Absinthe prohibition in France, 1915.
© David Nathan-Maister / Science & Society Picture Library
Less well know than Gantner's poster for the prohibition of absinthe in Switzerland, is this companion lithograph lamenting the final prohibition of absinthe in France 5 years later, by ministerial decree of 7th January 1915. In the centre, trampling the mortally wounded Green Fairy, is Raymond Poincaire, President of the French Republic, while in the background French troops are shown engaged in the first terrible battles of the Great War. The white ribbon at the bottom "Les Habitues d'..." is left blank, to allow the name of the bar or cafe that purchased the poster to be added. This poster was discovered in 1970 on the premises of an old cafe - Le bar de l'Univers - Cafe Caramy in Brignoles, a small town on the route from Marseille to Cannes. In 1920 the building was condemned and walled up. 50 years later, when a new owner commenced renovations, the poster was found hanging behind a door.