La Belle Époque

La Belle Époque (1871-1914) is a period in French history during which absinthe served as inspiration to many artists. Although the following paintings may or may not be inspired by absinthe specifically, we would like to share them with you. Perhaps you too will be inspired to create art.

Here is French painter’s James Tissot’s “Hush!” (c.1875), which depicts an elegant French salon.

James Tissot, %22Hush!%22 c.1875

At about the same time as France was experiencing La Belle Époque, America was going through The Gilded Age, during which many beautiful American works were created. For example, here is Charles Courtney “Curran’s Lotus Lilies” (1888).

Charles Courtney Curran (1861-1942)  Lotus Lilies

Here is Giovanni Boldini’s fantastic “Spanish Dancer at the Moulin Rouge” (c1905). In modern times, many people know of the Moulin Rouge due to the film of the same name, which appropriately for its time period, features absinthe drinking and an appearance by the green fairy.

Giovanni Boldini, Spanish Dancer at the Moulin Rouge

Being inspired to create art was not always easy. Here is “The Sleeping Gypsy” (1897) by French artist Henri Rousseau. During his life, Rousseau was laughed at by critics and was very, very poor. But after he died, he was recognized as a self-taught genius. This painting of his has inspired poetry, music, artwork, and TV shows including “The Simpsons.”



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