George Cruikshank, 'The Worship of Bacchus' 1860-2
Tate Britain

BP Spotlight Art and Alcohol 16 November 2015 – Autumn 2016

Main Floor
George Cruikshank, The Worship of Bacchus 1860-2

Explore the role of alcohol in British art from the 19th century to the present day

Since William Hogarth satirised the Georgian craze for gin, artists have explored Britain’s relationship with alcohol – as social lubricant, or as factor in social or family breakdown.

The display contrasts works from Tate’s collection, including George Cruikshank’s Worship of Bacchus 1860-2 – a critical painting illustrating the effects of drink on society in one huge cancas. Gilbert & George’s Balls: The Evening Before the Morning After - Drinking Sculpture 1972, also features – a wall-mounted montage of photographs (progressively blurred) of drinkers in a London bar.

Cutting across time, generations, class and gender, reflecting changing tastes and attitudes, alcohol and its consequences are shown to exert a catalytic effect. Never have the nation’s drinking habits been so captivating.

Curated by David Blayney Brown.


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Art in this room

William Hogarth Gin Lane


Robert Braithwaite Martineau The Last Day in the Old Home


George Cruikshank The Worship of Bacchus


All rooms in this display

Related events

Tate Britain Tour

30 minutes on Art and Alcohol

Every Mon, Wed, 1 Jun – 28 Sep 2016

Join a Tate Tour Guide for a 30 minute talk on the Art and alcohol display at Tate Britain