The Art of Food

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Tomb of Nakht

Food preparation and consumption is a fact of life. It has been the very cornerstone of our day to day existence as a major part in our social, cultural and aesthetic life.

Is it any wonder then that the appearance of food in our artistic endeavours is so fundamentally interwoven into the fabric of recorded human history when images of food and feasting have been found in the pyramids of ancient Egypt, drawn and painted on the inner walls of burial chambers, and more importantly on coffins, depicting all the good things prepared to sustain the deceased on their final journey to the afterlife.

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A Roman Banquet

In myriad contexts the practice continued into ancient Greece and the Roman Empire where banquets, bacchanals and orgies became consuming passions celebrated in literature, painting, and mosaics.

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A Greek Symposia or Mens Room

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A Greek Symposia Platter

Food remained a recurring theme throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, being celebrated for certain virtues or values or emphasizing eroticism, exoticism or wealth.

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A Medieval Banquet, c.15th century

Since food is intertwined with all aspects of our lives, comestible art history also connects with larger themes such as politics, gender, religion and class.

Medieval Banquet - Feasting with The King of Portugal, 1368

A Medieval Feast, c. 14th Century

Over the years I have been collecting such images, initially for my own interest but sadly with little proper attribution. Mainly I have the names and dates of the artists but hopefully I’m not infringing any copyright regulations by putting them into this blog.

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A Vegetable ‘Descriptive’ (French) c. 17th Century

But be that as it may, I shall carry on in what I hope will be a mini series of posts to show off some of the many images I have gathered together. These are just a small selection from across the ages that I hope will be of some interest.

Foods

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