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Beer In Art #70: Erik Henningsen’s The Art Critics

Today’s work of art is by Danish artist Erik Ludvig Henningsen, who created the iconic Thirsty Man for Tuborg in 1900. Henningsen, who lived from 1855 to 1930 had a long distinguished career as a fine artist. As you might expect, at least one of his other paintings must have also depicted beer, and I did find this one, painted in 1915, entitled The Art Critics.

The painting today is at the Hope Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah, who specialize in genre paintings. They describe the Art Critics like this:

The bartender in white stands at the end of the counter listening to two artists critique an unframed painting that faces them on a chair. They are seated at a simple brown wooden table with three chairs. Their glasses, a candle and their elbows fill the tabletop. The men are dressed in their finest (black suits, shined shoes, collars and neckties) as they have ventured out in public. The bearded man sits holding a newspaper yet reads the painting as his companion critiques the work. Protruding from his beard and mustache is a lit, smoking cigarette. The other gentleman holds his cigarette in the air as he talks about the painting before them. The bartender is amused by what he hears as he has a smile on his face. With exception to the table and chairs, all of the woodwork in the room is a light blue — a nice contrast against the soft white of the walls and bright white of the bartender’s coat.

A simple, yet amusing genre piece showing an everyday event of looking at and critiquing a painting — just as you are doing now.

As someone who likes to look at art, it’s often not possible to walk around a gallery with a beer, so to be able to drink and look at art in a bar is pretty much my ideal.

There is also a short biography of Henningsen and you can also see a few dozen more of his works at the Hope Gallery. The Hope Gallery also has prints of his work available for purchase.

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