Food In The Louvre Celebrates Food's Antiquity

Eat your way through the Louvre's food masterpieces

One could argue that the most ancient of arts is cookery. From cave drawings (the wounded bison at Lascaux) to Pop Art (Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans), art has always drawn inspiration from the table.

In the new, visually captivating book Food in the Louvre, the museum's head chef, Yves Pinard, and Michelin-starred chef Paul Bocuse step out of the kitchen to lead us through a culinary-based art history lesson, dissecting the museum's endless collection of still lifes and grand feasts.

The narrative starts at the tomb carving of Egyptian princess Nerfertiabet (which depicts an afterlife-worthy feast) and winds its way through other food-centric works, such as Delacroix's Still Life with Lobsters, where the crustaceans hold court with a lifeless hare and pheasant.

And in a metavisual turn of the screw, many of the works included in the book are accompanied by a recipe that has, in turn, taken it as inspiration. For the aforementioned work by Delacroix, Pinard points to Escoffier's recipes for lobster thermidor and pheasant salami.

As for us, we'll take Luis Eugenio Meléndez's glowing platter of juicy green figs (pictured) alongside a boule of crusty, rustic bread for our muse; its accompanying recipe (click here to download) seems almost too good to eat. Almost.