Famous Food Paintings in Art History

Food paintings are quite famous in the history of art. There are many artists who choose this subject. I always preferred realistic food paintings on canvas. Art history show several great examples of how food and water was given a place in artistic creations. In European paintings of 18th and 19th centuries, feasting sketches were quite common.

Gradually artists began to use wine glasses, fruits and plants along with other subjects. It gave the artists an opportunity to label texture and color through experiments. Still life paintings of food gained popularity in the art domain in those years. Some still life elements were connected with the Christian imagery. Grapes symbolized the last supper wine while halved nuts often depicted the holy trinity.

Still life painting with fruits came up as an important subject of art in Italy, Spain and Netherlands by the end of seventeenth century. Some paintings helped to understand the lifestyle of the prevailing societies of that time. Paintings with vegetables, shellfish, unique fruits and lemons clearly show the eating habits of people. These paintings give more opportunity to study and understand about art and culture of each place.

Famous Food Paintings

  • Still Life with Ham, Lobster and Fruit

Artist: Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606-1684)

Still Life with Ham, Lobster and Fruit

  • Vincent Van Gogh (Still-Life with Apples (1887), Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)



  • Paul Cezanne (Still life with milk jug and fruit)

He was a post-impressionist artist who gave a classical touch in paintings. Here is one of the famous work of Cezanne, a classical breakfast scene from France.


Food Painting- Contemporary Perspective

There are many modern artists who love to paint food as the main subject. Often we see a dramatic change from ancient painting style to the modern method. The 21st century artists are usually seen interested in realism. Although there are different view points regarding realistic painting and traditional method, these photo-realistic works gained much popularity in the social platform.

  • Luigi Benedicenti

check out Photo-realistic food paintings of Luigi Benedicenti

  • Joel Penkman


  •  Tjalf Sparnaay

He is a Dutch artist who is known for hyper-realistic food paintings. His works are often hard to believe as a painting. He has some of the famous food paintings in his credit.


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