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Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (November 10, 1859 – December 13, 1923)
frequently referred to as just Steinlen was a Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker.
Born in Lausanne, Steinlen studied at the University of Lausanne before taking a job as a designer trainee at a textile mill in Mulhouse in eastern France. In his early twenties he was still developing his skills as a painter when he and his new wife were encouraged by the painter François Bocion to move to the artistic community in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris. Once there, Steinlen was befriended by the painter Adolphe Willette who introduced him to the artistic crowd at Le Chat Noir that led to his commissions to do poster art for the cabaret owner/entertainer, Aristide Bruant and other commercial enterprises. In the early 1890s, Steinlen’s paintings of rural landscapes, flowers, and nudes were being shown at the Salon des Indépendants. His 1895 lithograph titled Les Chanteurs des Rues was the frontispiece to a work entitled Chansons de Montmartre published by Éditions Flammarion with sixteen original lithographs that illustrated the Belle Epoque songs of Paul Delmet. His permanent home, Montmartre and its environs was a favorite subject throughout Steinlen’s life and he often painted scenes of some of the harsher aspects of life in the area. In addition to paintings and drawings, he also did sculpture on a limited basis, most notably figures of cats that he had great affection for as seen in many of his paintings. Steinlen became a regular contributor to Le Rire and Gil Blas magazines plus numerous other publications including L’Assiette au Beurre and Les Humouristes, a short-lived magazine he and a dozen other artists jointly founded in 1911. Between 1883 and 1920, he produced hundreds of illustrations, a number of which were done under a pseudonym so as to avoid political problems due to their harsh criticisms of societal ills. He was a regular guest in the chat noir and enjoyed his absinthe with his artistic friends. Théophile Steinlen died in 1923 in Paris and was laid to rest in the Cimetière Saint-Vincent in Montmartre. Today, his works can be found at many important museums around the world including at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., United States.
Marcellin Gilbert Desboutin
Born in Cérilly (Allier) on 26 August 1823 and died in Nice on 18 February 1902 , is a painter, engraver and writer French. Son of Bartholomew Desboutin , the bodyguard of Louis XVIII , and Baroness Anne-Sophie-Dalie Farges Rochefort , he studied at the College Stanislas in Paris and began studying law while writing dramatic works. In 1845 he entered the workshop of the sculptor Louis-Jules Etex at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris , he attended for two years during the painting of Thomas Couture . He then traveled in Britain , in Belgium , the Netherlands and Italy . In 1857 he acquired a large estate near Florence , the ombrellino, where he led a lavish lifestyle and became friends with Edgar Degas . The War of 1870 interrupted the Theatre is French of Maurice de Saxe, play written in collaboration with Jules Amigues . In 1873, at the age of fifty years, ruined by speculations, Desboutin moved to Paris , where he met Degas and frequent Edouard Manet at the cafe Guerbois and coffee of the New Athens . Manet, he met Zola . To save his life, he studied printmaking and began a series of dry points while showing his paintings at shows. He participated in the second exhibition of Impressionist paintings with six, including The Streets singer and cellist. He made many portraits of his friends, including Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir , Berthe Morisot , Pierre Puvis de Chavannes , Eugene Labiche , Nina de Villard , Erik Satie , Joséphin Péladan , Edmond and Jules de Goncourt . In 1880, the nostalgia of the sun leads him to settle in Nice, where he remained until 1888. With the discovery, in a villa in Grasse , five compositions Fragonard Marcellin Desboutin performs five wonderful engravings of interpretation: the Surprise, the Rendezvous, the Confidence, the Lover Crowned and Abandoned . Back in Paris, he participated in the founding of the Second National Society of Fine Arts and is celebrating its appointment to the Order of the Legion of Honor, June 8, 1895 with two hundred guests, chaired by Puvis de Chavannes, in one of these restaurants of Montmartre he likes wearing the toast, ”Gentlemen, let’s drink to Manet in painting, in Chabrier’s music, and Villiers Duranty in the literature!” . He returned to Nice in 1896 and worked there until his death in 1902. Writer, Desboutin, besides Maurice of Saxony, is the author of a translation of Don Juan of Byron and a drama performed in the late 1880s, Madame Roland. Desboutin himself posed for Manet, Renoir and Degas, including the famous painting L’Absinthe 1876.
Le Café de L’Enfer
Le Café de L’Enfer was a Hell-themed cabaret café in Paris’ red light district(aka Pigalle, the neighborhood of the Moulin Rouge), created in the late 19th century and operating up ’til sometime around the middle of the 20th. “A hot spot called Hell’s Café lured 19th-century Parisians to the city’s Montmartre neighbourhood—like the Marais—on the Right Bank of the Seine. With plaster lost souls writhing on its walls and a bug-eyed devil’s head for a front door, le Café de l’Enfer may have been one of the world’s first theme restaurants. According to one 1899 visitor, the café’s doorman—in a Satan suit—welcomed diners with the greeting, “Enter and be damned!” Hell’s waiters also dressed as devils. An order for three black coffees spiked with cognac was shrieked back to the kitchen as: “Three seething bumpers of molten sins, with a dash of brimstone intensifier!” and Absinthe was served in masses after the Absinthe ban champagne and liquors. The Café de L’Enfer was closed because the couldn’t serve any more Absinthe! and the consequence was no more business because of the Absinthe ban.
Some other bistro keeper at this time apparently got the idea to open up another café called Le Ciel (Heaven) next door. check the pictures well ! so you see hell and haven are very near just door to door and to moulin rougen in the neighbourhood they went to get the pretty girls and boys, can you imagine how it was at that time !
Note: The photos were made after the Absinthe ban, just before they closed the café
Source: RIHAS, The International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art and social life of Paris
Pernod Absinthe was the first Absinthe whit a high class background
The Pernod Fils
Was the most popular brand of absinthe throughout the 19th century until it was banned in 1915. During the Belle Époque, the Pernod Fils name became synonymous with absinthe, and the brand represented the de facto standard of quality by which all others were judged.The brand’s roots can be traced as far back as the 1790s. According to legend, it was during this time in Neuchâtel, Switzerland that Dr. Pierre Ordinaire created a distilled patent medicine that would represent the earliest origins of the drink. The recipe then came into the hands of Henri Louis Pernod through the means of a business deal, and in 1797, he and Daniel Henri Dubied opened the first absinthe distillery in Couvet, Switzerland.
Pernod later built a larger distillery in Pontarlier, France in 1805. This set the stage that would cause the sleepy community of Pontarlier to eventually emerge as the home of twenty-eight commercial absinthe distilleries, and the world’s center of absinthe production.
The Demonization and Banning of Absinthe
The popularity of the Pernod Fils brand surged in the decades that followed, its impressive market share spawning a string of knock-offs and imitators with deceptive brand names such as ”Pernot”, ”Parrot” and ”Pierrot”, among others. In 1901, the original distillery was almost completely destroyed by fire. A new, larger and more modern distillery was built in its place. In its heyday, the Pernod Fils distillery was producing as much as 30,000 liters of absinthe per day, and was exporting its product around the world.
Like most quality absinthes, Pernod Fils was produced by macerating herbs, including wormwood, fennel, melissa and anise in a neutral spirit of agricultural origin (usually wine) in a copper alembic where the mixture was then distilled, to produce a transparent liquor. Part of the distillate was then steeped with additional herbs, such as hyssop and petite wormwood, to produce a green-colored fraction that was then filtered and reunited with the main part. The coloration process was done primarily to impart additional flavor and aroma to the absinthe, but the ensuing light olive tint also had the added benefit of enhancing its visual appeal. The colored distillate was then reduced in strength, with the 68% ABV product representing the most popular version of the brand. The predominant flavor in Pernod Fils, like all absinthes, was primarily anise – a flavor commonly misidentified by anglophones as ”licorice”.
The Demonization and Banning of Absinthe
The sheer popularity of absinthe indirectly contributed to its own demise. The absence of a proper appellation of control and regulated production standards invited cheap, industrial versions of the drink into urban markets. These poor quality absinthes appealed to alcoholics of low socioeconomic status, and were commonly adulterated with a variety of toxic substances to make certain attributes (e.g. color) of these inferior brands more convincing. This opened the door for the detractors of absinthe to accuse the drink of being harmful and deleterious, making it a convenient scapegoat for societal ills. Scientists conducted studies involving the injection of pure wormwood essence into small animals. And while this practice usually resulted in convulsions followed by the death of the animal, these tests were flawed and unrepresentative of absinthe consumption. Despite pleas by absinthe distillers for quality regulations for the category, the enemies of absinthe pushed to ban the popular drink. By 1915, absinthe was banned throughout much of Europe and the world. All French absinthe distilleries closed their doors, which caused the demise of Pernod Fils in France.
Despite the ravages of the French ban and the subsequent First World War, Pernod Fils’ absinthe did not completely disappear. Production was resumed on a smaller scale at the Banus distillery in Tarragona, Spain, where absinthe had never been formally banned. However, the drink never regained its former popularity, and by the 1960s, production of Pernod’s absinthe was ceased. Concurrently in France, the Pernod company began producing a liqueur d’anise (anise liqueur) in the years that followed the First World War, and it is this product which has evolved over the decades into its familiar present-day incarnation. Modern day Pernod liqueur d’anise is altogether different than its predecessor, being compounded from a modern, industrial process, being significantly lower proof (45% ABV vs 68% ABV) with a much different flavor profile, and bottled with artificial dye and sugar.
Today, following the relegalization of absinthe in various markets, the modern day giant, Pernod-Ricard, has released an absinthe made from extracts and colorants and claimed to be ”inspired by the old formula”. However, independent reviews reveal this product to be far more similar to its cousin, the contemporary Pernod liqueur d’anise, than the historic pre-1915 drink. With absinthe gaining some commercial exposure by appearing in a range of movies, including From Hell, Euro Trip, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Moulin Rouge!, Pernod-Ricard’s absinthe has enjoyed some modest success in France and other countries in the EU.
Link to see pictures: http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-psychedelic-fairy-absinthe-culture-page/pernod-absinthe-was-the-first-absinthe-whit-a-high-class-background/174491549271841
SOMA THE NECTAR OF THE GODS ”ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM” This article is about the myth, plant and ritual.
(Sanskrit सोम sóma), or Haoma (Avestan), from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance a mong the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities. In the Avesta, Haoma has the entire Yašt 20 and Yasna 9-11 dedicated to it. The RigVeda calls the plant the ”Creator of the Gods” and gives Soma precedence above Indra and the other Gods calling Soma ”a God for Gods” . It is described as prepared by extracting juice from the stalks of a certain plant. In both Vedic and Zoroastrian tradition, the name of the drink and the plant are the same, and also personified as a divinity, the three forming a religious or mythological unity. There has been much speculation concerning what is most likely to have been the identity of the original plant. There is no solid consensus on the question, although most Western experts outside the Vedic and Avestan religious traditions now seem to favour a species of Ephedra, perhaps Ephedra sinica. In the greek mythology exist the
The Eleusinian Mysteries
Were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance. It is acknowledged that their basis was an old agrarian cult which probably goes back to the Mycenean period (c.1600-1100 BC) and it is believed that the cult of Demeter was established in 1500 BC. The idea of immortality which appears in syncretistic religions of antiquity was introduced in late antiquity. The mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases, the ”descent” (loss), the ”search” and the ”ascent”, with main theme the ”ascent” of Persephone and the reunion with her mother. It was a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later spread to Rome. The name of the town, Eleusís seems to be Pre-Greek and it is probably a counterpart with Elysion and the goddess Eileithyia The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret and consistently preserved from a hoary antiquity. The initiated believed that they would have a reward in the afterlife. There are many paintings and pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries. Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from psychedelic agents.
Was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete. His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek. In some cults, he arrives from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner; and in others, from Ethiopia in the South. He is a god of epiphany, ”the god that comes”, and his ”foreignness” as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults. He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, and is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians. His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theater. The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male, bearded and robed. He holds a fennel staff, tipped with a pine-cone and known as a thyrsus. Later images show him as a beardless, sensuous, naked or half-naked youth: the literature describes him as womanly or ”man-womanish”. In its fully developed form, his central cult imagery shows his triumphant, disorderly arrival or return, as if from some place beyond the borders of the known and civilized. His procession (thiasus) is made up of wild female followers (maenads) and ithyphallic, bearded satyrs. Some are armed with the thyrsus, some dance or play music. The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, and is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed to be the cult model for the human followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. In his Thracian mysteries, he wears the bassaris or fox-skin, symbolizing a new life. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods. He was also known as
The name adopted by the Romans and the frenzy he induces, bakkheia. His thyrsus is sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey. It is a beneficent wand but also a weapon, and can be used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents. He is also the Liberator (Eleutherios), whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subverts the oppressive restraints of the powerful. Those who partake in his mysteries are possessed and empowered by the god himself. His cult is also a ”cult of the souls”; his maenads feed the dead through blood-offerings, and he acts as a divine communicant between the living and the dead.
The Dionysian Mysteries
Were a ritual of ancient Greece and Rome which used intoxicants and other trance-inducing techniques (like dance and music) to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return to a natural state. It also provided some liberation for those marginalized by Greek society: women, slaves and foreigners. In their final phase the Mysteries shifted their emphasis from a chthonic, underworld orientation to a transcendental, mystical one, with Dionysus changing his nature accordingly (similar to the change in the cult of Shiva). By its nature as a mystery religion reserved for the initiated, many aspects of the Dionysian cult remain unknown and were lost with the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism; our knowledge is derived from descriptions, imagery and cross-cultural studies.
Comes from Ancient Greek . In Hellenistic culture, Artemis was a goddess of the hunt, and protector of the forest and children. Absinthium comes from Ancient Greek ἀψίνθιον (apsinthion), possibly meaning ”unenjoyable”, and probably referring to the bitter nature of the derived beverage. Consider the following quote by Lucretius found in Institutio Oratoria, an ancient work on rhetoric by the philosopher Quintilian:
”And as physicians when they seek to give A draught of bitter wormwood to a child, First smearing along the edge that rims the cupThe liquid sweets of honey, golden-hued,”
The god Soma
Was depicted as a bull or bird, and sometimes as an embryo, but rarely as an adult human. In Hinduism, the god Soma evolved into a lunar deity. Full moon is the time to collect and press the divine drink. The moon is also the cup from which the gods drink Soma, thus identifying Soma with the moon god Chandra. A waxing moon meant Soma was recreating himself, ready to be drunk again.
