The Takeout: Art historian admits that 19th-century food paintings can often look totally gross

An intricate and provocative journey through nineteenth-century depictions of food and the often uncomfortable feelings they evokeLong before the dawn of smartphones or instant cameras, if you wanted to share pictures of your food with total strangers, you needed to grab some canvas, an easel, and your set of brushes and paint it for them. It’s yet to be seen how many of Instagram’s modern masterpieces will stand the test the time like the still life tablescapes of yore, which are still disgusting people like art historian Marni Kessler well over a century after their creation. After dissecting the history of veils in the art in her first book, Kessler has turned her attention to the culinary delights of France in her new book, Discomfort Food: The Culinary Imagination in Late Nineteenth-Century French Art. If paintings from this era do more to stimulate your gag reflex than your appetite, you’re not alone: as written about by the University of Kansas, Kessler approaches masterworks like Edouard Manet’s Fish (Still Life) and Edgar Degas’ Portrait of a Man with brutal honesty, taking the position that the food in many of these paintings looks kinda gross.

Article at The Takeout.