Painting by Toulouse Lautrec title Monsieur Boileau at the Cafe. 1893

$35 USD per device. This program is 60 mins, including time to ask questions and exchange ideas. Suitable for all ages, no background required.

  • Monday, May 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm EST
  • Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 1:00 pm EST
  • Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 10:00 am EST
  • Monday, July 12, 2021 at 10:00 am EST

Absinthe was the drink of choice in late 1800s Paris. This was the era known as the Belle Époque, when cafés and cabarets were at their peak of cultural influence on artists, residents and visitors. Among the offerings you could order from the menu, absinthe was king. It is a frequent motif in Impressionist-era art, because it captures so many aspects of modern life: its seductions,  but also its dangers. You’ll hear the stories of the artists who made cabaret culture their artistic stage, representing “the green fairy” as both muse and murderer of dreams.

You will:

  • Understand the role played by café and cabaret culture in Parisian society.
  • See how representations of absinthe in paintings from by artists like Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec capture the complexity of the Belle Époque.
  • Be inspired by this French cultural history, in preparation for your own future café capers.

Your educator Amanda Herold-Marme, is an art historian with a PhD from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. A Parisian resident for nearly 20 years, she has taught in both universities and museums, as a guide for Paris Muse. She now works for the estate of the Spanish sculptor Julio González and painter Roberta González. Amanda has always been fascinated by exiles who chose Paris as their home. A recognized specialist on that topic, Amanda was contributing author to the exhibition publications Guernica (Musée Picasso, Paris) Lost, Loose & Loved: Foreign Artists in Paris, 1944-1964 (Reina Sofia, Madrid) and Exilio Republicano Español 1939 (Spanish Ministry of Justice).

You can also sign up for our series Food in Art.

Any questions? Check out our FAQs.

Image: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Monsieur Boileau at the Café, 1893, Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection, The Cleveland Museum of Art.

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