Ambrosia is very closely related to the gods’ other form of sustenance, nectar. The two terms may not have originally been distinguished; though in Homer’s poems nectar is usually the drink and ambrosia the food of the gods; it was with ambrosia Hera ”cleansed all defilement from her lovely flesh”, and with ambrosia Athena prepared Penelope in her sleep, so that when she appeared for the final time before her suitors, the effect of the years had been stripped away and they were inflamed with passion at the sight of her. On the other hand, in Alcman, nectar is the food, and in Sappho and Anaxandrides, ambrosia is the drink. When a character in Aristophanes’ Knights says, ”I dreamed the goddess poured ambrosia over your head— out of a ladle”, the homely and realistic ladle brings the ineffable moment to ground with a thump. The consumption of ambrosia was typically reserved for divine beings. Upon his assumption into immortality on Olympus, Heracles is given ambrosia by Athena, while the hero Tydeus is denied the same thing when the goddess discovers him eating human brains. In one version of the myth of Tantalus, part of Tantalus’ crime is that after tasting ambrosia himself, he attempts to steal some away to give to other mortals. Those who consume ambrosia typically had not blood in their veins, but ichor. Both nectar and ambrosia are fragrant, and may be used as perfume: in the Odyssey Menelaus and his men are disguised as seals in untanned seal skins, ”and the deadly smell of the seal skins vexed us sore; but the goddess saved us; she brought ambrosia and put it under our nostrils. Homer speaks of ambrosial raiment, ambrosial locks of hair, even the gods’ ambrosial sandals. Among later writers, ambrosia has been so often used with generic meanings of ”delightful liquid” that such late writers as Athenaeus, Paulus and Dioscurides employ it as a technical terms in contexts of cookery, medicine, and botany. Additionally, some modern ethnomycologists, such as Danny Staples, identify ambrosia with the untameable hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria: ”it was the food of the gods, their ambrosia, and nectar was the pressed sap of its juices”, Staples asserts. W. H. Roscher thinks that both nectar and ambrosia were kinds of honey, in which case their power of conferring immortality would be due to the supposed healing and cleansing power of honey, which is in fact anti-septic, and because fermented honey (mead) preceded wine as an entheogen in the Aegean world: on some Minoan seals goddesses had bee faces: compare Merope and Melissa. Propolis, a hive product also known for its sweet fruity taste, cures sore throats, and there are many modern proprietary medicines which use honey as an ingredient.
Amrita or Amrit
Amṛta is a Sanskrit word that literally means ”immortality”, and is often referred to in texts as nectar. The word’s earliest occurrence is in the Rigveda where it is one of several synonyms of soma, the drink which confers immortality upon the gods. It is related etymologically to the Greek ambrosia, and it carries the same meaning. It has various significances in different Dharmic Traditions. ”Amrit” is also a common Hindu first name for men; the feminine is ”Amritā”.Amrita (”Nectar of the Goddess”) is repeatedly referred to as the drink of the gods, which grants them immortality. Amrita features in the ”ocean-churning” (Sanskrit: Samudra manthan) legend. It describes how the gods, because of a curse from the sage Durvasa, begin to lose their immortality. Assisted by their mortal enemies the asuras, they churn the ocean (which was made of milk in those days) and create (among other wonderful things) amrita, the nectar of immortality. In yogic philosophy amrita is a fluid that can flow from the pituitary gland down the throat in deep states of meditation. It is considered quite a boon: some yogic texts say that one drop is enough to conquer death and achieve immortality.
The Four Earliest Known Absinthe-related Films
Presents four movies from the silent film era concerning the distilled, highly alcoholic spirit absinthe. Almost from the very outset motion picture producers found a lucerative niche producing films with an anti-alcohol message. The 1902 film ”Les victimes de l’alcoolisme” was the first attempt by the newly formed Pathé company to exploit the burgeoning demand for anti-absinthe and anti-alcohol propaganda. ”Les Victimes de l’alcool” (1911), a far more sophisticated film, was enthusiastically promoted by the temperance movement and was a huge success for Pathé. ”Absinthe” (1913) is the only surviving U.S.-made absinthe related motion picture from the pre-ban era, featuring one of the very few filmed versions of absinthe being prepared and consumed. Contents: La Bonne absinthe / produced by Gaumont Film Company ; directed by Alice Guy (1899, 1 min.) — Les Victimes de l’alcoolisme / produced by Pathé ; directed by Ferdinand Zecca (1902, 4 min.) — Les Victimes de l’alcool / produced by Pathé ; directed by Gerard Bourgeois (1911, 26 min.) — Absinthe / produced by the Gem Motion Picture Company ; starring Glen White and Sadie Weston (1913, 12 min.)
La Bonne Absinthe – 1899
The first attempt to make movie for Absinthe is by the director Alice Guy in 1899, called La Bonne Absinthe and it is the earliest known reference to absinthe in film art.It is only 56 seconds long and is the earliest filmed version of an absinthe being prepared and drunk. The movie shows: a man walks into a café, orders an absinthe, the waiter brings a bottle and adds a large dose to his glass, the man adds water from a carafe in an absent minded way while reading his newspaper, not realizing that he’s missing the glass entirely. Without looking he takes a deep drink, and almost chokes on the undiluted alcohol. In a rage he starts attacking the waiter with his cane. The waiter chases him away with a soda syphon, to the great amusement of the other onlookers.
Alice Guy-Blaché (July 1, 1873 – March 24, 1968) was a French pioneer filmmaker who was the first female director in the motion picture industry and is considered to be one of the first directors of a fiction film.
Alice Guy was born to French parents who were working in Chile where her father owned a chain of bookstores. Her mother returned home to give birth to Alice in Paris. For the first few years of her life she was left in the care of her grandmother in Switzerland until her mother came to take her to Chile where she lived with her family for about two years. She was then sent to study at a boarding school in France and was a young girl entering her teens when her parents returned from Chile.
n 1894 Alice Guy was hired by Léon Gaumont to work for a still-photography company as a secretary. The company soon went out of business but Gaumont bought the defunct operations inventory and began his own company that soon became a major force in the fledgling motion picture industry in France. Alice Guy decided to join the new Gaumont Film Company, a decision that led to a pioneering career in filmmaking spanning more than twenty-five years and involving her directing, producing, writing and/or overseeing more than 700 films.
From 1896 to 1906, Alice Guy was Gaumont’s head of production and is generally considered to be the first filmmaker to systematically develop narrative filmmaking. As well, she was one of the pioneers in the use of recordings in conjunction with the images on screen in Gaumont’s ”Chronophone” system, which used a vertical-cut disc synchronized to the film. An innovator, she employed special effects, using double exposure masking techniques and even running a film backwards.
Link for La Bonne Absinthe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQPIpWIBNls
LES VICTIMES DE L’ALCOOLISME – 1902
Produced by Pathé and Directed by Ferdinand Zecca.
Based on Zola’s L’Assommoir, Les Victimes de l’Alcoolisme was the first attempt by Ferdinand Zecca (1864-1947) Lasting just 3 minute and 39 seconds, Les Victimes de l’Alcoolisme shows few scenes: the first scenes show contented family life, with the husband surrounded by an adoring wife and happy children. He’s then led astray by disreputable friends, who give him the fatal first glass of alcohol. He’s shown drinking in a bar with a sign saying ”Absinthe 15 cents.” hanging on the neck of the in-house alambic. The next scene shows his family now destitute and living in a bare garret – he arrives home and collapses in an alcoholic fit. As always with these cautionary tales, the last scene is set in the asylum, where the poor soul succumbs to delirium tremens, and dies in great distress.
Link for Les Victimes de l’Alcoolisme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mZoS0IXkVQ
LES VICTIMES DE L’ALCOOL – 1911
Produced by Pathé and Directed by Gérard Bourgeois – 26 min
ABSINTHE – 1913
Produced by the Gem Motion Picture Company
Starring Glen White and Sadie Weston
On 7th January 1913, the Gem Motion Picture Company released a one reel film called Absinthe, starring Glen White and
filmed versions of an absinthe being prepared and drunk.
In 1914 Gem was absorbed into the rapidly expanding Universal empire, by which time Universal had released their own film called Absinthe, much more ambitious four reel version directed by Herbert Brenon and starring King Baggot.
It played nationwide to packed houses and turn-away crowds; many exhibitors upped the admission price from their usual 5 cents, to ten. Filmed in Paris, it was purchased in 1916 by Baggot for Universal and re-released in 1917 in five reel version with added material pertinent to World War I.
The film is complete, just under 12 minutes long, and in overall excellent condition considering its age.
The music in the movie is from Erik Satie (Gymnopédies & Gnossiènnes).
Link for the ABSINTHE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLOKFN9kHtE
Link to see pictures: http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-psychedelic-fairy-absinthe-culture-page/four-earliest-known-absinthe-related-films/175006895886973
France during La Belle Époque
The French refer to the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first of the twentieth as La Belle Époque, the ”beautiful era,” a period that ended once and for all with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. This was, indeed, a glorious time when the arts, music, and literature flourished, and life was full of diverse pleasures for the rich and super – rich.The internationally famous actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1924) embodied the allure of the period. Although she has been acting since the 1860s, she rose to stardom in the 1880s, when she performed a series of roles especially written for her by Victorien Sardou (1831-1908). In many of these she played femme fatale (”the fatal woman”), a beautiful but ruthless woman who loves and destroys with equal passion. The contemporary fascination with the femme fatale has often been seen as a defining characteristic of late nineteenth-century culture, as it hinted at once at a hankering for beauty, wealth, and pleasure, and at a profound anxiety about the dangers that their attainment might cause.A legend during her life time, Bernhardt owed much of her reputation to the expatriate Czech artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939). From the mid-1890s he design her costumes and jewelry, as well as posters and promotional materials for her plays. Photo 1 illustrates on of the Mucha’s most popular images of Bernhardt, one that was used and reused for posters, magazine illustrations, and postcards. it shows the actress as a combination queen/goddess, complete with a bejeweled tiara (designed by Mucha) and a golden halo. The images speaks of beauty, power, wealth, and success – the attributes that made people both admire and envy her. Not all was beautiful in the Belle Époque. Politically, France experienced a series of crisis that threatened the survival of the Third Republic. Most series among these was the so-called Dreyfus affair. In 1894 Alfred Dreyfus, an army officer of Jewish origin, was charged and convicted of selling military secrets to the Germans. Till he was serving his life long sentence. France become bitterly divided over the case. Radical republicans and socialists were convinced in his innocence, while conservatives maintained he was guilty. Moderate republicans, at first, tried not to get involved but eventually split in the middle over the issue. The Dreyfus affair deepened and sharpened political divisions in France and awakened a latent anti-Semitism. France’s political divisions reflected, and were a response to, grave social and economic inequities. TheBelle Époque was beautiful, indeed, to those who could afford opera and theater, elegant restaurants, luxury travel on steamers and trains, and expensive clothing. But while a few enjoyed the luxury life, many people lived dreary lives at or below the poverty level. Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923) an illustrator with socialist, even anarchist, sympathies, drew attention to these people in illustrations drawn for left-wing newspaper. To those most sensitive to the decade’s political divisions and social inequalities, the 1980s seemed not so much a Belle Époque as a period of decadence, an ominous time that spelled the beginning of the end of Western civilization. Many felt that the excessive luxury of the period was a sign of moral decay. The term fin de siècle, or ”the end of the century” which is also used for this period, alludes to a feeling of world-weariness, anxiety, and even despair that was shared by many intellectuals and artists of the time. The high rate of alcoholism, insanity, and suicide among this groups is indicative of this phenomenon. Camille Claudel (1864-1943), Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch (1863-1944), and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) are just a few examples of artists who appear to have been unable to cope with the tensions of the time. As I mention before this was time of high alcohol use, but the most favorite brand among the artists, writers and other intellectuals was the Green Fairy or the Absinthe. May be because most of them were poor and the wine and other spirits in that time were expensive and they couldn’t afford, may be there was more then that, may be the Green Fairy was the real inspiration for them, so they also were called the ”Water Drinkers”. This inspiration of the Green Fairy, we can notice in the dominant green colors and the subject of Absinthe use by the artists, or also we can read poems devoted to her, The Green Fairy. Among the high alcohol use there is also the use of opium, cannabis, which is referring some how to some oriental influence during this Belle Époque.
La Belle Époque it is time when human mind develop on higher level.
It is not coincidental that the fin de siècle witnessed the rapid development of psychiatry. In the late 1880s and early 1890s the Parisian clinic of the neurologist-psychiatrist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) was one of the most famous in Europe. Charchot become master teacher of psychiatry. Among his many students was the Viennese Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) who become fascinated by Charot’s use of hypnosis to cure hysteria. Freud would eventually give a name to the fears and anxieties of his contemporaries, calling them neuroses, and he would develop a way to heal them through dream analysis and talking cures. In addition to psychiatry, religion also solace to those whose nerves were frayed by the pressures of the period. During the 1890s there was revival of Roman Catholic piety and a several esoteric movements, such as Rosicrucianism. The decade also witnessed the developments of new philosophies of life, such as theosophy, which offered alternative modes of thinking and living, including vegetarianism, meditation and naturism. Parallel with France in the Italian part in Swiss will grow a commune of vegetarians and naturist called the commune of Monte Verità or ” The mountain of Truth”
Absinthe and Cubism
Absinthe was featured prominently by most artists of the Belle Époque. In the early works of Pablo Picasso, one of the most important in the so called ”Blue Period” is a painting from 1901 titled ”Woman Drinking Absinthe” that shows a woman dressed in blue with elongated hands and fingers, sitting at the corner of a table in a Parisian cafe with a glass of Absinthe in front her. Picasso declared once that his earliest cubist works were inspired by Absinthe, including one named ”Bottle of Pernod and Glass” painted in 1912, directly based on the Pernod publicity posters designed by Maire, picturing a bottle of Absinthe, a glass, and a folded newspaper.
The ubiquitous print advertising hung by Pernod Fills in almost every bar and cafe in France was painted by Charles Maire. Unusually, the chromolithograph was backed on to canvas, and then varnished, giving it the appearance of an original oil technique, enhanced by the custom gilt-wood frame. Both Picasso and Braque were inspired by Maire cartons, as the basis of some of the very earliest Cubist paintings including ”Bouteille de Pernod et verre”, a painting from 1912.
In 1959, during a press interview with the French poet and artist Jean Cocteau, he talked about his friendship with Picasso, and his visits to the artist’s atelier. He described how a copy of Maire’s Pernod Fills chromolithograph was hung in Picasso’s studio during the time he was creating his early cubist masterpieces, and how Picasso gave it to him as a souvenir.
Le Chat Noir
(French for ”The Black Cat”) was a 19th-century cabaret, meaning entertainment house, in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. It was first opened on 18 November 1881 at 84 Boulevard Rochechouart by the impresario Rodolphe Salis, and closed in 1897 not long after Salis’ death (much to the disappointment of Picasso and others who looked for it when they came to Paris for the Exposition in 1900). Its imitators have included cabarets from St. Petersburg (The Stray Dog) to Barcelona (Els Quatre Gats).
Perhaps best known now by its iconic Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen poster art, in its heyday it was a bustling nightclub — part artist salon, part rowdy music hall. The cabaret published its own humorous journal Le Chat Noir, which survived until 1899. It began by renting the cheapest accomidations it could find, a small two room affair at 84 Boulevard Rochechouart, but within three and a half years its popularity forced it to move into larger accommodations a few doors down, in June, 1885. Located at 12 Rue Victor-Masse (which before 1885 had been Rue de Laval 12), the new establishment was sumptuous. It was the old private mansion of the painter Alfred Steven, who, at the request of Salis, had transformed it into a “fashionable country inn” with the help of the architect Maurice Isabey.
Salis most often played, with exaggerated, ironic politeness, the role of conférencier (post-performance lecturer, or Emcee). It was here that the Salon des Arts Incohérents (Salon of Incoherent Arts), the ”shadow plays” and the comic monologues got their start.
According to Salis: ”The Chat Noir is the most extraordinary cabaret in the world. You rub shoulders with the most famous men of Paris, meeting there with foreigners from every corner of the world.”
Famous patrons of the Chat Noir included Adolphe Willette, Caran d’Ache, André Gill, Emile Cohl, Paul Bilhaud, Sarah England, Paul Verlaine, Henri Rivière, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Charles Cros, Jules Laforgue, Charles Moréas, Albert Samain, Louis Le Cardonnel, Coquelin Cadet, Emile Goudeau, Alphonse Allais, Maurice Rollinat, Maurice Donnay, Marie Krysinska, Jane Avril, Armand Masson, Aristide Bruant, Théodore Botrel, Paul Signac, Yvette Guilbert, August Strindberg, and George Auriol
The 80 historic Famous Absinthe Drinkers
At the height of absinthe’s popularity on through to its eventual banishment, the drink was considered both a miracle tonic and a criminal scourge, depending on your perspective. While little of the alleged psychoactive or hallucinatory aspects of absinthe have been explained by science, what we do know is that the drink touched the lives and influenced the work of many artist, writer, and intellectual.
Below you find a list of the major absinthe aficionados in whose life and work were inspired to take up pen or paintbrush thanks to The Green Lady.
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
Van Gogh’s love affair with absinthe is considered to be he most famed in history. It is rumored that not only did Van Gogh enjoy absinthe to the extreme, but that he also devoured the oils and turpentines used in his paintings. Speculation about the odd lighting effects in Van Gogh’s work is sometimes attributed to a case of epilepsy. Accurate medical diagnoses of Van Gogh’s various conditions is unavailable, but Van Gogh scholars tend to agree that he displayed, not only in his work but also in his letters, all the signs of a full-blown absinthe alcoholic. What we can say for sure about Van Gogh is limited to this: that he was as exceptionally troubled as he was brilliant.
Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)
One of the English language’s most quotable writers, Wilde was a professed alcoholic and devotee of absinthe. Wilde’s stage plays, poems, and short stories gained him celebrity status not only in his native Ireland but also in Continental Europe. From his post as foremost writer of his day, Wilde referred often to absinthe as a boost to the creative process. One of Wilde’s most famous quips about absinthe speaks to his love of tragic irony, and goes as follows: “After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”
Charles Cros (1842-1888)
Charles Cros was a renaissance man: painter, poet, physicist, chemist, musician, and inventor. The Frenchman is said to have invented an early model of the phonograph, though he lacked the funds to secure a patent or production facility. Cros’ use of absinthe is notorious. He regularly drank up to 20 absinthes a day, and was known to regulars at Paris’ legendary absinthe cafés as a bon vivant, partying long into the next day. Whether Cros’ work was heightened or hindered by absinthe is somewhat irrelevant, due to the many accomplishments he enjoyed in his life.
Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867)
The man who all but defined artistic decadence, Baudelaire’s best known work includes a poem entitled “Get Drunk!” that mentions the use of absinthe. Baudelaire’s main accomplishments are in the fields of poetry and art criticism, but he also wrote thoroughly emotional political tracts, dramas, and novellas. Baudelaire’s life was an extravagant one: he lived well beyond his means and drank far beyond the capacity of his body and pocketbook. For Baudelaire, trips to the poorhouse were followed up by trips to the café. He eventually died, young even by 19th Century standards, due to a combination of seizure and the ravages done to the writer’s body by his regular use of laudanum, opium, and drink.
Paul Marie Verlaine (1844-1896)
Art-school staple, poet Verlaine is said to have drank himself to death and damned his drink of choice, beloved absinthe, from the death-bed. Verlaine’s troubled sexuality and substance abuse are the stuff of legend – in a rare meeting of the minds, Verlaine and fellow poet Arthur Rimbaud shared a bed for some time – and his devotion to absinthe was apparently unconditional, as he wrote extensively about the virtues of the drink. Through the lean and mean times of his later years, Verlaine kicked all other habits but absinthe. In a twist befitting the content of his work, Verlaine damned the very drink that many claim did him in – while sneaking kisses of la fee verte from his death-bed.
Arthur Rimbaud (1855-1891)
The young, talented poet Rimbaud fell in love with fellow poet Verlaine soon after his arrival in Paris. Rimbaud also developed a parallel fondness for Verlaine’s drink of choice: absinthe. His artistic life ended as abruptly as his relationship with Verlaine. The story goes that Verlaine, in a fit of madness, shot the young Rimbaud, and the two parted ways forever after. Verlaine went in and out of poorhouses while Rimbaud gave up writing, absinthe, and the bohemian life for the military.
Guy de Maupassant (1850 – 1893)
Considered by scholars to be the father of the modern short story, Guy de Maupassant was a French writer known for efficient prose and a style that championed brevity above all, much like a later writer and absinthe devotee, Ernest Hemingway. In de Maupassant’s “A Queer Night in Paris,” the writer describes the sensations associated with absinthe in the streets of Paris.
Alfred Jarry (1873-1907)
An eccentric author with exotic tastes, Jarry’s landmark work is the French absurdist play, Ubu Roi. Jarry’s use of absinthe and its relationship to his work is renowned: Jarry is said to have been one of, we can only presume, very few absinthe devotees of the time who drank the stuff straight, foregoing the traditional combination with water and sugar. Jarry’s Ubu Roi, and its foul feature, the character Pere Ubu, have long been used to solidify arguments that regular absinthe use will drive a person to insanity. Jarry saw it another way. His professed goal was to use absinthe to “fuse together the dream and reality, art and lifestyle.”
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
Hemingway and absinthe make for a direct correlation in the minds of readers in the 20th Century and today. Absinthe features prominently in much of Hemingway’s work, including: For Whom The Bell Tolls, where the protagonist turns to absinthe as a substitute for the poor quality of the local liquors; The Sun Also Rises, about a sojourn to Spain in which Pernod is the drink of choice for the traveling party; and the short story, “Hills Like White Elephants,” where abortion is considered over drinks of absinthe at a train depot. Hemingway’s famed use of absinthe comes as a bit of a puzzle, due to the fact that it was banned in much of the Western world when he was in his teenage years, but the likely case is that he was able to stock up on trips to Cuba and Spain, where he famously participated in the running of the bulls.
Marilyn Manson (1969 – )
A uniquely American celebrity, Marilyn Manson is by far today’s most famous absinthe devotee. The musician and artist known for his grotesque stage persona – inspired, in part, by Jarry’s Pere Ubu character – has claimed absinthe, in addition to the exhaustive use of illicit drugs, to be an influence on his creative process. Manson’s love for absinthe is so strong that, thanks to the recently loosened restrictions on the production and distribution of the drink, he has gone on to develop his own brand, Mansinthe. Manson’s brand of absinthe is available in the United States, and in 2008 Mansinthe won the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Aleister Crowley (12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947)
Experimental, daredevil, dark, Aleister Crowley had his fingers in all sorts of fishy pies: he was an astrologer, he experimented with drugs, with magic, with sex, mysticism and the occult. He wrote The Book of Law, which formed the centre of his version of ’Thelema’, a type of religious philosophy, and this certainly later influenced Hubbard’s Scientology. Crowley’s Thelema advocated a way of life in which ’do what thou wilt’ translates as finding your true inner spirit and path and being true to it no matter what.
Edgar Degas (19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917)
Degas was good friends with Manet, a relationship kept on its toes by a healthy dose of friendly rivalry. Degas’s painting L’Absinthe prompted much debate when exhibited in London a few years after it was painted in 1876. George Moore wrote the following extraordinary commentary in the Speaker on 25 February 1893:
Henri deToulouse Lautrec (24 November 1864 – 9 September 1901)
Toulouse-Lautrec mixed his absinthe with brandy on occasion. An unusual combination you might say, as some might well say about his life in general. Frequenter of brothels, but well-known for his profound sympathy for humanity; short legs with a long body; close to his family, but his last words, aimed at his father who was in vigil by his death bed, were ”Vieil imbecile!” (”old fool!”) He has designed his own absinthe spoon is still known up to this days
Link to the Absinte spoon http://www.absinthefrenchmanspoon.com/produit/1130
Eduard Manet (23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883)
Manet drank absinthe at the zenith of its career, and produced the acclaimed painting The Absinthe Drinker in 1862. He was friends with many contemporary celebrities on this list.
All his life Manet resisted being lumped in with the Impressionist movement, despite his work clearly operating in close dialogue with the genre. He would die painfully of syphilis, an illness he undoubtedly picked up while indulging in the Parisian absinthe lifestyle of his fellow artists.
Edgar Allen Poe January (1809 – 1849)
By all accounts the strange, macabre stories of Edgar Allen Poe drew much of their inspiration from his experiences while drinking absinthe. His own life was also smattered with horror and mystery.
Some eerie facts about Poe: Poe’s first wife Virginia (also his cousin) was thirteen years old when he married her in 1836. Poe was twenty-seven. Poe died unexpectedly and suddenly, having been found very ill in the street, wearing someone else’s clothes. He called for ‘Reynolds’ in his last hours; no-one since has been able to discover who Reynolds could possibly have been. Poe’s grave has been visited on his birthday every year since 1949 in the early hours of the morning, by a man dressed in black, carrying a cane. He makes a toast with cognac, places the half-finished bottle and three red roses onto the grave and leaves.
Emile Zola (2. April 1840 – 29. September 1902)
Zola enjoyed the odd glass of absinthe. He must have been grateful of the distraction, what with the furore over his controversial article damning the Dreyfus Affair, then being convicted as guilty of libel and escaping to England to avoid prison. In January 1998 Jacques Chirac held a memorial service to commemorate the centenary of Zola’s courage in speaking out over the Dreyfus Affair: ”Let us never forget the courage of a great writer who, taking every risk, putting his tranquility, his fame, even his life in peril, dared to pick up his pen and place his talent in the service of truth.”
Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893)
Absinthe is ever-present in the prolific writings of this popular 19th century French writer, whose ’literary godfather’ was the illustrious Gustave Flaubert. Maupassant met the Swedish psychiatrist Axel Munthe (Munthe recalls in his famous memoirs, The Story of San Michele) when he invited the doctor onto his private yacht. There Munthe met one of Maupassant’s many lovers Mademoiselle Ivonne, a ballet dancer addicted to ether. Munthe treated her later as she lay dying of this addiction; she called for Maupassant during the last hours of her life, but in vain.
Hermann Hesse (2, 1877 – August 9, 1962)
was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi), each of which explores an individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.
Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau (1804–1884)
was a French psychiatrist and member of the Club des Hashischins. Moreau was the first physician to do systematic work on drugs’ effects on the central nervous system, and to catalogue, analyze, and record his observations. His 1845 book, Hashish and Mental Alienation, is still applicable today. In 1843 with Jules Baillarger (1809–1890), François Achille Longet (1811–1871) and Laurent Alexis Philibert Cerise (1807–1869), he founded the psychiatric journal Annales médico-psychologiques. ”In an era which finally viewed the human psyche in a natural humanist terms rather than as the uncontrollable supernatural domain of demons and angels. Through careful observation of people’s reactions, including his own, to hashish-particularly their openness to suggestions and willingness to consider new possibilities- Moreau theorized that psychoactive substances could treat or replicate mental illness in a way to help cure patients. His 1845 studies on dhatura and hashish were prepared as a treatise that documented both physical and mental benefits, and ultimately led to modern psychopharmacology and the use of numerous psychotomimetic drug treatments.” (”Hemp for Health”
Théophile Gautier August (1811 – 1872)
was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, art critic and literary critic.
While Gautier was an ardent defender of Romanticism, his work is difficult to classify and remains a point of reference for many subsequent literary traditions such as Parnassianism, Symbolism, Decadence and Modernism. He was widely esteemed by writers as diverse as Balzac, Baudelaire, the Goncourt brothers, Flaubert, Proust and Oscar Wilde.
Gérard de Nerval (22. Mai 1808 – 26. Januar 185)
He was brought up by his maternal great-uncle, Antoine Boucher, in the countryside of Valois at Mortefontaine. On the return of his father from war during 1814, he was sent back to Paris. He frequently returned to the countryside of Valois during holidays and later returned to it in imagination in his Chansons et légendes du Valois.
