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Allegory of Taste is an oil painting produced in 1618 as a collaborative effort by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Reubens and is one of a series of works portraying the five senses. Of the chaotic elements depicted in this piece, the eye is first drawn to the indoor space, where a long rectangular table covered in a white table cloth rests in the center of the work. Dishes, decorations and delicacies seem to overflow from the surface: lobster, chicken, fruits on a golden tray, and four cakes with a swan, a peacock and two smaller birds atop the desserts. Sitting on one end of the table is fair skinned, voluptuous woman placing food into her mouth as a satyr pours a liquid into the woman’s goblet. Three large paintings hang along the two walls and one painting rests on the floor angled towards the viewer. These paintings contain images of large groups of individuals gathered, perhaps for a meal. In the back of the room there is a doorway that leads to a kitchen where a man and a young boy are preparing food. The ground in front of the table are strewn with a basket of grapes, a group of dead fish along with dead birds and small animals all piled on top of one another along with the head of a pig, a peacock and a small deer pinned against a column. The small creature resting on the woman’s chair and the dog peering out behind the door are the only living creatures in the indoor space and both appear vigilant. There are two large columns in the center of the painting and on the right side of the columns is the outside space dominated by a landscape. Numerous animals that were dead indoors, are found walking freely outside. A forest covers the very right side of the work. The buildings and river are in the center of the landsca... ... middle of paper ... ...ctually a goddess. The consumption of the peacock provides special, supernatural qualities and the drama of the feast and death in the image hint at the wasteful, greedy quality found in Greek mythology. There are endless details hidden throughout this magnificent gem. A piece of this work I have yet to comprehend, are the two figures resting on the grass in the background. They are incredibly tiny and almost unrecognizable, yet the artists must have had a purpose in placing them there. What do those figures mean? Why are they so ambiguous and almost undistinguishable from the rest of the animals in the background? The subject matter within this work is very applicable to our modern society, as the themes of selfishness and wastefulness. Mina Sultana Art H 203 AD reflected within this painting, are ever present in our lives, illustrating the absurdity of human greed

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