With such a strong artistic movement flourishing over the years in Italy, it is perhaps unsurprising that there are many works of art that put wine front and centre. In fact, there are likely many people reading this who would consider a good bottle of wine to be a work of art in its own right, so the fact that some artists have chosen to essentially create tributes to this art form is a testament to the power that wine has and the respect the interest has gained over the years.
With that in mind, we have compiled a short list of some great paintings that include wine as one of, if not the, central subjects. These works are from some of the greatest artists in history and take in works from multiple art movements to create a definitive lists of paintings that you have to see if you consider yourself to be both a wine and art lover.
Still Moving Fast
Salvador Dali’s art style is one of the most renowned in the world, with most people being more than capable of pointing to some of his works. Even if you are not immediately familiar with the many paintings the artist completed over the course of his career, it is often fairly easy to spot one of his paintings, or those that have been inspired by his take on the surrealist genre.
Still moving fast is an interesting piece from Dali, as it is not necessarily surreal in terms of the objects of the painting being distorted, though it still demonstrates a strange scene that is not quite explainable by the laws of man.
The painting depicts a simple table standing rigid and firm, while everything that you would expect to be standing on the table is in flux around it. This includes a tumbler of wine that is tilting at an angle, as though it has just been tipped over. In fact, the entire painting seems to depict all of the objects as though they have been flung into the air simultaneously, making it all the more interesting.
Vincent Van Gogh may have never received the plaudits that he deserved during his life, but he has a remarkable way of capturing the true essence of life in his work. In few paintings is this more ably displayed than in The Drinkers.
Eschewing the “snobbery” that is often associated with wine, particularly amongst those who consider it to be more of a drink for the upper classes, it instead shows what appears to be a trio of farmhands enjoying a glass from a pitcher in the middle of a farm.
It shows that the world of wine is open to everybody, regardless of their social stature, while also dispelling many of the finer points of wine tasting in favour of simply showing three people enjoying their drink without a care in the world. It may stand in contrast to what a lot of people think of when they consider drinking wine, but it is an interesting portrait nonetheless.
The Wine Bottle
Such a simple title really doesn’t do justice to the odd complexity of this painting from Pablo Picasso, which places a bottle of wine at the centre of the show, while surrounding it with the cubist style that the great artist has become known for.
While the bottle of wine is most definitely the focal point of the piece, it is interesting that Picasso chooses to surround it with images that clearly depict music. There appears to be sheet music on the table where the wine stands, while a distorted instrument takes up much of the painting as well.
It is an interesting commentary on the close association that wine shares with music, using one art form to commemorate the link between two others. While it may not be Picasso at his absolute best, it is still a very worthy piece that is definitely worth exploring further. It also demonstrates that Picasso clear has a passion for wine, as there could be little other reason why he would dedicate an entire piece to a simple wine bottle.
Still Life with Bottle, Carafe, Bread and Wine
Claude Monet’s work often depicts things, whether it is nature, people or simply objects, in their truest and most relaxed forms. This is exactly what he does with Still Life with Bottle, Carafe, Bread and Wine.
The piece may not be as complex as the others on this list, requiring little in the way of interpretation to figure out what is going on, but it is still enchanting all the same.
It simply depicts the pleasures of enjoying wine alongside a nice meal, with a near empty bottle suggesting a lunch in progress and the work capturing the simple delights of sitting down at the table to enjoy some good food. A print of this work would be perfect for the kitchen or dining room, depicting the sort of atmosphere that many look to create when they settle down to enjoy a bottle of wine with some food.
The Basket of Apples
As is implied by the name, The Basket of Apples does not place wine front and centre, but it does put it on prominent display. This piece by Paul Cézanne is a simple still life that captures that subtle elegance of the scene.
It depicts a basket of apples that has been slightly overturned, resulting in some of the fruit spilling out onto the table and surrounding the bottle of wine, which stands steadfast and reliable at the centre of the piece. It conjures up images of a nice lunch or preparations for a picnic where a bottle of wine is to be brought alongside the other foods that will be enjoyed.
Of course, there are many paintings that feature wine, either in a starring role or as simply something that adds to the portrait. Why not take a little time yourself to explore some of the most famous works a little more so that you can gain a renewed appreciation for wine?