His talent for translation was made manifest in his translation of Goethe’s Faust (1828), the work which earned him his reputation; Goethe praised it, and Hector Berlioz later used sections for his legend-symphony La damnation de Faust. Other translations from Goethe ensued; in the 1840s, Nerval’s translations introduced Heinrich Heine’s poems to French readers of the Revue des deux mondes. During the 1820s at college he became lifelong friends with Théophile Gautier and later joined Alexandre Dumas, père in the Petit Cénacle, in what was an exceedingly bohemian set, which was ultimately to become the Club des Hashischins. Nerval’s poetry is characterized by Romantic deism. His passion for the ’spirit world’ was matched by a decidedly more negative view of the material one: ”This life is a hovel and a place of ill-repute. I’m ashamed that God should see me here.” Among his admirers was Victor Hugo.
Gérard de Nerval’s first nervous breakdown occurred during 1841. In a series of novellas, collected as Les Illuminés, ou les précurseurs du socialisme (1852), on themes suggested by the careers of Rétif de la Bretonne, Cagliostro and others, he described feelings that followed his third insanity. Increasingly poverty-stricken and disoriented, he finally committed suicide during 1855, hanging himself from a window grating. He left only a brief note to his aunt: ”Do not wait up for me this evening, for the night will be black and white.”
Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863)
was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix’s use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Walter Scott and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In contrast to the Neoclassical perfectionism of his chief rival Ingres, Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modeled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the ”forces of the sublime”, of nature in often violent action
Alexandre Dumas (24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870)
was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne were originally serialized. He also wrote plays and magazine articles and was a prolific correspondent.
Fitz Hugh Ludlow (September 11, 1836 – September 12, 1870)
was an American author, journalist, and explorer; best-known for his autobiographical book The Hasheesh Eater (1857).
The explorations of altered states of consciousness in The Hasheesh Eater are at the same time eloquent descriptions of elusive subjective phenomena and surreal, bizarre, and beautiful literature.
Ludlow also wrote about his travels across America on the overland stage to San Francisco, Yosemite and the forests of California and Oregon, in his second book, The Heart of the Continent. An appendix to that book provides his impressions of the recently-founded Mormon settlement in Utah.
He was also the author of many works of short fiction, essays, science reporting and art criticism. He devoted many of the last years of his life to attempts to improve the treatment of opiate addicts.
Thomas De Quincey (15 August 1785 – 8 December 1859)
was an English author and intellectual, best known for his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Absinthe drinker
Bayard Taylor (January 11, 1825 – December 19, 1878)
was an American poet, literary critic, translator, and travel author.
Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892)
was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and–in addition to publishing his poetry–was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). Whitman’s major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. He died at age 72 and his funeral became a public spectacle. Whitman’s sexuality is often discussed alongside his poetry. Though biographers continue to debate his sexuality, he is usually described as either homosexual or bisexual in his feelings and attractions. However, there is disagreement among biographers as to whether Whitman had actual sexual experiences with men. Whitman was concerned with politics throughout his life. He supported the Wilmot Proviso and opposed the extension of slavery generally. His poetry presented an egalitarian view of the races, and at one point he called for the abolition of slavery, but later he saw the abolitionist movement as a threat to democracy.
Albert Bierstadt (January 7, 1830 – February 18, 1902)
was a German-American painter best known for his lush, sweeping landscapes of the American West. In obtaining the subject matter for these works, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.
Bierstadt was part of the Hudson River School, not an institution but rather an informal group of like-minded painters. The Hudson River School style involved carefully detailed paintings with romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called luminism. An important interpreter of the western landscape, Bierstadt, along with Thomas Moran, is also grouped with the Rocky Mountain School.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich (November 11, 1836 – March 19, 1907)
was an American poet, novelist, travel writer and editor.
Edmund Clarence Stedman (October 8, 1833 – January 18, 1908)
American poet, critic, and essayist was born at Hartford, Connecticut, United States.
Richard Henry Stoddard (July 2, 1825 – May 12, 1903)
was an American critic and poet.
James Russell Lowell (February 22, 1819 – August 12, 1891)
was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets. These poets usually used conventional forms and meters in their poetry, making them suitable for families entertaining at their fireside.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910)
better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called ”the Great American Novel.” Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion’s newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, which became very popular and brought nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling.
He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Henry Huttleston Rogers (January 29, 1840 – May 19, 1909)
was a United States capitalist, businessman, industrialist, financier, and philanthropist.
”H. L.” Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956),
was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a student of American English. Mencken, known as the ”Sage of Baltimore”, is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century. Many of his books are still in print. Mencken is known for writing The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he named the ”Monkey” trial. In addition to his literary accomplishments, Mencken was known for his controversial ideas. A critic of the Second World War and democracy, Mencken wrote numerous pieces about current events, literature, music, prominent politicians, pseudo-experts, temperance and uplifters.
Félicien Rops (7 July 1833 – 23 August 1898)
was a Belgian artist, and printmaker in etching and aquatint. Rops met Charles Baudelaire towards the end of the poet’s life in 1864, and Baudelaire left an impression upon him that lasted until the end of his days. Rops created the frontispiece for Baudelaire’s Les Épaves, a selection of poems from Les Fleurs du mal that had been censored in France, and which therefore were published in Belgium.
Maurice Utrillo, (26 December 1883 – 5 November 1955)
was a French painter who specialized in cityscapes. Born in the Montmartre quarter of Paris, France, Utrillo is one of the few famous painters of Montmartre who were born there.
Albert Pierre René Maignan (14 October 1845 – 29 September 1908)
was a French painter and historical illustrator.
Jean-François Raffaëlli (April 20, 1850 – February 11, 1924)
was a French realist painter, sculptor, and printmaker who exhibited with the Impressionists. He was also active as an actor and writer. He was born in Paris, and showed an interest in music and theatre before becoming a painter in 1870. One of his landscape paintings was accepted for exhibition at the Salon in that same year. In October 1871 he began three months of study under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris; he had no other formal training. Raffaëlli produced primarily costume pictures until 1876, when he began to depict the people of his time—particularly peasants, workers, and rag-pickers seen in the suburbs of Paris—in a realistic style. His new work was championed by influential critics such as J.-K. Huysmans, as well as by Edgar Degas. The rag-picker became for Raffaëlli a symbol of the alienation of the individual in modern society. Art historian Barbara S. Fields has written of Raffaëlli’s interest in the positivist philosophy of Hippolyte-Adolphe Taine, which:
led him to articulate a theory of realism that he christened caractérisme. He hoped to set himself apart from those unthinking, so-called realist artists whose art provided the viewer with only a literal depiction of nature. His careful observation of man in his milieu paralleled the anti-aesthetic, anti-romantic approach of the literary Naturalists, suc as Zola and Huysmans.
Degas invited Raffaëlli to participate in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1880 and 1881, an action that bitterly divided the group; not only was Raffaëlli not an Impressionist, but he threatened to dominate the 1880 exhibition with his outsized display of 37 works. Monet, resentful of Degas’s insistence on expanding the Impressionist exhibitions by including several realists, chose not to exhibit, complaining, ”The little chapel has become a commonplace school which opens its doors to the first dauber to come along. An example of Raffaëlli’s work from this period is Les buveurs d’absinthe, painted in 1881. After 1890 Raffaëlli shifted his attention from the suburbs of Paris to city itself, and the street scenes that resulted were well received by the public and the critics. He made a number of sculptures, but these are known today only through photographs. In the later years of his life, he concentrated on color printmaking. Raffaëlli died
Charles LeMaire (1897–1985)
was an American costume designer. Despite his French sounding name, he was born in Chicago.
LeMaire’s early career was as a vaudeville performer, but he became a costume designer for such Broadway productions as Ziegfeld Follies and The Five O’Clock Girl. By 1925 he turned to the movies. LeMaire was instrumental in persuading the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to institute a costume design Oscar. In a career spanning 37 years and nearly 300 films, he earned a total of four Academy Awards and an additional 12 nominations.
Jean-Louis Forain (23 October 1852 – 11 July 1931)
was a French Impressionist painter, lithographer, watercolorist and etcher. He began his career working as a caricaturist for several Paris journals including Le Monde Parisien and Le rire satirique. Wanting to expand his horizons, enrolled at the École des Beaux Arts, studying under Jean-Léon Gérôme as well as another sculptor/painter, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. Forain’s quick and often biting wit allowed him to befriend poets Rimbaud and Verlaine as well as many writers, most notably Joris-Karl Huysmans. He was the youngest artist to frequent and participate in the feverish debates led by Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas at the Café de la Nouvelle Athènes. A follower and protégé of Degas, Forain joined the Impressionist circle in time to take part in the fourth independent exhibition in 1879, and he would participate in three of the four landmark shows that followed between 1879 and 1884. Influenced by Impressionist theories on light and color, he preferred to depict scenes of everyday life: his watercolors, pastels, and paintings focused on Parisian popular entertainments and themes of modernity—the racetrack, the ballet, the comic opera, and bustling cafés. Aside from being influenced by his friend of over fifty years, Edgar Degas, Forain was greatly influenced by Honoré Daumier; and his treatment of subjects in his drawings for pulications such as Le Figaro and Le Courrier Francais are often reminicescent of Daumier’s. In 1892 he published the first volume of La Comédie Parisienne, a collection of Forain’s illustrations and commentary on the major stories political stories that disrupted France’s Third Republic—such as the anarchic crisis and the Dreyfus affair. In 1891 Forain married the painter Jeanne Bosc with whom he had a son, Jean-Loup, born in 1895.
André Gill (17 October 1840—1 May 1885)
was a French caricaturist. Born Louis-Alexandre Gosset de Guînes at Paris, the son of the Comte de Guînes and Sylvie-Adeline Gosset, he studied at this city’s Academy of Fine Arts. He adopted the pseudonym André Gill in homage to his hero, James Gillray. Gill began illustrating for Le Journal Amusant. Gill, however, became known for his work for the weekly four-sheet newspaper La Lune, edited by Francis Polo, in which he drew portraits for a series entitled The Man of the Day. He worked for La Lune from 1865 to 1868. When La Lune was banned, he worked for the periodical L’Éclipse from 1868 to 1876. Gill also drew for famous periodical Le Charivari
Henri Avelot (1873-1935).
worked as a writer, artist, caricaturist and illustrator, mainly for publisher Laurens. His first assignment was making illustrations for Marius Bernard’s opera ’Autour de la Mediterranée’, published in book format by Laurens between 1892 and 1902. In 1893-94 and again in 1896-97, on the occasion of the Olympic Games, Avelot travelled through Greece and the mid-Orient with his friends Raymond, Joseph and Georges de la Nezière.and many Absinthe poster are from him
Albert Maignan (14 Oct 1845- 29 Sept 1908)
(b Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, 14 Oct 1845; d Saint-Prix, 29 Sept 1908). French painter, illustrator and designer. In 1864 he left the Sarthe for Paris to study law. His studies did not prevent him from developing his gift for drawing and painting: he sketched views of Paris, copied works in the Louvre and entered the studio of Jules Noël in 1865. Having gained his law degree in 1866, Maignan was finally able to devote himself to painting. The following year his work was accepted by the Salon des Artistes Français, where he exhibited fairly regularly all his life. In 1869 he entered the studio of Evariste Luminais, keeping company with the group of artists brought together by Eugène Isabey.
Eugène Louis Gabriel Isabey (22 July 1803 – 27 April 1886)
was a French painter, draftsman, and printmaker.
Jules Achille Noël (1815–1881)
was a French maritime painter, known for his depiction of seascapes and naval scenes
Alfred de Musset (1810 – 1857)
was a French dramatist, poet, and novelist.De Musset, a chess player and absinthe drinker, was a member of the prestigious Académie Française. The remark was made to the secretary of the Académie that Musset missed the dictionary sessions rather often. The secretary replied, “ You mean to say that he is often absinthe!”
Mary Shelley (1797 – 1851)
Perhaps the earliest, and youngest, of absinthe’s literary immortals was Percy Bysshe Shelley’s fiancee Mary, who in 1816, at the age of nineteen, was a house guest at the Lake Geneva villa of Lord Byron. Inclement weather forced the festivities indoors, where the party whiled away the hours drinking absinthe and telling ghost stories. Mary, inspired by the company, and perhaps even more by the absinthe, produced “Frankenstein”.
Ernest Dowson (1867 – 1900)
English poet, novelist and writer of short stories, associated with the Decadent movement.
Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885)
French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France.
Marie Corelli (1855-1924)
Marie Corelli (real name ”Mary Mackay”) was probably born somewhere in London in May of 1855, daughter of Charles Mackay, a Scottish poet and song writer. Despite the savage attacks of critics, her books often broke sales records. She was the only author invited to the coronation of Edward VII, and counted among her friends Mark Twain, Ouida, the Empress Frederick of Germany, and many other writers and members of royalty. Her books are imaginative, philosophical and mystical. She took it upon herself to cure the world of all it’s social ills. Among her best works are Thelma (1887), Wormwood (1890), Barabbas (1893), The Sorrows of Satan (1895) and a few more. Most interesting for us here, is Wormwood. Written to scare the brittish from enjoying absinthe, as did the french. Reading it makes one wonder if she wasn’t drinking it herself!
by Marie Corelli, 1890 ”Let me be mad …mad with the madness of Absinthe,the wildest, most luxurious madness in the world.”
Gustave-Henri Jossot (1866 – 1951)
Gustave-Henri Jossot, also known as Abdul Karim Jossot (Dijon, France, April 16, 1866-Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia, April 7, 1951), was a French caricaturist, illustrator, poster designer, Orientalist painter, writer and thinker.
Jossot started his career under the guidance of Jean Paul Laurens and Eugène Carrière. His style as a cartoonist is immediately recognizable for its expressive reference to the cloisonism introduced by Emile Bernard. He travelled in Brittany and may have been influenced by the Pont-Aven school. He is mainly remembered for the mark he left on several special issues of Paris journals, most notably l’Assiette au beurre, contributors to which included Kees Van Dongen, Félix Vallotton, František Kupka, Steinlen, Adolphe Willette, and Jacques Villon. Much of his work lampooned the bourgeoisie, as can be seen from the titles of the illustrated books he produced: Artistes et Bourgeois (Paris: Louis Michaud 1896); Jockey-Club Sardines (1897); Minces de trognes (Paris: Hazard, 1896); Viande de Bourgeois (Paris: Louis Michaud, 1906). His work was shown at several major collective exhibitions in Paris: Salon des Cent (1894, 1895) Salon de la Société Nationale de Beaux Arts (1895); Salon d’Automne (1908, 1909, 1911); Salon des Indépendants (1894, 1896, 1910, 1911, 1921). His big exhibition in the Rudolphinum Muséum established his international stature in 1908, then in the Salon Tunisien of 1912. Although Jossot often said he had stopped all his artistics activities, he was still sending his works to the Salon Tunisien the day of his death. At public auction in New York (June 12, 1980) a painting of Jossot’s was sold with the remarkable title ”Anti Nabis” (ref: Bénézit 1999). This work, dated 1894, refers to Les Nabis, an important influence at the time. Jossot was branded an anarchist, which he denied. Although he was never a militant, he was certainly an acid critic of the social and political systems of his time.
