Eve's Apple to the Last Supper

Picturing Food in the Bible

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
C. M. Kauffmann
  • Suffolk, UK: 
    Boydell & Brewer
    , May
     184 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Maryanne Saunders forthcoming.


A richly illustrated examination of food in the Bible, concentrating on the social aspects of eating.

Why do we think it was an apple that Eve offered to Adam? In fact the Bible tells us nothing of the kind, yet apples figure in the illustrations.
Out of literally hundreds of meals mentioned in the Bible, only relatively few were ever illustrated. This book discusses the most frequently illustrated scenes, covering the thirteen centuries from Roman catacomb paintings and sarcophagus reliefs to Rembrandt and Poussin. Many of the subjects discussed will be widely familiar, others, such as the meals of Ruth and of the Parables, perhaps less so. Close attention is paid to the biblical text and its coverage in the illustrations. In rare instances the images have no source in the text. The popular scene of Joseph cooking for the infant Jesus, for example, is never mentioned. It is known only from biblical commentaries and from the extant illustrations.
The book contains some 160 colour images illustrating the twenty-two meals discussed. It will provide food for thought for readers interested in the study of the Bible and biblical commentaries, the history of meals and food, and the history of art.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

C.M. Kauffmann was Keeper of Prints & Drawings and Paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum and then Director of the Courtauld Institute and Professor of the History of Art, University of London. Among his publications are catalogues of paintings at the V & A and the Wellington Museum and also books and articles on medieval art, including Romanesque Manuscripts (1066-1190) and Biblical Imagery in Medieval England 700-1550.


Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments