ART: FOOD FOR THOUGHT

IN 17TH AND 18TH CENTURY SPANISH STILL LIFES, EVERYDAY OBJECTS ARE SET AGAINST A PERSPECTIVE OF FLEETING TIME AND DEATH

"Tell me what you eat," said the French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, "and I will tell you who you are." This is strikingly true of the way still life-the depiction of inanimate things, mainly food, drink and the vessels used to serve them-developed in Spain from the 16th century on. You might almost say that independent still life, painting that had no other purpose than to confront us with objects for their own sake, was a Hispanic reinvention. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans but then lost, and it did not come back in force until the end...

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