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (December 15, 1832 – December 27, 1923)
was a French structural engineer from the École Centrale Paris, an architect, an entrepreneur and a specialist of metallic structures. He is acclaimed for designing the world-famous Eiffel Tower, built 1887–1889 for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, France. Notable among his other works is the armature for the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, United States. His Germanic surname was later changed to Eiffel, a sobriquet an ancestor acquired after emigrating, at the beginning of the XVIII century, from the German Eifel region (in Marmagen). During his youth, the two strongest influences on Eiffel were two successful chemists, his uncles Jean-Baptiste Mollerat and Michel Perret. Both men spent a lot of time with young Eiffel, teaching him everything from chemistry and mining to religion and philosophy. Eiffel was extremely clever, but not very studious. While attending high school at Lycée Royal, Eiffel felt that the classes were a waste of time. It was not until his last two years that Eiffel found his niche; not in engineering, but in history and literature. Eiffel’s study habits improved and he graduated with a degree in both science and humanities. Eiffel went on to attend college at Sainte Barbe College in Paris, in order to prepare for the difficult entrance exams into the most prestigious engineering institutions in France. Ultimately, Eiffel attended the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris where he studied chemistry, receiving the equivalent of a Master of Science degree in 1855. The ”École Centrale” was a liberal private school that is now known as one of the top engineering schools in Europe. His mother’s coal business provided ample income for the family and provided the funds for Gustave to receive his university education. The year 1855 was the year that Paris hosted the first World’s Fair. After graduation, Eiffel’s uncle offered him a job at his vinegar works in Dijon, France. However, a family dispute removed that opportunity, and Eiffel soon accepted entry-level employment with a company that designed railway bridges. He has designed his own absinthe spoon is still known up to this days
Link to the Eiffel Absinthe spoon
Georges de Feure (6 September 1868 – 26 November 1943)
(real name Georges Joseph van Sluÿters, was a French painter, theatrical designer, and industrial art designer in the symbolism and Art Nouveau styles. De Feure was born in Paris. His father was an affluent Dutch architect, and his mother was Belgian. De Feure had two sons, Jean Corneille and Pierre Louis, in the early 1890s with his mistress Pauline Domec and a daughter with his first wife Marguerite Guibert (married 7 July 1897). In 1886, de Feure was one of the eleven students admitted at the Rijkscademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, which he did however leave very quickly for Paris since he felt that formal academic training had nothing to offer him. Being of very independent nature, de Feure never again took up formal artistic studies, and forged his own independent path. He was however influenced by Jules Chéret in his posters for the café concert but most likely was never his pupil and became the key designer of Siegfried Bing for L’Art Nouveau. He showed work in the Exposition Universelle de Paris exhibition in 1900. He designed furniture, worked for newspapers, created theater designs for Le Chat Noir cabaret and posters. In August 1901, de Feure was nominated Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur for his contribution to the decorative arts. He died in poverty at the age of 75 years in Paris.
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925)
He signed his name Erik Satie after 1884) was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd. An eccentric, Satie was introduced as a ”gymnopedist” in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a ”phonometrician” (meaning ”someone who measures sounds”) preferring this designation to that of a ”musician”, after having been called ”a clumsy but subtle technician” in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911. In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American top culture chronicle Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings. Satie was the son of Alfred Satie, and his wife Jane Leslie (née Anton) who was born in London to Scottish parents. Erik was born at Honfleur in Normandy; his home there is open to the public. When Satie was four years old, his family moved to Paris, his father having been offered a translator’s job in the capital. After his mother’s death in 1872, he was sent, together with his younger brother Conrad, back to Honfleur, to live with his paternal grandparents. There he received his first music lessons from a local organist. When his grandmother died in 1878, the two brothers were reunited with their father in Paris, who remarried (a piano teacher) shortly afterwards. From the early 1880s onwards, Alfred Satie started publishing salon compositions. by his step-mother and himself, among others. In 1879 Satie entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he was soon labelled untalented by his teachers. Georges Mathias, his professor of piano at the Conservatoire, described his pupil’s piano technique in flatly negative terms, ”insignificant and laborious” and ”worthless”. Émile Descombes called him ”the laziest student in the Conservatoire”. Years later Satie related that Mathias, with great insistence, told him that his real talent lay in composing. After being sent home for two and a half years, he was readmitted to the Conservatoire at the end of 1885, but was unable to make a much more favourable impression on his teachers than he had before, and, as a result, resolved to take up military service a year later. However, Satie’s military career did not last very long; within a few weeks he left the army through deceptive means. In 1887 Satie left home to take lodgings in Montmartre. By this time he had started what was to be an enduring friendship with the romantic poet Patrice Contamine, and had had his first compositions published by his father. He soon integrated with the artistic clientele of the Le Chat Noir Café-cabaret, and started publishing his Gymnopédies. Publication of compositions in the same vein (Ogives, Gnossiennes, etc.) followed. In the same period he befriended Claude Debussy. He moved to a smaller room, still in Montmartre (rue Cortot N° 6), in 1890. By 1891 he was the official composer and chapel-master of the Rosicrucian Order ”Ordre de la Rose-Croix Catholique, du Temple et du Graal”, led by Sâr Joséphin Péladan, which led to compositions such as Salut drapeau!, Le fils des étoiles, and the Sonneries de la Rose+Croix. By mid-1892 he had composed the first pieces in a compositional system of his own making (Fête donnée par des Chevaliers Normands en l’honneur d’une jeune demoiselle), had provided incidental music to a chivalric esoteric play (two Prélude du Nazaréen), had had his first hoax published (announcing the premiere of Le bâtard de Tristan, an anti-Wagnerian opera he probably never composed), and had broken with Péladan, starting that autumn with the Uspud project, a ”Christian Ballet”, in collaboration with Contamine de Latour. While the comrades from both the Chat Noir and Miguel Utrillo’s Auberge du Clou sympathised, a promotional brochure was produced for the project, which reads as a pamphlet for a new esoteric sect. In 1893 he met the young Maurice Ravel for the first time, Satie’s style emerging in the first compositions of the youngster. One of Satie’s own compositions of that period, the Vexations, was to remain undisclosed until after his death. By the end of the year he had founded the Eglise Métropolitaine d’Art de Jésus Conducteur (the Metropolitan Church of Art of the Leading Christ). As its only member, in the role of ”Parcier et Maître de Chapelle” he started to compose a Grande messe (later to become known as the Messe des pauvres), and wrote a flood of letters, articles and pamphlets showing off his self-assuredness in religious and artistic matters. To give an example: he applied for membership of the Académie Française twice, leaving no doubt in the application letter that the board of that organisation (presided by Camille Saint-Saëns) as much as owed him such membership. Such proceedings without doubt rather helped to wreck his popularity in the cultural establishment. In 1895 he inherited some money, allowing him to have more of his writings printed, and to change from wearing a priest-like habit to being the ”Velvet Gentleman” By mid-1896 all of Satie’s financial means had vanished, and he had to move to cheaper and much smaller lodgings, first at the Rue Cortot, and two years later, after he’d composed the two first sets of Pièces froides in 1897, to Arcueil, a suburb some five kilometres from the centre of Paris. During this period he re-established contact with his brother Conrad for numerous practical and financial matters, disclosing some of his inner feelings in the process. The letters to Conrad made it clear that he had set aside any religious ideas. From 1899 on Satie started making money as a cabaret pianist, adapting over a hundred compositions of popular music for piano or piano and voice, adding some of his own. The most popular of these were Je te veux, text by Henry Pacory; Tendrement, text by Vincent Hyspa; Poudre d’or, a waltz; La diva de l’”Empire”, text by Dominique Bonnaud/Numa Blès; Le Picadilly, a march; Légende californienne, text by Contamine de Latour lost, but the music later reappears in La belle excentrique; and many more, many of which have been lost. In his later years Satie would reject all his cabaret music as vile and against his nature, but for the time being, it was an income. Only a few compositions that Satie took seriously remain from this period: Jack-in-the-box, music to a pantomime by Jules Dépaquit (called a ”clownerie” by Satie), Geneviève de Brabant, a short comic opera on a serious theme, text by Lord Cheminot, The Dreamy Fish, piano music to accompany a lost tale by Lord Cheminot, and a few others that were mostly incomplete, hardly any of them staged, and none of them published at the time. Both Geneviève de Brabant and The Dreamy Fish have been analysed by Ornella Volta as containing elements of competition with Claude Debussy, of which Debussy was probably not aware, Satie not making this music public. Meanwhile, Debussy was having one of his first major successes with Pelléas et Mélisande in 1902, leading a few years later to ‘who-was-precursor-to-whom’ debates between the two composers, in which Maurice Ravel would also get involved. In October 1905 Satie enrolled in Vincent d’Indy’s Schola Cantorum de Paris to study classical counterpoint while still continuing his cabaret work. Most of his friends were as dumbfounded as the professors at the Schola when they heard about his new plan to return to the classrooms, especially as d’Indy was an admiring pupil of Saint-Saëns, not particularly favoured by Satie. Satie would follow these courses at the Schola, as a respected pupil, for more than five years, receiving a first (intermediate) diploma in 1908. Some of his classroom counterpoint-exercises, such as the Désespoir agréable, were published after his death. Another summary, of the period prior to the Schola, also appeared in 1911: the Trois morceaux en forme de poire, which was a kind of compilation of the best of what he had written up to 1903. Something that becomes clear through these published compilations is that Satie did not so much reject Romanticism and its exponents like Wagner, but that he rejected certain aspects of it. From his first composition to his last, he rejected the idea of musical development, in the strict definition of this term: the intertwining of different themes in a development section of a sonata form. As a result, his contrapuntal and other works were very short; the ”new, modern” Fugues do not extend further than the exposition of the theme(s). Generally, he would say that he did not think it permitted that a composer take more time from his public than strictly necessary. Also Melodrama, in its historical meaning of the then popular romantic genre of ”spoken words to a background of music”, was something Satie avoided. His 1913 Le piège de Méduse could be seen as an absurdistic spoof of that genre.
In the meantime, other changes had also taken place: Satie had become a member of a radical socialist party, and had socialised with the Arcueil community: Amongst other things, he’d been involved in the ”Patronage laïque” work for children. He also changed his appearance to that of the ’bourgeois functionary’ with bowler hat, umbrella, etc. He channelled his medieval interests into a peculiar secret hobby: In a filing cabinet he maintained a collection of imaginary buildings, most of them described as being made out of some kind of metal, which he drew on little cards. Occasionally, extending the game, he would publish anonymous small announcements in local journals, offering some of these buildings, e.g. a ”castle in lead”, for sale or rent. Starting in 1912, Satie’s new humorous miniatures for piano became very successful, and he wrote and published many of these over the next few years (most of them premiered by the pianist Ricardo Viñes). His habit of accompanying the scores of his compositions with all kinds of written remarks was now well established so that a few years later he had to insist that these not be read out during performances. He had mostly stopped using barlines by this time. In some ways these compositions were very reminiscent[according to whom?] of Rossini’s compositions from the final years of his life, grouped under the name Péchés de vieillesse.
However the acceleration in Satie’s life did not come so much from the success of his new piano pieces; it was Ravel who inadvertently triggered the characteristics of Satie’s remaining years and thus influenced the successive progressive artistic and cultural movements that rapidly manifested themselves in Paris over the following years. Paris was seen as the artistic capital of the world, and the beginning of the new century appeared to have set many minds on fire. In 1910 the ”Jeunes Ravêlites”, a group of young musicians around Ravel, proclaimed their preference for Satie’s earlier work from before the Schola period, reinforcing the idea that Satie had been a precursor of Debussy.
At first Satie was pleased that at least some of his works were receiving public attention, but when he realised that this meant that his more recent work was overlooked or dismissed, he looked for other young artists who related better to his more recent ideas, so as to have better mutual support in creative activity. Thus young artists such as Roland-Manuel, and later Georges Auric, and Jean Cocteau, started to receive more of his attention than the ”Jeunes”.
As a result of his contact with Roland-Manuel, Satie again began publicising his thoughts, with far more irony than he had done before (amongst other things, the Mémoires d’un amnésique and Cahiers d’un mammifère).
