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Giacomo-Maria Giovannini (after Marc’Antonio Chiarini), centerpiece for the banquet of Senator Francesco Ratta, 1693, etching, 15 3/4 × 21 3/4". Frontispiece from Disegni del convito (Designs of the Banquet) (Bologna: Per li Peri, 1693).

“The Edible Monument: the Art of Food for Festivals”

The Getty Research Institute

Giacomo-Maria Giovannini (after Marc’Antonio Chiarini), centerpiece for the banquet of Senator Francesco Ratta, 1693, etching, 15 3/4 × 21 3/4". Frontispiece from Disegni del convito (Designs of the Banquet) (Bologna: Per li Peri, 1693).

“THIS GRAFFITI-ARTIST-TURNED-CHEF Is Lighting Up the Paris Restaurant Scene,” reads a typical gastronomical write-up today. Whether cooking on a remote Swedish mountain or in a laboratory-like kitchen, the contemporary master chef prefers to be portrayed as an artist. And perhaps even more than an old-fashioned Michelin star, a massive tome from a major art publisher seems to be a mandatory requirement. Yet if the dialogue between food and art is livelier than ever, last year’s mammoth survey “Arts and Foods—Rituals Since 1851” at the Milan Triennale made it abundantly clear that the conversation has been going on for quite some time, indeed has been central throughout the modern era. Just as chefs have long identified themselves with the arts, there’s nothing unusual about artists expanding their practice into the realm of cooking. Remember F. T. Marinetti’s Futurist banquets

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