Eating is something we all do several times a day, without thinking much about it. But each artist in this set has decided to make ‘mealtimes’ the subject of a painting.
Clearly mealtimes have many dimensions beyond the consumption of food. As Burra’s snack-bar shows, this itself is often done in a hurried manner, and even more so these days.
In Impressionist paintings friends meet to dine or go on picnics; or to eat in the open air for the sheer pleasure of it. They also frequent restaurants to be seen and to pose. However some pictures convey the darker side of café-life, the sadness and melancholy of eating alone.
On their dining tables, the 17th century Dutch painters concentrated on portraying exquisitely their high-quality glassware, china and cutlery and succulent-looking food.
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