With Jean Cocteau, whom he had first met in 1915, Satie started work on incidental music for a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (resulting in the Cinq grimaces). From 1916, he and Cocteau worked on the ballet Parade, which was premiered in 1917 by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets russes, with sets and costumes by Pablo Picasso, and choreography by Léonide Massine. Through Picasso Satie also became acquainted with other cubists, such as Georges Braque, with whom he would work on other, aborted, projects. With Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, and Germaine Tailleferre Satie formed the Nouveaux jeunes, shortly after writing Parade. Later the group was joined by Francis Poulenc and Darius Milhaud. In September 1918, Satie – giving little or no explanation – withdrew from the Nouveaux jeunes. Jean Cocteau gathered the six remaining members, forming the Groupe des six (to which Satie would later have access, but later again would fall out with most of its members). From 1919 Satie was in contact with Tristan Tzara, the initiator of the Dada movement. He became acquainted with other artists involved in the movement, such as Francis Picabia (later to become a Surrealist), André Derain, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Hugo and Man Ray, among others. On the day of his first meeting with Man Ray, the two fabricated the artist’s first readymade: The Gift (1921). Satie contributed writing to the Dadaist publication 391. In the first months of 1922 he was surprised to find himself entangled in the argument between Tzara and André Breton about the true nature of avant-garde art, epitomised by the failure of the Congrès de Paris. Satie originally sides with Tzara, but manages to maintain friendly relations with most players in both camps. Meanwhile, an ”Ecole d’Arcueil” had formed around Satie, with young musicians like Henri Sauguet, Maxime Jacob, Roger Désormière and Henri Cliquet-Pleyel. Finally he composed an ”instantaneist” ballet (Relâche) in collaboration with Picabia, for the Ballets Suédois of Rolf de Maré. In a simultaneous project, Satie added music to the surrealist film Entr’acte by René Clair, which was given as an intermezzo for Relâche. Satie and Suzanne Valadon, an artists’ model and artist in her own right, and a long-time friend of Miguel Utrillo (and mother of Maurice Utrillo), began an affair early in 1893. After their first night together, he proposed marriage. The two did not marry, but Valadon moved to a room next to Satie’s at the Rue Cortot. Satie became obsessed with her, calling her his Biqui, and writing impassioned notes about ”her whole being, lovely eyes, gentle hands, and tiny feet”. During their relationship, Satie composed the Danses gothiques as a kind of prayer to restore peace of mind, and Valadon painted a portrait of Satie, which she gave to him. After six months she moved away, leaving Satie broken-hearted. Afterwards, he said that he was left with ”nothing but an icy loneliness that fills the head with emptiness and the heart with sadness”. It is believed this was the only intimate relationship Satie ever had. After years of heavy drinking, Satie died on 1 July 1925, from cirrhosis of the liver. At the time of his death no one else had ever entered his room in Arcueil since he had moved there 27 years earlier. After his burial, Satie’s friends discovered compositions that were totally unknown or which were thought to have been lost. These were found behind the piano, in the pockets of the velvet suits, and in other odd places, and included the Vexations, Geneviève de Brabant, and other unpublished or unfinished stage works, The Dreamy Fish, many Schola Cantorum exercises, a previously unseen set of ”canine” piano pieces, and several other piano works, many untitled. Some of these works would be published later as more Gnossiennes, Pièces froides, Enfantines, and Furniture music.
Alphonse Allais (20 October 1854 – 28 October 1905)
was a French writer and humorist born in Honfleur, Calvados.
He is the author of many collections of whimsical writings. A poet as much as a humorist, he in particular cultivated the verse form known as holorhyme, i.e. made up entirely of homophonous verses, where entire lines rhyme. For example:
ar les bois du djinn où s’entasse de l’effroi,
parle et bois du gin ou cent tasses de lait froid.
Allais is also credited with the earliest known example of a completely silent musical composition. Composed in 1897, his Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man — consisting of nine blank measures—predates comparable works by John Cage and Erwin Schulhoff by a considerable margin. His piece ”Story for Sara” was translated and illustrated by Edward Gorey. Allais participated in humorous exhibitions, particularly in those of the Salon des Arts Incohérents of 1883 and 1884, held at the Galerie Vivienne. At these Allais exhibited arguably the earliest examples of Conceptual Art. Of his art, perhaps the most influential were his plain white sheet of Bristol paper Première communion de jeunes filles chlorotiques par un temps de neige (First Communion of Anaemic Young Girls In The Snow) (1883), and a similar red work Apoplectic Cardinals Harvesting Tomatoes on the Shore of the Red Sea (Study of the Aurora Borealis) (1884).
Aristide Bruant (6 May 1851 – 10 February 1925)
was a French cabaret singer, comedian, and nightclub owner. He is best known as the man in the red scarf and black cape featured on certain famous posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He has also been credited as the creator of the chanson réaliste musical genre. Born Louis Armand Aristide Bruand in the village of Courtenay, Loiret in France, Bruant left his home in 1866 at age fifteen, following his father’s death, to find employment. Making his way to the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, he hung out in the working-class bistros, where he finally was given an opportunity to show his musical talents. Although bourgeois by birth, he soon adopted the earthy language of his haunts, turning it into songs that told of the struggles of the poor. Bruant began performing at cafe-concerts and developed a singing and comedy act that led to his being signed to appear at the Le Chat Noir club. Dressed in a red shirt, black velvet jacket, high boots, and a long red scarf, and using the stage name Aristide Bruant, he soon became a star of Montmartre, and when Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec began showing up at the cabarets and clubs, Bruant became one of the artist’s first friends. In 1885, Bruant opened his own Montmartre club, a place he called ”Le Mirliton”. Although he hired other acts, Bruant put on a singing performance of his own. As the master of ceremonies for the various acts, he used the comedy of the insult to poke fun at the club’s upper-crust guests who were out ”slumming” in Montmartre. His vaudeville-inspired mix of song, satire and entertainment developed into the musical genre called chanson réaliste (realist song). Bruant died in Paris and was buried in the cimetière de Subligny, near his birthplace in the département of Loiret. A street in Paris was named in his honor.
Jean-Baptiste-Théodore-Marie Botrel (14 September 1868 – 28 July 1925)
was a French singer-songwriter, poet and playwright. He is best known for his popular songs about his native Brittany, of which the most famous is La Paimpolaise. During World War I he became France’s official ”Bard of the Armies”.
Botrel attracted the attention of Caran d’Ache and the intellectual coterie associated with the Le Chat Noir club, though he most often performed at the rival Le Chien-Noir club. With the support of Parisian intellectuals a collection of Botrel’s songs was published as Chansons de chez nous (Songs Bretonnes) in 1898, with a preface by the Breton folklorist Anatole Le Braz.The book was highly praised and was awarded a prize by the Académie française. Edmond Rostand wrote, ”les adorable chansons de Botrel font pousser des genêts quand ou les chante”. François Coppée said ”While I read Botrel’s verses…I compare myself to a sick man dragging his walking stick along the suburb of a city and stopping now and then to listen to the young voices of the children singing. Ah, Botrel’s voice is high and true and clear!. Botrel gave up his day job to become a professional singer-songwriter. When not performing in Paris, he lived in Brittany, initially taking a house in Port-Blanc, then moving permanently to Pont-Aven. He edited the journal of popular verse La Bonne Chanson and in 1905 founded the Fête des Fleurs d’Ajonc (Gorse Flower festival) in Pont-Aven, the first of the music festivals that have since become common in Brittany. In 1909 he established a permanent monument to Breton writer Auguste Brizeux in Pont-Aven. In addition to songwriting, Botrel tried his hand at drama, writing and performing in a number of plays, including an original Sherlock Holmes story, Le Mystere de Kéravel, in which the detective solves a murder while travelling incognito in Brittany. His wife Léna often sang duets with him, and regularly appeared in publicity images with him in traditional Breton costume (though in fact she was from Luxembourg). She also co-wrote some songs. Botrel’s friend Émile Hamonic created number of photographic tableaux representing the scenes and stories of his songs and plays, which were widely sold and circulated as postcards with Botrel’s signature. Botrel, Léna and friends including François Jaffrennou often played the roles. Botrel also became involved in the burgeoning Pan-Celticist movement. In 1904 he and Léna attended the Pan-Celtic Congress in Caernarfon as Breton representatives. Botrel was politically conservative, a Royalist and a devout Roman Catholic. Many of his later songs celebrated these values, and appealed to popular patriotism. The song Le Mouchoir rouge de Cholet (The Red Handkerchief of Cholet) is about a soldier in the Chouannerie, the Royalist Catholic rebellion against the French Revolution, who buys the handkerchief for his girl. It inspired a local manufacturer to create red Cholet handkerchiefs, the popularity of which boosted the local textile industry.
Paul Signac (11 November 1863 – 15 August 1935)
was a French neo-impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the pointillist style.
He followed a course of training in architecture before deciding at the age of 18 to pursue a career as a painter. He sailed around the coasts of Europe, painting the landscapes he encountered. He also painted scenes of cities in France in his later years. In 1884 he met Claude Monet and Georges Seurat. He was struck by the systematic working methods of Seurat and by his theory of colours and became Seurat’s faithful supporter. Under his influence he abandoned the short brushstrokes of impressionism to experiment with scientifically juxtaposed small dots of pure colour, intended to combine and blend not on the canvas but in the viewer’s eye, the defining feature of pointillism. Many of Signac’s paintings are of the French coast. He loved to paint the water. He left the capital each summer, to stay in the south of France in the village of Collioure or at St. Tropez, where he bought a house and invited his friends. In 1886 Signac met Vincent van Gogh in Paris. In 1887 the two artists regularly went to Asnières-sur-Seine together, where they painted such subjects as river landscapes and cafés. Initially, Van Gogh chiefly admired Signac’s loose painting technique. In March 1889, Signac visited Vincent van Gogh at Arles. The next year he made a short trip to Italy, seeing Genoa, Florence, and Naples. Signac loved sailing and began to travel in 1892, sailing a small boat to almost all the ports of France, to Holland, and around the Mediterranean as far as Constantinople, basing his boat at St. Tropez, which he ”discovered”. From his various ports of call, Signac brought back vibrant, colourful watercolors, sketched rapidly from nature. From these sketches, he painted large studio canvases that are carefully worked out in small, mosaic-like squares of color, quite different from the tiny, variegated dots previously used by Seurat. Signac himself experimented with various media. As well as oil paintings and watercolours he made etchings, lithographs, and many pen-and-ink sketches composed of small, laborious dots. The neo-impressionists influenced the next generation: Signac inspired Henri Matisse and André Derain in particular, thus playing a decisive role in the evolution of Fauvism. As president of the Société des Artistes Indépendants from 1908 until his death, Signac encouraged younger artists (he was the first to buy a painting by Matisse) by exhibiting the controversial works of the Fauves and the Cubists. Signac served as a juror with Florence Meyer Blumenthal in awarding the Prix Blumenthal, a grant given between 1919-1954 to painters, sculptors, decorators, engravers, writers, and musicians.
Yvette Guilbert (20 January 1865 – 3 February 1944)
was a French cabaret singer and actress of the Belle Époque.Emma Laure Esther Guilbert, Guilbert began singing as a child but at age sixteen worked as a model at the Printemps department store in Paris. She was discovered by a journalist. She took voice and acting lessons on the side that by 1886 led to appearances on stage at smaller venues. Guilbert debuted at the Variette Theatre in 1888. She eventually sang at the popular Eldorado club, then at the Jardin de Paris before headlining in Montmartre at the Moulin Rouge in 1890. The English painter William Rothenstein described this performance in his first volume of memoirs:
”One evening Lautrec came up to the rue Ravignan to tell us about a new singer, a friend of Xanrof, who was to appear at the Moulin Rouge for the first time… We went; a young girl appeared, of virginal aspect, slender, pale, without rouge. Her songs were not virginal – on the contrary; but the frequenters of the Moulin were not easily frightened; they stared bewildered at this novel association of innocence with Xanrof’s horrific double entente; stared, stayed and broke into delighted applause.”
For her act, she was usually dressed in bright yellow with long black gloves and stood almost perfectly still, gesturing with her long arms as she sang. An innovator, she favored monologue-like ”patter songs” (as they came to be called) and was often billed as a ”diseuse” or ”sayer.” The lyrics (some of them her own) were raunchy; their subjects were tragedy, lost love, and the Parisian poverty from which she had come. During the 1890s she appeared regularly alongside another star of the time, Kam-Hill, often singing songs by Tarride. Taking her cue from the new cabaret performances, Guilbert broke and rewrote all the rules of music-hall with her audacious lyrics, and the audiences loved her. She was noted in France, England, and the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century for her songs and imitations of the common people of France. She was a favorite subject of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who made many portraits and caricatures of Guilbert and dedicated his second album of sketches to her. Sigmund Freud attended performances, including one in Vienna, and called her a favorite singer. George Bernard Shaw wrote a review highlighting her novelty.
Guilbert made successful tours of England and Germany, and the United States in 1895–1896. She performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Even in her fifties, her name still had drawing power and she appeared in several silent films (including a star turn in Murnau’s Faust). She also appeared in talkies, including a role with friend, Sacha Guitry. Her recordings for Le Voix de Son Maitre include the famous ”Le Fiacre” as well as some of her own compositions such as ”Madame Arthur.” She accompanied herself on piano for some numbers. She once gave a performance for King Edward VII, the Prince of Wales at a private party on the French Riviera. Hostesses vied to have her at their parties.
In later years, Guilbert turned to writing about the Belle Époque and in 1902 two of her novels were published. In the 1920’s there appeared her instructional book L’art de chanter une chanson (How to Sing a Song). She also conducted schools for young girls in New York and Paris. Guilbert became a respected authority on her country’s medieval folklore and on 9 July 1932 was awarded the Legion of Honor as the Ambassadress of French Song. Yvette Guilbert died in 1944, aged 79. She was interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Johan August Strindberg (22 January 1849 – 14 May 1912)
was a Swedish playwright, novelist, and essayist. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg’s career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography, history, cultural analysis, and politics. A bold experimenter and iconoclast throughout, he explored a wide range of dramatic methods and purposes, from naturalistic tragedy, monodrama, and history plays, to his anticipations of expressionist and surrealist dramatic techniques. From his earliest work, Strindberg developed forms of dramatic action, language, and visual composition so innovative that many were to become technically possible to stage only with the advent of film. He is considered the ”father” of modern Swedish literature and his The Red Room (1879) has frequently been described as the first modern Swedish novel. The Royal Theatre rejected his first major play, Master Olof, in 1872; it was not until 1881, at the age of 32, that its première at the New Theatre gave him his theatrical breakthrough. In his plays The Father (1887), Miss Julie (1888), and Creditors (1889), he created naturalistic dramas that—building on the established accomplishments of Henrik Ibsen’s prose problem plays while rejecting their use of the structure of the well-made play—responded to the call-to-arms of Émile Zola’s manifesto ”Naturalism in the Theatre” (1881) and the example set by André Antoine’s newly-established Théâtre Libre (opened 1887). In Miss Julie, characterisation replaces plot as the predominant dramatic element (in contrast to melodrama and the well-made play) and the determining role of heredity and the environment on the ”vacillating, disintegrated” characters is emphasised. Strindberg modelled his short-lived Scandinavian Experimental Theatre (1889) in Copenhagen on Antoine’s theatre and he explored the theory of Naturalism in his essays ”On Psychic Murder” (1887), ”On Modern Drama and the Modern Theatre” (1889), and a preface to Miss Julie, the last of which is probably the best-known statement of the principles of the theatrical movement. During the 1890s he spent significant time abroad engaged in scientific experiments and studies of the occult. A series of psychotic attacks between 1894 to 1896 (referred to as his ”Inferno crisis”) led to his hospitalisation and return to Sweden. Under the influence of the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg, he resolved after his recovery to become ”the Zola of the Occult.” In 1898 he returned to playwriting with To Damascus, which, like The Great Highway (1909), is a dream-play of spiritual pilgrimage. His A Dream Play (1902)—with its radical attempt to dramatise the workings of the unconscious by means of an abolition of conventional dramatic time and space and the splitting, doubling, merging, and multiplication of its characters—was an important precursor to both expressionism and surrealism.He also returned to writing historical drama, the genre with which he had begun his playwriting career. He helped to run the Intimate Theatre from 1907, a small-scale theatre, modelled on Max Reinhardt’s Kammerspielhaus, that staged his chamber plays (such as The Ghost Sonata).
