Impressionist Product Placement

dish_640px-Edouard_Manet,_A_Bar_at_the_Folies-Bergère

Maria Popova quotes Debbie Millman on the history of branding:

The word “brand” is derived from the Old Norse word brandr, which means “to burn by fire.” … In 1876, after the United Kingdom passed the Trade Mark Registration Act, Bass Ale became the first trademarked brand in the world after submitting its now-quintessential red triangle for trademark status. The act gave businesses the ability to register and protect a brand marker so that a similar icon couldn’t be used by any other company. In addition to clinching trademark number 1, Bass’s trailblazing history includes its appearances in Édouard Manet’s 1882 masterpiece A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and Pablo Picasso’s 1912 painting Bouteille de Bass et Guitare, ostensibly providing the brand with the cultural distinction of “first product placement.”

(Image: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Édouard Manet, 1882, from Wikimedia Commons)