The green fairy

Absinthe used to be a favourite alcoholic drink of bohemians. This fact was largely associated with all these absinthe legends. The number of artists who didn’t hide their love for consumption of the ‘green fairy’ and their belief that this drink with psychedelic effects would expand their consciousness is really long: painters Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, poets Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, writers Oscar Wild, Alfred Jarry, Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe. Absinthe was a source of inspiration for all these artists.

Some of them even immortalized the ‘essence of life’ in their work. The paintings by Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet are very famous. But the most famous are paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who claimed that he was chased by headless monsters when he was under influence of absinthe. Legend says the amputated ear of Vincent van Gogh is the result of heavy consumption of this liquor.

You can find absinthe inspiration in Czech art too. For example, people who visit the famous Café Slavia in Prague can see the oil painting The Absinthe Drinker (1910) by Viktor Oliva.