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François Barraud | La Tailleuse de Soupe | Rustic Onion Soup

 François Barraud | La Tailleuse de Soupe In "La Tailleuse de Soupe," a painting from 1933 by François Barraud, we witness a scene imbued with mystery and a touch of surrealism, both characteristics that pervade many of Barraud's works. The title originates from the French verb "tailler" which means "to cut" or "to carve". This painting captures an intriguing domestic moment. A young girl, adorned with a large orange ribbon, sits at a table where a large steaming tureen of soup sits. She gazes at the viewer with a somewhat sullen expression, while across from her, her mother, seemingly in a cheerful mood, cuts slices of bread with a distinct smile. The narrative preceding this scene remains unknown. We're left to speculate what might have led to the young girl's mood, her refusal to watch the near-dismemberment of the loaf of bread that her mother enthusiastically carves into thin slices, presumably to accompany the hot soup soon to b

John William Waterhouse | Hylas and the Nymphs | Nymph's Elixir Cocktail

John William Waterhouse | Hylas and the Nymphs

John William Waterhouse's "Hylas and the Nymphs" is a captivating oil painting created in 1896. The artwork is based on an episode from Greek mythology in which Hylas, a young companion of the hero Heracles (Hercules), is sent to fetch water from a spring. As he reaches the water's edge, he encounters a group of alluring nymphs who become enchanted by his beauty.

The painting depicts the moment when the nymphs reach out to draw Hylas into the water. Waterhouse's masterful use of color and composition captures the enchanting atmosphere of the scene. The nymphs' delicate, translucent skin contrasts with the rich, vibrant colors of the water and surrounding foliage, creating a sense of otherworldliness. Hylas appears captivated and powerless against the nymphs' seduction, illustrating the classical theme of the irresistible lure of beauty.

Waterhouse's work is a prime example of the Pre-Raphaelite style, characterized by its attention to detail, emphasis on narrative, and fascination with myth and legend. The painting invites the viewer to immerse themselves in the story and experience the magic and allure of the nymphs alongside Hylas.



John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) was a British painter known for his works in the Pre-Raphaelite style, which was characterized by meticulous attention to detail, vivid colors, and an emphasis on narrative and symbolism. Although Waterhouse was not a member of the original Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which was founded in 1848, his paintings were heavily influenced by their artistic principles.

Waterhouse was born in Rome to English parents who were both painters. The family later moved to London, where Waterhouse studied at the Royal Academy of Arts. Throughout his career, he was captivated by themes from mythology, literature, and history. His paintings often depicted enchanting and mysterious female figures, reflecting the Pre-Raphaelite fascination with beauty, romance, and sensuality.

Some of his most famous works include "The Lady of Shalott," "Ophelia," and "Hylas and the Nymphs." Waterhouse's evocative style and subject matter gained him considerable recognition during his lifetime, and his paintings continue to be admired and celebrated today for their captivating beauty and timeless appeal.


Recipe: Nymph's Elixir Cocktail

During the late 19th and early 20th century, the cocktail culture was flourishing, particularly in the United States and Europe. The golden age of cocktails was marked by the popularity of classic drinks and the emergence of skilled bartenders who experimented with various ingredients and techniques.

Elderflower syrup has a long history that dates back centuries, with its origins rooted in European folk medicine and culinary traditions. The syrup is made from the flowers of the elder tree, which is native to Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa.

Elderflower syrup has been used in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, treating colds and flu, and acting as a diuretic. It has also been used to alleviate allergies and improve respiratory health.


  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz elderflower liqueur (such as St-Germain)
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz blue curaçao
  • Edible flower for garnish
  • Ice 


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, and blue curaçao to the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously for about 20-30 seconds, or until well chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
  5. Garnish with an edible flower, such as a pansy or viola, floating on top of the cocktail.

Additional information

Some popular cocktails from the time period of Waterhouse:

  1. Martini: A classic gin and vermouth cocktail, typically garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. It gained popularity in the late 19th century and remains a favorite today.

  2. Old Fashioned: A whiskey-based cocktail made with sugar, bitters, and a splash of water, often garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. It dates back to the early 19th century but gained more widespread recognition during Waterhouse's time.

  3. Manhattan: A mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, typically garnished with a maraschino cherry. The Manhattan originated in the latter half of the 19th century and became a classic cocktail of the era.

  4. Tom Collins: A refreshing gin-based cocktail made with lemon juice, sugar, and soda water, served over ice. It became popular during the late 19th century.

  5. Gin Fizz: A blend of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water, creating a fizzy and refreshing drink. It was particularly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


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