Skip to main content

Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

220: A lady holding a plate with a waffle

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

A lady holding a plate with a waffle Buy a print
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn RSS feed for events RSS feed for stories
University of Cambridge Museums logo Designation scheme Logo Accredited Museum status logo Cambridge City Council Logo Arts Council England Logo Research England logo