Cafe from the World’s Fair in Vienna

Adolph von Menzel: “Indian Cafe” at the World’s Fair in Vienna, 1873. Bodycolour on paper.
Courtesy of Johann Jacobs Museum

The Prussian court painter Adolph Menzel observed the hustle and bustle at the Vienna World Exhibition with journalistic perspicacity. The small gouache shows the so-called “Indian tent”, one of the attractions of the time. Waiters in white livery hurry back and forth between the international clientele (see the gentleman with fez). It’s easy to imagine that Brinckmann, exhausted from his shopping trip, also took a seat at one of the marble tables to sip a sherry cobbler.