My Five Favorite Works of Art Featuring Food

Categories: Top Five

Only Cezanne makes me want to binge on fruit.
I generally enjoy museums even if I don't always understand or fully appreciate what I'm (supposed to be) seeing. The problem comes when I start seeing repeated representations of food and drink. Even if I've just eaten a giant baguette slathered with pate (as was the case when I went to the Louvre one afternoon), I feel compelled to make a beeline for the overpriced museum cafe for more vittles. Here are five famous works of art that move my heart as well as my stomach.

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How I want to spend all Sunday afternoons.
5. Apples and Biscuits (Paul Cezanne). Fruit was hardly an uncommon subject for Cezanne's paintings, but there's something about the contrasting red and yellow apples, alongside the simple plated biscuit that makes me want to proceed immediately to a farmers market.

4.Picnic Lunch By Pool (James Tissot). They look like they're having so much fun, don't they? I sort of want to jump into this painting and grab a piece of that currant(?) cake and a spot of tea. No one will notice, surely, as long as I also wear a big hat.

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A platter of steak and eggs must be forthcoming.

3. A1 Sauce (Ralph Goings). I myself would have called this painting Ketchup because I very much prefer that condiment over steak sauce; however, I guess Goings can choose his own title. What is perhaps most appetizing about this picture is what's absent, specifically, all the delicious foods about to be adorned with such sauces.
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Just something to tide you over until lunch.
2. Breakfast With Ham (Pieter Claesz). Not usually what I have first thing in the morning, but perhaps this was the breakfast of champions for seventeenth-century Dutch folk? Also, is that a giant glass of wine?

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Nothing gets me psyched for Turkey Day like this painting.
1. Freedom From Want (Norman Rockwell). Though perhaps a cliched symbol of Thanksgiving, Rockwell's "Freedom From Want" (one of a four-part series) is nevertheless for me a lovely reminder of the pleasures of dining with loved ones. By which, I mean a large turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

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 Jeff: I visited the Prado last spring and I cannot believe I missed this painting. It should have been on the list!

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