Food

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"Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are." —Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Food has long been a favored subject of artists, and at times even a medium for making art. In Western Art, depictions of food date back to funerary paintings of food offerings in ancient Egypt. The Classical historian Pliny claimed that Greek painter Zeuxis once painted grapes so realistic that birds came to pick at them. Depictions continued in Roman art, where the putto (male infant) depicted with grape vines was a common motif. In Baroque painting, food appeared regularly as a still-life element, as exemplified by Carravaggio's Bacchus or the bodegones (meaning 'pantry still-lives') of Spanish painters Diego Velázquez and Francisco de Zurbarán. Paul Cézanne's fruit still lifes presented new forms of representing three-dimensional space. In the 20th century, food was central to Pop Art's explorations of consumerism, as in Andy Warhol's Campell's soup cans, Claes Oldenburg's monumental hamburger and ice cream cone sculptures, and Wayne Thiebaud's paintings of cakes and pastries. At its most logical extreme, food has been used as an actual medium for creating artworks, as in Dieter Roth's chocolate self-portraits and Vik Muniz's reproductions of iconic works of art using materials such as lunch meat and peanut butter.

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