Historical Prints

At the beginning, there were the hunting scenes painted by our ancestors inside the Lascaux caves. Now, we have Ed Atkins’ digital animation videos. Food has always had a key role in artistic representations.

From its inception, Academia Barilla has been cultivating a keen interest in the cultural wealth of gastronomic heritage, and the Academia owns a splendid collection of ancient prints on this topic.

There are over 150 specimens, between xylographs, etchings, burin engravings and lithographs that can be dated from 1500, some with period colouring, dedicated to the subject of food and dining: from kitchen interiors to court banquets, from lifestyle and street scenes with sellers and markets, to more domestic descriptions of family life, from still life to paintings depicting Biblical tales.

Some engravings have high artistic value, because made by important authors of the past, and all make up a fascinating historical testimony of the evolution of gastronomic culture through the centuries. Would you like to get to know them?

THE BANQUET OF THE RICH GLUTTON BY JACOPO DA PONTE DETTO BASSANO

Welcome to a sixteenth-century kitchen. What did the interior of a 16th-century kitchen look like? And what activities…

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THE BOURGEOIS KITCHEN BY JEAN-BAPTISTE LALLEMAND

The value of frugality in 18th century cooking. What objects were found in the kitchens of the well-to-do…

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THE CAKE OF KINGS BY PHILIPPE CANOT

At the dining table of an 18-thcentury aristocratic family. What were the dining customs of an 18th-century aristocratic…

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