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DOI 10.12887/35-2022-1-137-12

Małgorzata Wrześniak, The Splendor of Food: On the Communication Functions of Representations of the Fruits of the Earth in European Art

Cena brutto: 7,00 PLN za szt.

An analysis of iconographic material related to the representations, used in art, of the gifts of nature shows their diversified functions and meanings. The meanings conveyed by images of food depend not only on their position in a given artefact (as a central scene, a background scene or a decorative motif), but also on the broad historical-cultural context that shapes the symbolic content of the images: from clear, or even obvious, religious connotations, to moral guidelines, to references of implicitly erotic nature. The present article proposes a general classification of the iconographic material in question, to discuss some topics related to the food images present in culture, and to identify communication functions of such images in art and in fashion. The classification is the basis for reflection on symbolic content communicated throughout history via images of vegetables, fruit and different kinds of meat shown in market and kitchen scenes, as well as in vanitas still lifes that refer to biblical themes or are of moralizing nature. The paper addresses also the symbolism of food in contemporary fashion and luxury goods advertising. Fruit and vegetables depicted in such contexts refer to the meanings well established in art history, those of abundance and fulfillment which comprises also reaching for what is forbidden.

Translated by Patrycja Mikulska

Keywords: food, feast, still life, forbidden fruit, vegetable prints

Contact: Katedra Historii Kultury i Muzeologii, Instytut Nauk o Kulturze, Wydział Nauk Humanistycznych,
Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego,
ul. Dewajtis 5, 01-815 Warsaw, Poland

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887