shockingly degraded and uncouth. Many regarded the painting as a blow to morality; this was the general view of such Victorians as Sir William Blake Richmond and Walter Crane when shown this painting in London. The reaction is an instance of the deep suspicion with which Victorian England had regarded art in France since the early days of the Barbizon School and the need to find a morally uplifting lesson in works of art that was typical of the age. Many English critics viewed it as a warning lesson against absinthe and the French in general. George Moore described the woman in the painting: "What a whore!" He added, "the tale is not a pleasant one, but it is a lesson". However, in Modern Painting he regretted assigning a moral lesson to the painting, claiming that "the picture is merely a work of art, and has nothing to do with drink or sociology."

See also




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