George Auriol, (26 April 1863 – February 1938)
was a French poet, songwriter, graphic designer, type designer, and Art Nouveau artist. He worked in many media and created illustrations for the covers of magazines, books, and sheet music, as well as other types of work such as monograms and trademarks. After he arrived in Paris in 1883, Auriol was introduced to typography and book design by Eugène Grasset and became particularly interested in the revival of historical type styles. He created his signature typeface Auriol inspired by the Art Nouveau movement for the Deberny & Peignot foundry, which was used in the work of Francis Thibaudeau and other publishers of the period. Auriol was a member of French bohemian culture, a denizen of the Chat Noir (”Black Cat Café”) and long a friend of Erik Satie. Auriol illustrated playbills for André Antoine’s Théâtre Libre and for the Théâtre du Chat Noir (”Black Cat Theater”) in the Montmartre district of Paris, one of which became a popular poster
Eugène Samuel Grasset (25 May 1845 – 23 October 1917)
was a Swiss decorative artist who worked in Paris, France in a variety of creative design fields during the Belle Époque. He is considered a pioneer in Art Nouveau design. Grasset was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, his birth year is sometimes stated as 1841. He was raised in an artistic environment as the son of a cabinet designer/maker and sculptor. He studied drawing under Francois-Louis David Bocion (1828-1890) and in 1861 went to Zurich to study architecture. After completing his education, he visited Egypt, an experience that would later be reflected in a number of his poster designs. He became an admirer of Japanese art which too influenced some of his creative designs. Between 1869 and 1870, Grasset worked as a painter and sculptor in Lausanne but moved to Paris in 1871 where he designed furniture fabrics and tapestries as well as ceramics and jewelry. His fine art decorative pieces were crafted from ivory, gold and other precious materials in unique combinations and his creations are considered a cornerstone of Art Nouveau motifs and patterns. In 1877 Eugène Grasset turned to graphic design, producing income-generating products such as postcards and eventually postage stamps for both France and Switzerland. However, it was poster art that quickly became his forté. Some of his works became part of the Maîtres de l’Affiche including his lithograph, ”Jeanne d’Arc Sarah Bernhardt.” In 1890, he designed the ”Semeuse who spreads seeds of dandelion” logo used by the dictionary publishers, Éditions Larousse. And the logo also gave inspiration to the image of the Yogyakarta Principles. With the growing popularity of French posters in the United States, Grasset was soon contacted by several American companies. In the 1880s, he did his first American commission and more success led to his cover design for the 1892 Christmas issue of Harper’s Magazine. In 1894 Grasset created ”The Wooly Horse” and ”The Sun of Austerlitz” for The Century Magazine to help advertise their serialized story on the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. The ”Wooly Horse” image proved so popular that Louis Comfort Tiffany recreated it in stained glass. Grasset’s work for U.S. institutions helped pave the way for Art Nouveau to dominate American art. At the end of the 19th century, Grasset was hired to teach design at École Guérin (from 1890 to 1903), at École d’Art graphique from Madame street (from 1903 to 1904), at Académie de la Grande Chaumière (from 1904 to 1913) and at École Estienne in Paris. Among his students were: Paul Berthon, Georges Bourgeot, Paul Follot, Marcelle Gaudin, Augusto Giacometti, Arsène Herbinier, Anna Martin, Mathurin Méheut, Juliette Milési, Otto Ernst Schmidt, Auguste Silice, Maurice Pillard Verneuil, Aline Poidevin, Pierre Selmersheim, Tony Selmersheim, Camille Gabriel Schlumberger, Eliseu Visconti, and Philippe Wolfers At the Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris, the G. Peignot et Fils typefoundry, introduced the ”Grasset” typeface, an Italic design Eugène Grasset created in 1898 for use on some of his posters. Eugène Grasset died in 1917 in Sceaux in the Hauts-de-Seine département southwest of Paris.
Francis Thibaudeau (1860 – 1925)
was a French typographer and creater of the first well-established system for classifying typefaces, the Thibaudeau classification. He devised his system while developing the catalogues for the Renault & Marcou and Peignot & Cie foundries in the early 20th century. He worked at Deberny & Peignot from 1921-1925. His book, La lettre d’imprimerie (The Letter of the Printing Office), was printed in Auriol, a typeface designed by its namesake, George Auriol and reflecting typical Art Nouveau design. In this text, he states clearly his patriotic purpose: ”May this work of popularization [...] inspire interest in the nature of the printed letter and then in the art of its use and applications, for the greatest profit of the national industry and the triumph of French art.”
Émile Durand (16 February 1830 – 7 May 1903)
was a French musical theorist, teacher and composer. He was better known for his theoretical writings than for his compositions. Émile Durand was born in 1830, at Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d’Armor), in the Brittany region of France, and moved south with his family to Montpellier when he was 12 years old. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1845 at age 15, in the class of Napoléon Alkan (brother of Charles-Valentin Alkan). François Bazin and Fromental Halévy were among his other noteworthy teachers. In 1853, he won the second Grand Prix de Rome with his cantata Le Rocher d’Appenzell. He joined the conservatoire as a teacher of music theory and harmony, succeeding his own teacher Bazin in 1871. His pupils includes Gabriel Pierné, Claude Debussy, Camille Erlanger and Arthur Goring Thomas. Durand favored writing popular songs (chansons) and art songs (mélodies), although he also produced a few lighter works for stage early in his career, including the opéra-comique L’Elixir de Cormelius in 1868, and the operetta L’Astronome de Pont-Neuf in 1869. He remained attached to the region of his birth throughout his life. As a member of cultural and social groups such as ”The Bretons de Paris,” also called ”La Pomme”, he participated in their Celtic dinners, cultural and musical celebrations. The influence of his musical colleagues Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray, Guy Ropartz, and Louis Tiercelin, members of the Breton Renaissance Movement, is particularly evident in his Chants d’Armorique composed in 1889. At the request of the publisher Leduc, Durand spent the last twenty years of his life writing his major theoretical works for which he is best remembered: Traité d’harmonie théorique et pratique (1881), Traité d’accompagnement pratique au piano (1884) and Traité de composition musicale (1899). Émile Durand died in Neuilly-sur-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine) on 6 or 7 May 1903, and he was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (1 April 1868 – 2 December 1918)
was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism, and is best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac. Rostand’s romantic plays provided an alternative to the naturalistic theatre popular during the late nineteenth century. Another of Rostand’s works, Les Romanesques, was adapted to the musical comedy, The Fantasticks.
His first play, a burlesque, Les romanesques was produced on 21 May 1894 at the Théâtre Français. Another early play, La Princesse Lointaine, was based on the story of the troubadour Rudel and the Lady of Tripoli This play opened on 5 April 1895 at the Théâtre de la Renaissance. The part of Melissande was created by Sarah Bernhardt, who also was the original Photine of La Samaritaine (Theatre de la Renaissance, 14 April 1897), a Biblical drama in three scenes taken from the gospel story of the woman of Samaria. Edmond Rostand, aged 29, at the time of the first performance of Cyrano, 1898 The production of his heroic comedy of Cyrano de Bergerac (28 December 1897, Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin), with Benoît-Constant Coquelin in the title-role, was a triumph. No such enthusiasm for a drama in verse had been known since the days of Hugo’s Hernani. The play was quickly translated into English, German, Russian and other European languages. For his hero he had drawn on French 17th-century history. In L’Aiglon he chose a subject from Napoleonic history, suggested probably by Henri Welschinger’s Roi de Rome, 1811-32 (1897), which contained much new information about the unhappy life of the Duke of Reichstadt, son of Napoleon I, and Marie Louise, under the surveillance of Metternich at the Schönbrunn Palace. L’Aiglon in six acts and in verse, was produced (15 March 1900) by Sarah Bernhardt at her own theatre, she herself undertaking the part of the Duke of Reichstadt. In 1901, Rostand became the youngest writer to be elected to the Académie française. Chantecler, produced in February 1910, was awaited with an interest, enhanced by considerable delay in the production, hardly equaled by the enthusiasm of its reception. Lucien Guitry was in the title role and Mme. Simone played the part of the pheasant, the play being a fantasy of bird and animal life, and the characters denizens of the farmyard and the woods.
André Antoine (31 January 1858 – 19 October 1943)
was a French actor, theatre manager, film director, author, and critic who is considered the inventor of modern mise en scène in France. André Antoine was a clerk at the Paris Gas Utility and worked in the Archer Theatre when he asked to produce a dramtization of a novel by Émile Zola. The amateur group refused it, so he decided to create his own theatre to realize his vision of the proper development of dramatic art. Plaque dedicated to the Théâtre Libre, its actor-director André Antoine, and its performers in Montmartre, Paris Antoine founded the Théâtre Libre in Paris in 1887. His work had enormous influence on the French stage, as well as on similar companies elsewhere in Europe, such as the Independent Theatre Society in London and the Freie Buhne in Germany. Le Théâtre Antoine, boulevard de Strasbourg, Paris
Antoine opposed the traditional teachings of the Paris Conservatory, and focused on a more naturalistic style of acting and staging. In particular, Théâtre Libre productions were inspired by the Meiningen Ensemble of Germany. They performed works by Zola, Becque, Brieux, and plays by contemporary German, Scandinavian, and Russian naturalists. In 1894, Antoine was forced to relenquish the theater due to financial failure, but he went on to form Théâtre Antoine, which followed the traditions established by Théâtre Libre until its demise 10 years later. Plays performed at the Théâtre Libre were often ”thin on plot, dense in social and psychological implication” (Chothia, Andre Antoine). Productions rejected formal acting styles that were prevalent at the time and they built the ”fourth wall.” Despite being proponents of naturalism, they still adhered to some ideas of ”playing for the audience” – there is no evidence that Antoine ever set any chairs facing away from the audience, and the actors still had to make sure that their voices could be heard to the back of the house—so, in a way, their ”naturalism” was really just a higher level of illusion than theatre had been up to that point. In 1894, Antoine gave up the direction of his own theatre, and became connected with the Gymnase, and two years later, with the Odéon theatres. Heavily indebted, he left the Odéon in 1914 and turned to the cinema. Between 1915 and 1922, he directed several films under auspices of the Société cinématographique des auteurs et gens de lettres (”Film Society of Authors and Men of Letters”) of Pierre Decourcelle, adapting literary or dramatic works, such as La Terre (”Earth”), Les Frères corses (”The Corsican Brothers”) and Quatre-vingt-treize (”Ninety-three”). He applied the principles of naturalism to film, giving importance to the scenery, natural elements that actually determine the behavior of the protagonists, and by using non-professional actors who were not tied up in the old forms of theater. For Jean Tulard, his literary reputation and is involved in ”giving the film its sense of nobility”. Influencing film makers like Mercanton, Capellans Hervil and he is ”the true father of neorealism”. Antoine concluded his career as a theatre and film critic beginning in 1919. For twenty years, his commentary was published by L’Information, and more sporadically in Le Journal, Comœdia, and Le Monde illustré. Two volumes of memoirs were published in 1928, and appeared in the journal Théâtre from 1932 to 1933
Marcellin Gilbert Desboutin (26 August 1823-18 February 1902)
born in Cérilly (Allier) on 26 August 1823 and died in Nice on 18 February 1902 , is a painter, engraver and writer French.
Son of Bartholomew Desboutin , the bodyguard of Louis XVIII , and Baroness Anne-Sophie-Dalie Farges Rochefort , he studied at the College Stanislas in Paris and began studying law while writing dramatic works. In 1845 he entered the workshop of the sculptor Louis-Jules Etex at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris , he attended for two years during the painting of Thomas Couture . He then traveled in Britain , in Belgium , the Netherlands and Italy . In 1857 he acquired a large estate near Florence , the ombrellino, where he led a lavish lifestyle and became friends with Edgar Degas .
The War of 1870 interrupted the Theatre is French of Maurice de Saxe, play written in collaboration with Jules Amigues .
In 1873, at the age of fifty years, ruined by speculations, Desboutin moved to Paris , where he met Degas and frequent Edouard Manet at the cafe Guerbois and coffee of the New Athens . Manet, he met Zola . To save his life, he studied printmaking and began a series of dry points while showing his paintings at shows. He participated in the second exhibition of Impressionist paintings with six, including The Streets singer and cellist. He made many portraits of his friends, including Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir , Berthe Morisot , Pierre Puvis de Chavannes , Eugene Labiche , Nina de Villard , Erik Satie , Joséphin Péladan , Edmond and Jules de Goncourt . In 1880, the nostalgia of the sun leads him to settle in Nice, where he remained until 1888. With the discovery, in a villa in Grasse , five compositions Fragonard Marcellin Desboutin performs five wonderful engravings of interpretation: the Surprise, the Rendezvous, the Confidence, the Lover Crowned and Abandoned . Back in Paris, he participated in the founding of the Second National Society of Fine Arts and is celebrating its appointment to the Order of the Legion of Honor, June 8, 1895 with two hundred guests, chaired by Puvis de Chavannes, in one of these restaurants of Montmartre he likes wearing the toast, ”Gentlemen, let’s drink to Manet in painting, in Chabrier’s music, and Villiers Duranty in the literature!” . He returned to Nice in 1896 and worked there until his death in 1902. Writer, Desboutin, besides Maurice of Saxony, is the author of a translation of Don Juan of Byron and a drama performed in the late 1880s, Madame Roland. Desboutin himself posed for Manet, Renoir and Degas, including the famous painting L’Absinthe 1876.
