Fêtes and Folly: Each Party has its Ending

7:00 AM

Thomas Couture, Supper at the Maison d'Or, 1855
By ELLIE SCHNEIDER

Thomas Couture, the famous French painter, is known for his depictions of history. His most famous work, Romans During the Decadence, shows Romans who are exhausted from partying. This theme appears again in Supper at the Maison d'Or, which is also known as Each Party has its Ending and Supper After the Masked Ball. The painting itself is just as damaged as the people in it. In fact, the painting spent many years in storage due to the damaged frame and the poor condition of the painting. In 2014, the painting was shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the first time in decades.

If each party has its ending, this one did not end well. Three out of the four party-goers obviously hit their limit since they passed out. The fourth drunkard sits atop the table, appearing dazed and confused. People say, "Do not drink on an empty stomach," but these partiers didn't listen, and they will be sorry in the morning. Two of the titles,
Supper at the Maison d'Or and Supper After the Masked Ball, suggest they attempted to eat, but it was too late. While they are passed out, the party definitely continued at the Maison. You can see this by the dish and food all over the ground in the bottom left corner of the painting and the tablecloth that is askew.

I picture the man in white saying, "The night is young!" but the picture shows the consequences from partying too hard. This is the perfect image for a PSA on alcohol consumption and education. At the beginning of the night, if they knew the night would end on the floor of the
Maison d'Or, I bet they would have rethought that last drink.

So to those reading, put down that glass of wine and try a chocolate milk. 


*** Editor's Note: Students developed the topic of Fêtes and Folly to chronicle elegant celebrations, bad dates, late nights, or other things related to that time in Spring where barbaric yawps can be heard from backyards, beaches, or the more familiar rooftop. Enjoy their revelry, cheeky overstatement, and occasional tales of ribaldry over the next couple of weeks.

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