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Meet our Muses: Art on Tap Artwork Behind the Scenes


Art on Tap is TOMORROW, and we can’t wait to taste samples from seven local restaurants, and sip beers from six of our favorite local breweries! But Art on Tap isn’t just about the delicious beer+bite combinations…it’s also about the art! This year each restaurant-brewery team has chosen one of the following artworks as a muse to their offerings. Below, “meet” the muses behind the food and beer pairings and learn a little bit about beer art history:

Giusseppe Archimboldo, The Waiter, 1574

Arcimboldo’s composite portraits are visual delights; grotesque, yet charming; absurd, yet ingenious. Known for his bizarre blend of still life and portraiture, Arcimboldo’s optical witticisms entertained the Hapsburg court with their imaginative interpretations of the sitter. Throughout his oeuvre, ordinary human features—noses, ears, lips—are exchanged for their vegetable counterparts, from cucumbers to corn cobs. With a barrel for an abdomen, The Waiter gives new meaning to the phrase “beer belly.” 


Jasper Johns, Painted Bronze Ale Cans, 1964

Printmaker, painter, and sculptor Jasper Johns (born 1930) allegedly created Painted Bronze/Ale Cans (1960) as an artistic jab towards fellow artist Willem de Kooning, who remarked that John’s dealer, Leo Castelli, could sell “two beer cans” if given the opportunity—and indeed, he did. However, works like Painted Bronze/Ale Cans helped bridge the gap between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.


Fernand Leger, Still Life with a Beer Mug, 1921

With a fractured picture plane, harlequin patterns, and multiple perspectives, Fernand Léger (1881-1955) combines elements of Cubism and Futurism in Still Life with a Beer Mug (1921-1922). Here, Léger uses bold primary colors to create a kaleidoscopic vision of afternoon nosh, complete with a German style beer mug, a plate of fruit, and pots of butter.



Eduard Grützner, Beer Tasting, 1905

German painter and printmaker Eduard Grützner (1846-1925) often painted monks and other cheery figures enjoying a drink. In Falstaff (1893) Grützner depicts one of his favorite subjects, Sir John Falstaff, a fictional character born from the mind of William Shakespeare. Falstaff is a comedic figure—jolly, vain, and bostful, imagined by Grützner as a portly, drunken fellow.




Vincent Van Gogh, Die Trinkers (The Drinkers), 1890

Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890) was a Dutch painter, draftsmen and printmaker. While living in the Asylum of Saint-Paul in Saint-Rémy, Van Gogh did a painting of a print called The Psychology of a Drinker, The Four Ages by Honore Daumier. Van Gogh successfully captures Daumier’s characteristic humor and and cautionary message about the dangers of overindulgence through his exaggerated figures and palette in Die Trinker (The Drinkers), 1890.


Marianne von Werefkin, Beer Garden, 1907

Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1938), an Expressionist artist born to an affluent Russian family, is known for her flat figures and rich, saturated color palette. In The Beer Garden (1807), we see a faceless crowd of men, women, and children enjoying an afternoon at leisure.As an Expressionist, Werefkin used vivid, unnatural colors, bathing her artwork in jewel-like hues.


Manet Painting

Edouard Manet, Two Women Drinking Bock, 1878

Born into an wealthy Parisian family, Edouard Manet’s (1832-1883) aristocratic status allowed him to indulge in the part of the flaneur—a man-about-town who strolled the revitalized boulevards, observing and documenting contemporary life. In Fin de siècle Paris, cafes and brasseries were both economic hubs and artistic havens where artists enjoyed ample opportunity to observe fellow Parisians at leisure.

Love Art, Beer, and Food?

Get your tickets to Art on Tap, Friday, November 2, 7:00–10:00 pm in the Torpedo Factory Art Center. 

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