View Full Version : Welcome to The Cafe Guerbois!

05-05-1999, 06:14 AM
It was only a matter of time... :-)

The real Cafe Guerbois doesn't exist anymore, but during the mid-to-late 19th century, it was the meeting place for the Impressionists of Paris. The Cafe was frequented by the likes of Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Frederic Bazille, Renoir, and occasionally Cezanne and Pissarro.

While the real Cafe Guerbois has long since been demolished, you can still belly up to the virtual bar here and have a round of Absinthe with your fellow artists.

The first round is on me!

Roderick Samuels
05-08-1999, 08:24 AM
sounds good to me but what is absinthe?

05-10-1999, 04:03 PM
The origins of Absinthe are somewhat obscure, although most scholars agree that it can be traced back to 1792, where a French doctor named Pierre Ordinaire discovered a plant called "Artemisia absinthium" growing in the wild near his house. Like most of the doctors ofhis time, he prepared his own "remedies" for his patients. He was somewhat familiar with the use of this plant in ancient times as a medicine.

His recipe for absinthe included: wormwood, anise, hyssop, dittany, sweet flag, mint, and varying amounts of coriander, veronica, camomile, parsley, and get this, spinach! His elixir was 136 proof!

Over the years, the recipe was refined, and served in pubs, bars, etc. The Impressionists in fin-de-siecle Paris used to drink bottles of the stuff over good banter at the Cafe Guerbois, the Cafe de la Nouvelle-Athenes, and others.

Potent - deadly - blackish-green. ugh!


05-14-1999, 09:13 PM
I think the painting by Degas (the one with the poor unfortunate woman) pretty much sums up absinthe. But where would Van Gogh have been without it? (it was a hallucinogenic)OOOOh, starry, starry night.

05-15-1999, 08:07 AM
hehe - you mean Degas' painting called "Absinthe"? Yeah.

The two folks in that painting were Ellen Andree and Marcellin Desboutin. The painting depicts (reportedly) the interior of the Cafe de la Nouvelle Athenes. Ellen was a fairly well known actress, and friend of Degas. Marcellin Desboutin, also a friend of Degas', was a fellow artist, and reportedly the one responsible for the Impressionist bunch moving from the Cafe Guerbois to the Cafe Nouvelle Athenes.

Van Gogh drank his fair share of the stuff - but Paul Gauguin practically depended on it! Would you believe he had some shipped to him while he was travelling in Tahiti? Yep...

They still make Absinthe today, but I don't think we'd find it quite as potent as what that crew drank! It's too bad, my paintings could use a little "spice" - hehe :-)

07-13-1999, 01:04 AM
In the community where I live (mostly artists and musicians) one of the pubs recently had a birthday party for Van Gogh. The local liquor distributor got involved and provided Pernod for the party. Absinthe is now illegal, at least in the U.S. and Pernod is the modern, less deadly version. It was kind of a fun event, as the serving of the drink is quite a ritual. Special glasses were used, on top of which was placed a small sieve-like spoon. A sugar cube was placed in the strainer and Pernod and then hot water were poured over the sugar. Nasty tasting stuff, though! All of the area artists were also invited to bring in their Impressionist style works. Great way to celebrate Van Goghs birthday

07-31-1999, 03:32 PM
Where did this take place? Wonder if they gave special attention to anyone who shares his same bithdate?

Phyllis Franklin
01-12-2000, 03:40 PM
Someone asked why our cafe chat room is called Cafe Guerbois. I thought I would dig this thread up and post again. Interesting history, http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif and interesting replies.

01-24-2000, 10:03 AM
Rod: this is the thread that scott started when the chat room first began. It has the real history of the Cafe Guerbois .. We might could add that the Cafe still lives and is florishing here at Wetcanvas.

02-03-2000, 10:35 AM
Long live Cafe Guerbois. Check out the rowdy bunch nightly 10 ET....and by chance...at other times. Anyone for a drink of Absinthe, you know we are painting impressionistic style. lol, it might help.

09-09-2000, 11:52 AM
Also check out the Virtual Cafe Guerbois
where you can join in the painting projects and view past projects.


Phy...llis (sounds like Lizz)
P.S. Want to participate in the Painting and Drawing Projects? -------&gt;
Visit the Virtual Cafe Guerbois Today! (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/cafe)

09-09-2000, 02:29 PM
Chartreuse liquor is also made from wormwood, and is one of my favorite things on a cold winter night, lightly warmed on the hearth in a small bandy snifter. Very esoteric stuff if you can find it.