Connect with us – Art History Stories

Oktoberfest Paintings

Adolph von Menzel, At the Beer Garden, 1883, Museum Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt, Germany.


Oktoberfest Paintings

Recently we saw Google dedicating their doodle to pretzels, the typical German pastry, as a sign of recognition to the biggest beer festival held every year in Munich. DailyArtMagazine is going to pay it a tribute in an artsy way!

Oktoberfest Paintings
Edouard Manet, A good Glass of Beer, 1873, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, US.

This year the Oktoberfest lasts from September, 21 to October, 6. In order to enjoy its special atmosphere, you just need to get onto a train/plane to Munich, and then direct your feet onto Theresienwiese, space not too far from the Old Town (“Wiesn” is Bavarian and means “Wiese”, German for “meadow”). The name of the space originates from the first Oktoberfest, which was held in the honour of the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen, who were getting married.

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life with Beer Mug and Fruit, 1881, Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, Germany.

Although we probably are more likely to picture van Gogh drinking absinthe in many Parisian cafes, he was also keen on beer. It helped him to start conversations with the surrounding members of the artistic boheme.

Oktoberfest Paintings
Vincent van Gogh, Beer Tankards, 1885, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

This poster was commissioned from Mucha by a brewery in Meuse, city located halfway between Paris and Strasbourg in Lorraine. It shows a typical Muchaesque woman wearing a flower crown of poppies, wheat and hops in her hair and holding a pint of beer (although her grip looks pretty risky). Her features recall Mucha’s figure of Summer which he painted for the Seasons series a year before.

Alphonse Mucha, Beer of the Meuse, 1897, private collection.

Meuse was known as a rich brewing centre, housing 40 breweries in the mid 19th century. However, from the 1870s onwards, competition and industrial mergers led to the closure of many of them. The poster incorporates an image of the goddess of the river Meuse on the left and a bird’s eye view of the brewery, both painted by an anonymous artist.

Oktoberfest Paintings
Niko Pirosmani, Woman with a Mug of Beer, 1905,
Art Museum of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia.

Niko Pirosmani is quite well-known nowadays, but during his lifetime he was earned the living painting signboards for beer pubs and dukhans (small Caucasian taverns). Sadly, Georgia introduced a non-alcohol policy, which made the business disappear and make Pirosmani live till the end of his life in poverty.

I hope you’ll enjoy your Oktoberfest either in Bavaria or in a pub with your friends with a good pint!

Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.


More in Food

  • 20th century

    Maya Deren: Experimental Filmmaker and Voodoo Priestess


    Maya Deren (1917-1944) was an experimental filmmaker hailed as a leading pioneer of avant-garde cinema. She was also a writer, poet, photographer, ethnographer and dancer. Her poetic and surreal, 16 mm films layered dreams and realities together with sensations that transcend through space and time. With...

  • dailyart

    Painting of the Week: James Barry, King Lear Weeping over the Dead Body of Cordelia


    King Lear by William Shakespeare is a great tragedy that centers around ideas such as loyalty, familial bonds, and remorse. The painter of this work, James Barry, was generally interested in subject matters drawn from mythological figures and literary works. In this dramatic painting, accordingly, the...

  • Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962, acrylic with metallic enamel paint on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA. Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962, acrylic with metallic enamel paint on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA.

    Art History 101

    Pop Art 101: Everything You Need to Know


    Everyone is familiar with Pop Art and everyone can recognize its most iconic artists and artworks. Cartoon characters, food, everyday products, are only a few of Pop Art’s subjects. However, most of us tend to believe that Pop Art is only the colorful images we see...

  • dailyart

    All the Prodigal Sons in Art


    A quick internet search for “the Prodigal Son in art” yields some 13,000,000 results! What makes this 2,000-year-old story so compelling that artists keep returning to it again and again? The Prodigal Son is one in a series of parables that Jesus shared with his disciples,...

  • Art Forms

    Connections Between Art in Advertising


    Type the words ‘art in advertising’ into your internet search bar and, more than likely, multiple sources on the topic will arise. Sources ranging from the appropriating of fine art, to the connections of art and advertising and their purpose in the world. Furthermore, the sources...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy