A lady holding a plate with a waffle
In this erotically-charged image, a beautiful young woman in a low-cut dress offers the viewer a waffle presented on a polished silver plate. With a knife in her other hand, she is ready to cut the luxurious sweet food into pieces for sharing as a prelude to more carnal delights. Schalcken has used food to evoke the sweet pleasures of an imagined late-night encounter. While Christian moralists warned of the sinful nature of over-indulgence in bodily pleasures, such highly popular sensual depictions of food and flesh were designed to stimulate both physical and sexual appetites.
Godfried Schalcken (1643–1706) Dordrecht, Netherlands, c.1680 – 90 Oil on panel Founder’s Bequest, 1816 (365)
Conserved by Christine Braybrook and Alice Tavares da Silva at the Hamilton Kerr Institute