food in the arts




 Cave Paintings/ ARTISTS BEFORE 1650/ ART MAIN

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Les Trois Freres in Ariege

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Les Trois Frères in Ariège (c. 15,000-12,000 BC)

bison length 77 in. (195 cm)
Altamira, Spain

  African  food
artists before 1650 bookshop
The first significant step toward the development of gastronomy was the use of fire by primitive man to cook his food, which gave rise to the first meals as families gathered around the fire to share the foods they had cooked. Prehistoric cave paintings such as those in Les Trois Frères in Ariège, in southern France, depict these early gastronomic events.

In the ancient civilizations of Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, and Egypt, the selection, preparation, service, and enjoyment of food were practiced on an elaborate scale. In the Book of Daniel the Bible relates the story of how Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, “made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.” He then commanded gold and silver vessels to be brought, and he and his wives, princes, and concubines drank wine and praised gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone.

Food on the Floor: Edible Imagery in Roman Dining Room Floor Mosaics
Ubirr (40,000? B.C.)
Located on the underside of a rock overhang, this ancient group of Yam figures is in a remarkable state of preservation. The significance of these unusual images, which combine features of human beings with those of hairy, wild yams that were (and are) an important source of food, is unknown.
African Rock Art: The Central Zone

Kasama Hills
Northern Province
Courtesy of the Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

One of the rare representational images of the central zone. This painting of an eland, the largest of all antelopes, is far more stylized than the depictions of eland in the southern zone.