Advertising poster for Job cigarette papers by Alphonse Mucha (1898).

The law forbidding smoking in public places finally came into effect in England on Sunday, something that the nation’s smokers are still coming to terms with. I’ve never been a smoker but have always been easy-going about the activity, having had smoking parents and been around smokers for years. That said, it’ll be nice to go out now and not return home smelling like an ashtray.

To mark the passing of a nicotine-stained era, here’s a few of the many representations of smoking in the art world. Until I started looking for pictures today I hadn’t realised how many paintings there are of people (and dogs!) having smoke blown in their faces, like this one and this one.


The Opium Smoker by Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Noüy.


A Voluptuous Smoke by Charles Edouard Edmond Delort.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Perfume: the art of scent
German opium smokers, 1900