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The wine of painters

The wine of painters

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  • Author: JEAN SERROY
  • Publisher: La Martinière
  • French language
  • Publication date: 09/2016
  • Number of pages: 215
  • Dimensions: 26x29 cm
  • Weight: 1690g
  • Format: hard cover
  • ISBN: 9782732471273


Wine has always been a source of inspiration for men and artists. In Antiquity, it was an important element of ritual and sacrificial practices. Thus, the festivals of Dionysus and Bacchus are literally a hymn to intoxication, which, it is believed, allows its participants to get closer to their god. Later, the arrival of Christianity will reinforce this divine character, wine and the vine being cited 443 times in the Bible: the drunkenness of Noah, Moses and the bunch of grapes brought back from the Promised Land, Lot and his daughters, the Balthazar's feast...

In the New Testament, wine becomes the symbol of the Christ mystery: the wedding at Cana where Jesus transforms water into wine, the Last Supper where Jesus consecrates bread and wine. So many scenes, so many sources of inspiration for the painters who, over the centuries, will gradually free themselves from these religious codes, but will not stop making wine a fertile theme, where expression the feast of the senses.
Depending on the works, wine will now appear in still lifes, cabaret or café scenes to celebrate a hedonistic vision of life. Based on a selection of around a hundred paintings, Jean Serroy traces a history of art from the 15th to the 21st century, presenting each work in its symbolism, and often focusing on an intriguing or surprising detail of the painting. The history of this wine of the gods which gradually becomes the wine of men sheds new light on the uses of each era covered.

Sometimes sacred, sometimes profane, wine is in fact invited to all tables: those of the peasant, the bourgeois, the priest, the noble or the king; it remains the privileged witness of an art of living and a celebration of the senses.

The author:

Jean Serroy , emeritus university professor, is a specialist in 17th century literature and theater. Also a film critic, his recent publications include Between two centuries, 20 years of contemporary cinema (Editions de La Martinière, 2006), in collaboration with Guillaume de Laubier, Les Plus Belles Universités du monde (Editions de La Martinière, 2015). ) and, in collaboration with Gilles Lipovetsky, L'Ecran global (Seuil, 2007) and L'Esthétisation du monde (Gallimard, 2013).

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