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The Psychedelic Fairy – Absinthe Culture Page is a page with a main purpose to develop and share the Absinthe Culture and Art, inspired by the Green Fairy in the 19th and 20th century and up to this days with a proper foundation. The topics are Myth, Culture, Art, Antiques, Medical use, Herbs. You can see pictures, videos, texts, read notes and many more, also you can post on the page: notes, photos, videos, according to the theme Absinthe Art, History and Culture.
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Absinthe connoisseurs and distiller, Absinthe blog master at Absinthe FM and Absinthe antiques collector
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Absinthe connoisseur and art historian, specialized in the research of psychoactive substances use in the art of all epochs and periods
Ananda is graduated art historian, which right now is working on her masters degree in contemporary art, particularly on the subject: ”The usage of the Psychoactive Substances (Absinthe, Hashish, Hemp, Opium, Psychoactive Mushrooms, Mescaline, LSD etc..).and the process of the artistic creation.She is specialized in the research of psychoactive substances use in the art of all epochs and periods
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Absinthe connoisseurs and Absinthe researcher with 35 years experience following the time of the Absinthe ban in Switzerland in the region of origin the Absinthe source
Shri Krishan Pur was grow up in the Absinthe Region of Switzerland, him was following continually the history, the culture and the rituals of the Absinthe, during the underground times of the Absinthe culture, with a big interest. So him have seen the inner value, the spiritual question and the search for the source and it brings him always back to one matter, the Absinthe, because of this Absinthe culture in the region, many artists, thinkers, philosophers, writers have made their quantum leap and get spiritually richer from it.
Shri Krishan Puri has his own Ashram in Muttenz in Switzerland and he has created The Psychedelic Fairy,multi-cultural space in his home, where people can share their ideas and enjoy in the ambient with nice music and a good glass of Absinthe, Krishans place can be visited every Friday.
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Love and Light
The Psychedelic Fairy
The refinement of Absinthe with Flowers, Herbs and Fruits
The refinement of Absinthe is possible with transparent, clear one Absinthes with 55% to 75% and more, to this Absinthes you can add many herbs and flowers, with this method (Maceration) you will change the colour and also the taste of it. With the green Absinthes it is more difficult and only some herbs will fit to it like liquorice, mint, lemon balm, cinnamon, some citrus fruits. The most transparent Absinthes are good for that use and you need only few tools to do it. First you need a big glass vessel which can be closed tight and leak proof and you have to know Absinthe will vaporize when it is not really good closed. Second you need a good strainer to strain it after you don’t want any of plant parts in it after the process, you also filter it with cotton wool, that you do with a funnel, you close the funnel with the cotton wool and filter it through, that needs time because it will go drop by drop and your Absinthe will be clear again after that process, that is the point and also the goal to have it clear again. Now we go to the next step,and that is the choice of the plants, herbs and flowers for it, they have to be really clean and well sorted. From the flowers you use only the flower petals, you clean all green parts away before you add it to your Absinthe, the measurement is in your hands, more you put in your Absinthe, the result will be more stronger test and colour to and by little amounts the effect will be light in colour and in taste. So I use one 5 litre glass gallon and when I have cleaned my flowers, I will add them to the gallon and fill it up with my chosen Absinthe. I close it perfect and I will put it to a worm place, not more then 25 degree and I will shake it sometimes. The flower have to be there inside so long, that all the colours and tastes will be absorbed in the Absinthe. The sign off the right moment is when you do not have any collar more in the flowers. After this I will strain and filter it with the cotton wool I purify it and fill it to the chosen bottles, the best is when you use real cork and green bottles they protect it from the light. With some ingredients it is also good to have some times a taste of it, to know how strong it is. When it is tasty and nice according to your personal taste you start the filter process. The whole process is called Maceration. There is also one fact to know, that there will be always some little waste of Absinthe because it is not possible to press all Absinthe out of the herbs during the maceration. Keep always a bottle of your chosen Absinthe on side to balance the wastage. The flower and herbs can be used fresh and dry, fresh flowers gives always more colour to your Absinthe and herbs are more stronger in taste.
Here is a list of flowers and other ingredients which you can use for the Absinthe refinement:
Common Lavender, Woodruff (sweet Woodruff), Chamomile, Hibiscus, Rose, Viola (Viola odorata), Calendula (Field marigold), Echinacea (purpurea ’Maxima’), Primula (Cowslip. Primula officinalis), Saffron, Saffron is poisoning in high doses do not use it more then 5 grams per litre!
Advise taste sometime the Absinthe, the taste will let you know when it is reddy. Some of the herbs are very strong and it will be already good after one night in it. You will recognise that even when you have them in your hands how strong they are! according to that you make the dose.
Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, Mint, Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Juniper (Juniperus), Salvia, Basil, Garden Angelica (Angelica archangelica),
The Roots and Woods:
Cinnamon, Glove, Vanilla, Liquorice first crush it little before use. Calamus (Acorus calamus), not more then 250 grams per 1litre in powder. Warning it contains Asaron and Eugenol, it can be Hallucinogen. Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), use only little of it, warning it contains (Myristicin) and it can be Hallucinogen !
Bitter orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin orange. In that case you only use the skin and also according to your personal taste you choice the amount, you have to cut the fruits skin on small pieces and dry them little, maximum to be dried is 50% not more. Then after you start the process. Also here some times you taste it to know how strong is the flavour. According to your personal taste you start the filter process.
All this herbs and ingredients can be seen in the album: ”Herbs and ingredients which can be used in Absinthe production” in which is also posted a link on every photo, for better understanding of the effects and the purposes of the herb. So you can be sure that you don’t poison yourself.
Love and Light
Shri Krishan Puri
The use of Syrups in combination with Absinthe
The use of the Syrups in combination with Absinthe is one culinary highlight. Real syrup lover will produce his own syrup. For that you need 2 kg. sugar and 1 litre water, mix the whole thing together, that is the base to produce syrup. You can add many flowers and herbs to it. After adding, flowers or herbs to it, you boil all three of them together so long that the taste is absorbed to the sugar water, after that you strain it through a cotton or through a very thigh strainer. The goal is to have not any plant/fruit parts in it. After the cooking process you fill it hot to your chosen bottles, fill it always to the top when it is still hot and close it immediately and don’t let remain air in the bottle it can grow mold on it. For making syrup it can be used mint, lemon balm, black currant (Ribes nigrum), rose, wild berries, citrus fruits, flowers, roots and many more according to the personal taste.
Note: Herbs and ingredients which can be used in syrup production can be seen here on that link.
The use of syrup works like this:
1. You put one amount of syrup in your Absinthe glass.
2. Add your dose of Absinthe on it.
3. Let the ice water slowly drop into your glass.
4. You will have two layers, the top one is the Absinthe and the bottom one is the syrup.
5. Stir it and Cheers
In the use with syrup the sugar cube is not needed.
My favourite syrup is the one made from fresh mint plant.
Love and Light
Shri Krishan Puri
The influence of Absinthe into the artistic world, presented with pictures can be seen in the Album of the group admin Ananda, she will upload many artist in her album. I recommend to visit her album, which right now is still in process, there will be in future a big collection of art work inside with included explanations about all that artistic world inspired from the Absinthe Fairy. Ananda is graduated art historian, which right now is working on her masters degree in contemporary art, particularly on the subject: ”The usage of the Psychoactive Substances (Absinthe, Hashish, Hemp, Opium, Psychoactive Mushrooms, Mescaline, LSD etc.) and the process of the artistic creation”. Visit her link: http://www.alandia.de/absinthe-community/members/Ananda.Jasmina/album/
Love and Light
Shri Krishan Puri
My friends I want to give you a good advise for collecting Absinthe.
Absinthe collecting is new, its starts actualy with the legalization of the Absinthe in 1998. Each beginner collects rarities, now it is a good time to choice high class brands and top producers, now we are in 2011 so most of the products are already 13 years old. The choice should be always on Absinthe brands with natural ingredients and closed with a natural cork. You have to inform yourself always well, before you buy some product for your collecton, that is the most important point, only such Absinthes with the natural ingredients are valuable in future and for the collectors. Be always aware also of some special editions they are mostly only once produced. They are more valuable for collectors and connoisseurs.
1. Buy always more bottles then you need and store it in a good place without light and with constant temperature around 8 degree, the best would be in good wine cellar.
2. Always check the cork, when the cork is no more nice so you change it.
3. Always use only real cork.
4. Turn it twice a year on 180 degree.
5. Do not clean the dust on the bottle.
6. Be always aware that, mold is not growing on the cork, when that happen you change the cork quickly or you clean it with a small brush only when the mold do not effect the cork.
7. When you are changing the cork, do it quick and do not leave the bottle to long open.
8. The only thing you need to do, is to change the cork when it needs and nothing else.
9. Do not touch even one of the bottles, even when it itch you to try it.
10. Always think to store them for many years, so at the end you will have a good result in your collection.
Is that your Absinthe will become more valuable. Also especially when you collect green Absinthe the color will change in a brown and that is realy wanted. It makes it more tasty and valuable, the changing of the color need many years, for sure 20 and more, but when that happen you have one Absinthe which you can realy show to the top collectors in the world. So when you start to do that, chose always a variation of high class Absinthe made of natural ingredients and also with high percentage of Alcohol at least 55-80, other Absinthe is not worth to collect. Also it should be allways good brand names, they become more valuable then you can ever think. Maybe some of the brands will be also no more produced in future and such bottles are most wanted. Some of the producers will also stop their production because of age and other points.I have to mention that some of that old bottles today get sold for many thousand euros in collector circles and they get hunted form collectible enthusiasts. I advise you not to collect only one bottle of a brand, but 5 to 10 at least, real collectors want always more of it. You have to see it also like a future investment. With such old bottles you will always find a collector or a Absinthe lover interested for it. And also I like to say when you will stand infront of your collection, it will be a very nice feeling, to know that your Absinthe will be once a very special one, you will be very happy to hold such a bottle in your hands and to taste it after 20 to 40 years or more.
Love and Light
Shri Krishan Puri
My dear friends it is scientific proved, that thujone haven’t any effect, also the international Absinthe commission have it clearly declared that and the official Absinthe producers who work with them agree 100 % with that. Other way it will be not legal and it will go under the drug law, so please be aware that it is not the thujone that make effect to the body, I consume it more then 30 years and here in Swiss is produced Absinthe mostly with 35 mg thujone and also some time with more in it and no one can say that it have any effect my dears. The only thing is that Absinthes with high thujone are more bitter. Thujone it’s self is highly poisonous in high concentrated dosages, it can be deadly. Side effects may occur with large but mega large overdose or by using alcoholic thujone extracts. You may experience drowsiness, vomiting, abdominal pain and in severe cases, kidney damage and disorders of the central nervous system. Artimisia Absintium is a medical herb, it has healing effects, this herb has been used long time ago and it is in use even today because of the healing power in medicall ways, it is used for heart problems and as appetizer, stomachic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, febrifuge and anthelmintic. It has also been used to remedy indigestion, gastric pain and many more. So lets think little, if Artemisia Absinthium is a hallucinogenic herb (DRUG), do you think it will be used for all those purposes, it is said, that sometimes in very rare cases it can induce a lucid dreams, but that off course it can happen if someone is searching for it with particular knowlege. I want all of you to understand this very clearly, because is scientific truth. Hallucinations are not possible during drinking Absinthe, all those stories invented about the hallucinations, unexisting places and altered states, illusions, these are all stories by small immature minds, maybe this sounds not so nice for someone, but is real and true. I said it many times and I am gona say it again, I read the stories on this page, where people express thier expiriences during drinking Absinthe and hounestly irritated me little, because all those stories are invented by small minds and all of them are absurd, high improbable tales, passed off as being true, fantasy and fairy tales for small children, because the reality is different, me as 30 years drinker of Absinthe I can not understand all this lies spreading around about the Absinthe, I want to say such thing as hallucinations are not existing, because the only thing from overdosage from Absinthe is the alcohol it self and the alcohol is the main reason which produce all this fantastic stories.Real hallucinations appears in the last stage of alcoholism, as state called Delirium Tremens and those hallucinations do not have nothing in common with the Thujone and the Artemisia Absinthium. It is also to say, that all this gives a very bad reputation to the Absinthe and the Absinthe consumers and their community. I am not here to disillusion someones dreaming fantasies etc. but to bring little awareness in to the Absinthe story. Please understand and spread the Absinthe culture around, as culture, of the high class intelligence in Europe, in the old times, they have consumed it in a ritual way, with artistic desined elements as medium for use and all this elements carries the beauty in it self and lift up the Absinthe ambient in a good way and it has to be presented in this way to the ”outer world” to show them a other way to alter themselves. For sure I support all those nice flights of all psychonauts into the other dimensions, all that is beautiful and has glory, but just take in consideration, the reality also. Be allways aware, everything is just a state of mind created by your self.
Love and Light
Shri Krishan Puri
The Thujone: My dear friend it is scientific proved, that thujone haven’t any effect, also the international Absinthe commission have it clearly declared that and the official Absinthe producers who work with them agree 100 % with that. Other way it will be not legal and it will go under the drug law, so please [...]
The Psychonaut: Psychonautics (from the Greek (psych “soul/spirit/mind”) and (naúts “sailor/navigator”) – a sailor of the mind/soul) refers both to a methodology for describing and explaining the subjective effects of altered states of consciousness, including those induced by mind altering substances and to a research paradigm in which the researcher voluntarily immerses him/herself into an [...]
I have visited the Val de Travers in Switzerland and found a very nice Absinthe.The Absinthe DuVallon Val-de-Travers Veuve Verte (green) 50 cl / 69% vol and Absinth DuVallon (bleu)70 cl / 53% vol. Distilled with wormwood plants of Val-de-Travers, according to a family tradition, dating back from 1951, soft on the tongue, with a wild perfume, an authentic Absinthe from Val-de-Travers. It is a fantastic good Absinthe, I can recommend this Absinthe, it is a first class one. It is also possible to visit the place in Auvernier Val-de-Travers ”Absinthe Distillery DuVallon” to see how he is produced, The family there is very hospitable. I bought 2 bottles from each variation. It is only 25 km from my residence away, the two-hours visit has been worthwhile and the Degustation was also very rewarding.
Love and Light
Shri Krishan Puri
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