[Sca-cooks] Picture Puzzler

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Mon Oct 5 17:37:23 PDT 2009

> Greetings Gracious List Members,
> I have recently subscribed and have thoroughly enjoyed the discussions so 
> far.
> I found someone's blog that occasionally has a "Food Painting of the 
> Week". I do not remember your name, no offense meant,  though I believe 
> you are on this list. I would like to enlist the members here in helping 
> me identify the items in this still life by Clara Peeters.
> http://www.bluffton.edu/womenartists/womenartistspw/peeters/peeters.html 
> It is called Cheeses with Almonds and Pretzels.
> Things I know: Clara Peeters was a Dutch still life artists in the early 
> 1600s. It is thought that she did this painting sometime in her teems. 
> These types of still life paintings are sometimes called breakfast 
> paintings or break the fast paintings.
> I want to identify as many of the items in the painting as possible. My 
> thoughts so far are counter clockwise from top left:
> Butter on an unpolished pewter plate
> Softer, mold ripened cheese. Possibly Brie or Camembert
> Aged cheese. Possibly an Emental or Gouda
> Aged cheese. I think it may be some kind of blue cheese
> The stack is sitting on a polished silver or pewter plate.
> Pretzels
> Pottery plate containing almonds, raisons, and figs? dates?

>From the two pieces stemmed together at the foot of the glass, I would say 
your raisins are probably dried cherries.

> Pretty glass containing wine? liqueur? Is this a drinking vessel or just a 
> decanter type of thing?

A drinking glass with cover.  While the contents might be a distillate, I 
would suspect it is watered wine.

> Bread roll. Pan de mane?

The shape is a galette.  The color says it's made from wheat flour (IMO, at 
least twice boulted), which in earlier times would make it pan de mane.  I 
would suspect it is about 6 inches in diameter and weighs 8 ounces avoir., 
roughly equivalent to a manchet, but unlike the manchet, this loaf (IMO) is 
most likely a double rise.

> Pottery face jug. Any ideas on what it could contain? My thoughts are beer 
> or wine.

Or oil, or mead, or anything that pours.  In this case, it's probably meant 
to be the decanter for the fluid in the glass.

> My purpose for wanting this information: I have set myself the tast of 
> doing "Food from a Portrait" like the costumers do clothing from a 
> portrait.
> Any help would be gratefully accepted.
> Hilde
> Apprentice to Baroness Casamira Jawjalny
> Barony of Loch Salann
> Kingdom of Artemisia


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