Symposium or Das Gastmahl des Platon are paintings by the German painter Anselm Feuerbach from c. 1869 and 1873/74 of a moment from Plato's Symposium, when the drunken Alcibiades and revelers enter the house of the poet Agathon. Socrates, near the wall at right-centre, turns his back on the scene, and bows his head.
Symposium was first displayed in 1869 at the Great International Art Exhibition, in Munich Germany. During the exhibition critics wrote, “a sea of ice that had forced itself undesired into a perfume shop.” Another critic, “An extreme of ugliness in form and color which borders on vulgarity and filth ... as if Feuerbach had put his paint brush into ink and calcium water instead of color.” The image ended up in a private collection. Feuerbach painted another more colorful version, which is since 1878 in the collection of the National Gallery in Berlin (Alte Nationalgalerie). However, the earlier 1869 version has been considered by some, to be the superior of the two works on the subject. In the second version the decor and costumes have become still more elaborate and Victorian.
- J.G. Lesher. "Some Notable Afterimages of Plato's Symposium". Harvard University.
- J.G. Lesher. "Feuerbachs's Das Gastmahl des Platon and Platon's Symposium" (PDF). University of North Carolina at Chapell Hill.
- "The Symposium (Second Version)". University of North Carolina at Chapell Hill – via Google Arts.