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Still life with absinthe

In the 19th century, absinth was a popular drink with many, including artists like van Gogh. This still life shows a solitary glass of absinth on a café table and a bottle of water. Van Gogh combines this with a view through the window. The chosen vantage point makes it feel as though you are yourself sitting at the cafe table where the painter sat.

Absinth was usually drunk with water and sugar. A special absinth spoon holding a sugar cube was placed on the glass. Iced water was then trickled over the cube, resulting in the characteristic cloudiness.

Oil on canvas
46.5 x 33.0 cm
Paris, 1887
Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

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Still Life with Absinthe by Vincent van Gogh
The Vincent van Gogh Paintings Project