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Art Diary

All Consuming: Art and the Essence of Food

6 April 2023

Lending new meaning to the trope of the ‘starving artist’, this exhibition at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena (14 April–14 August) considers how painters (and their viewers) have hungered after depictions of food and drink since the Renaissance. More than 60 works on show range from Rembrandt’s Pancake Woman (1635), crowded by peckish children, to Chardin’s Still Life with Cooking Utensils (1635) and Pissarro’s bustling market scenes. Among the most lavish depictions of the excess of the wealthy in the exhibition was realised by the Flemish painter Frans Snyder; a wooden table groans under the weight of the entire contents of a larder in Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables (1625–35), with the composition dictated by the value of the produce: root vegetables are laid on the ground, while asparagus is at the top of the pile. Find out more on the Norton Simon Museum’s website.

Preview belowView Apollo’s Art Diary

Gin Lane (1750–51), William Hogarth. Norton Simon Art Foundation

The Poultry Market at Pontoise (1882), Camille Pissaro. Norton Simon Art Foundation

Still Life with Cooking Utensils (c. 1728–30), Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin. Norton Simon Foundation