Today is National Absinthe Day

Today is National #Absinthe Day.

Absinthe is a very strong green aniseed-flavored liqueur (actually spirit, as it is unsweetened), originally made with the shrub wormwood. French doctor, Pierre Ordinaire, has been credited with the creation of absinthe in the early 19th century. He prescribed it to his patients as a cure for many illnesses. Absinthe became popular among artists and writers as it was rumored to have hallucinogenic effects. Its reputation took severe a downhill turn at the end of the 19th century when the green liquid was blamed for causing madness. In 1905, a French worker is said to have murdered his wife and children after having spent the day drinking absinthe. The drink was soon banned in France, much of Europe and the United States. In 2007, a less potent version of the original absinthe was legalized in the U.S.

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Today in History: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec born in 1864

Today in History: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec born in 1864

The French poster artist and painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec  was born 152 years ago today. Although he created only 32 posters, Lautrec was one of the greatest forces in the development of the modern poster. Drawn to the Bohemian district in Paris known as Montmarte for its theaters, artists, and writers, Lautrec’s work captured the eccentricities of Parisian nightlife.

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Today in History: 156th Birthday of Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860 – 1939)

Today in History: 156th Birthday of Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860 – 1939)

The talented Czech Art Nouveau poster artist, illustrator and designer was born on this day in 1860. Mucha initially worked as a theatrical scene painter in Vienna before a benefactor discovered his talents and financed his art studies in Munich and Paris. Mucha stayed in Paris where he designed his first posters. His breakthrough came in 1894 when he created the famous Gismonda poster starring Sarah Bernhardt. The actress was so impressed with Mucha’s work that she offered him a 6-year contract which paved the road for the artist’s subsequent success. Over the next 15 years, Mucha became the model Art Nouveau artist, creating posters, advertisements, calendars, postcards, and magazine and book illustrations. His work typically featured beautiful women surrounded by elaborate flowers. Mucha returned to live in Czechoslovakia around 1910 where he produced his masterpiece, a set of 20 mural paintings, the Slav Epic, depicting the history of his nation. He died in 1939, several months after being arrested and interrogated by the Nazis, following Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia.

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Today in History: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec born in 1864

The French poster artist and painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec  was born 151 years ago today. Although he created only 32 posters, Lautrec was one of the greatest forces in the development of the modern poster. Drawn to the Bohemian district in Paris known as Montmarte for its theaters, artists, and writers, Lautrec’s work captured the eccentricities of Parisian nightlife.

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Today in History: 155th Birthday of Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860 – 1939)

 

Today in History: 155th Birthday of Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860 – 1939)

The talented Czech Art Nouveau poster artist, illustrator and designer was born on this day in 1860. Mucha initially worked as a theatrical scene painter in Vienna before a benefactor discovered his talents and financed his art studies in Munich and Paris. Mucha stayed in Paris where he designed his first posters. His breakthrough came in 1894 when he created the famous Gismonda poster starring Sarah Bernhardt. The actress was so impressed with Mucha’s work that she offered him a 6-year contract which paved the road for the artist’s subsequent success. Over the next 15 years, Mucha became the model Art Nouveau artist, creating posters, advertisements, calendars, postcards, and magazine and book illustrations. His work typically featured beautiful women surrounded by elaborate flowers. Mucha returned to live in Czechoslovakia around 1910 where he produced his masterpiece, a set of 20 mural paintings, the Slav Epic, depicting the history of his nation. He died in 1939, several months after being arrested and interrogated by the Nazis, following Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia.

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Happy Birthday, Eugene Grasset (25 May 1845 – 23 October 1917)

Happy Birthday, Eugene Grasset (25 May 1845 – 23 October 1917)

The acclaimed Swiss decorative poster artist would turn 170 years old if he were still alive today. Grasset studied drawing and architecture and worked as a painter and sculptor before he moved to Paris in 1871. It was not until the late 1870s that Grasset became interested in graphic design. He created  his first posters in the mid- to late-1880s. Grasset was famous for his classical portrayal of women. His poster works are considered cornerstones of the Art Nouveau movement.