The Art of the Table: Feasts and Fantasy

14 – 28 November 2013

At the heart of the home, whether rich or poor, is a fascination with food, and this shared experience not only provides the perfect opportunity to flaunt wealth and status through elaborate artefacts, but also illustrates shifting fashions and styles of eating. Through the centuries food and its rituals have provided a consistent theme for artists to celebrate, to analyse their world and even to develop complex ideas of morality. For the medieval and Christian world, bread and wine are the emblems of faith, in 17th century Spain and Holland still-life painting captures the prosperity of the age, and in the 19th century the informality of cafes and bars illustrates the arrival of a new social and urban order.