Home > History of Wine > “That it is good for one’s health to get drunk sometimes” : Illustrations of Bacchus from Albert-Henri de Sallengre “L’eloge de l’yvresse” 1714

“That it is good for one’s health to get drunk sometimes” : Illustrations of Bacchus from Albert-Henri de Sallengre “L’eloge de l’yvresse” 1714


Albert-Henri de Sallengre (1694-1723) was born in The Hague to French Protestant refugee parents.  He was a lawyer, adviser to the Prince of Orange, and even a member of the Royal Society in London.  He is the subject of this post because he is the author of L’eloge de l’yvresse (1714) or “The Praise of Drunkenness”.

Sallengre, Albert-Henri de. "L'eloge de l'yvresse" 1714. [1]

Sallengre, Albert-Henri de. “L’eloge de l’yvresse” 1714. [1]

This book was translated into other languages which feature a different illustration.  In the original French version there is an image of a cherubic Bacchus sitting astride a small cask of wine holding both a cup and a grape cluster.  In the background are two satyrs one with a wine cup and the other a pitcher.  In Greek mythology satyrs were companions of Dionysus.

In Bacchus auf seinem Thron (1724) or “Bacchus on his Throne” there is a similar illustration yet this time Bacchus is a young man sitting on a cask of wine outside.  He is only spilling wine from a cup.  A vine bearing grape clusters has climbed a tree above him.  Next to the tree are two trained vines.  Bacchus is surrounded by various drinking vessels on the ground. In the mid-ground is a table of men sitting around a table drinking wine.  There are musicians providing entertainment and servants pouring wine.  A wine cooler sits next to the table below which is a label Chansons a boire or drinking songs.  Perhaps the men at the table are drinking and singing.

Sallengre, Albert-Henri de. "Bacchus auf seinem Thron" 1724. SLUB Dresden. [2]

Sallengre, Albert-Henri de. “Bacchus auf seinem Thron” 1724. SLUB Dresden. [2]

The chapter names are just as engaging as the title of the book.  Here are several:

Chapter IV – That old People ought to get Drunk sometimes.
Chapter IX – That the Primitive Christians got Drunk
Chapter XIX – Other Considerations in favour of Drunkenness
Chapter XXIV – An Answer to the objection, That Drunkenness makes one uncapable of performing the Duties of Civil Life
Chapter XXV – Burlesque, ridiculous, and out-of-the-way thoughts against Drunkenness.


[1] Sallengre, Albert-Henri de. “L’eloge de l’yvresse” 1714.  Hathi Trust. URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008976965
[2] Sallengre, Albert-Henri de. “Bacchus auf seinem Thron” 1724.  SLUB Dresden. URL: http://digital.slub-dresden.de/id414543203
[3] Sallengre, Albert-Henri de. “Ebrietatis Encomium: Or, The Praise of Drunkenness” 1910 fascimile of 1723 edition. URL: https://archive.org/details/ebrietatisencom00sallgoog

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