Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Beer pump artwork

Beer pump labels are a fine little genre of miniature artwork. I was struck by a couple this week:

Firstly, there was Tolchards "Devon Coast" (a pleasant hoppy beer made by Red Rock Brewery of Bishopsteignton). With its ocean vista, and foreground shed and path disappearing down into a cove, it's a nice example of a picture that fits Jay Appleton's "prospect-refuge theory": the claim that human aesthetic experience of landscape is based on perceptions that are evolved for survival (e.g. places to hide, escape routes, places with a clear view).. See the previous posts Landscapes in mind and Prospect and refuge in a beer glass.

And then there's the depiction of Lord Nelson on the label for St Austell's "Admiral's Ale".

detail from St Austell Admiral's Ale label
This deserves credit as a very sharp caricature of the classic Lemuel "Francis" Abbott portrait (currently hanging in the Terracotta Room of number 10 Downing Street).

As in other depictions, the red sash is borrowed from a different portrait by William Beechey. See previously: Nelson gets a facelift.

- Ray

1 comment:

  1. I love the Admiral's Ale one in particular ...

    But thank you, more generally, for opening my eyes to an area of artwork i'd never considered. I shall look differently at alcoholic beverages from now on! :-)