Friday’s ad is for Birra di Borgofranco, a stylized ad for the Italian beer, possibly from 1911. I couldn’t find anything about the brewery itself. Still, what’s with the waitresses hat. That’s a pretty odd-looking chapeau, or should I say cappello. And the complexion on the man about to spill that beer on his tuxedo? Is he a zombie?
Wednesday’s ad is also for an Italian beer, though it’s by renowned German illustrator Adolfo Hohenstein, who made a name for himself painting in Italy, where he helped to found Italian Art Nouveau. Hohenstein is also considered the “father of Italian poster art,” and this poster was completed in 1906, the year he left Milan and returned home to Germany. I think it’s one of the most beautiful of the time period.
Tuesday’s ad is a 1920s ad for an Italian beer that’s still in business — Pedavena. Similar to yesterday’s French ad, this one also features a king carrying a beer. Is it Gambrinus? Who knows.
This week’s work of art is by a French illustrator, Michael Marcinkowski, who created a fun play on a portion of Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel. He calls his work Le Nectar Des Dieux or Nectar of the Gods and it shows God giving beer to Adam, presumably right after he gave him life.
Today is actually the birthday of Michelangelo (a.k.a. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simon), who was born in 1475 near Tuscany in what today is Italy. Marcinkowski took the hands from a portion of Michelangelo’s painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which is meant to represent God giving life to Adam.
That scene makes up the central portion of the fresco in the Vatican showing Adam and God.
Thursday’s ad is a beautiful one for an Birra Italia, a Milan brewery. It’s from 1906 and was created by the German artist Adolfo Hohenstein, who was well-known for his Opera posters. Oddly enough, he’s “considered the father of Italian poster art and an exponent of the Stile Liberty, the Italian Art Nouveau.”
Wednesday’s ad is for another Italian brewery, Birra Dicitura. It seems like it has to be later than the 1920s, because the art is less well-defined, more abstract. It almost seems unfinished, a rough sketch. And I can’t help but wonder; why the five of hearts? Dicitura, by the way, is Italian for “wording.”
Wednesday’s ad is another from the golden age of posters, the 1920s. It’s an Italian poster by artist Leonetto Cappiello, and features a trio of lovely ladies dancing around a pilsner glass like it was a Maypole.
Wednesday’s ad is for one of the most well-known Italian beers, Birra Moretti. It’s the iconic Moretti man used on the beer label since just after World War II, which has a fascinating story in its own right, which is reprinted below from Moretti’s website.
The story behind the label
The quality of Birra Moretti beer is guaranteed by the Man on the Label, the moustached drinker who is the symbol of the Birra Moretti brand. This moustached gentleman has an unusual history… In 1942, Birra Moretti had already been a popular drink all over Friuli for over 80 years. One day, Commander Lao Menazzi Moretti saw a pleasant-looking old man with a moustache sitting at a little table in the Boschetti di Tricesimo inn (Udine).
He was just the kind of character Moretti had been looking for to represent the qualities and character of his beer: wholesome, traditional and authentic. Commander Moretti didn’t let him get away. He went up to him and asked the man if he could photograph him and also asked him what he would like in return. “Cal mi dedi di bevi, mi baste” — answered the man in Friuli dialect, which means “Get me a drink, that’ll do.”
The photographs were taken and were used after the turbulent times caused by the war were over, when they were handed over to Professor Segala, a famous poster artist of the time. Segala, following Commander Moretti’s descriptions of the original colours (the photographs were, of course, in black and white), created an advertising billboard which was used for years, wherever Birra Moretti was sold. This billboard gave rise to the now-famous Birra Moretti label.