Artists like Rembrandt, Goya, Monet, Manet and Édouard-Émery Richard did some interesting paintings on meat.  Rembrandt even painted a whole carcass of beef which some people may find scary. There are all oil paintings showing the fine textures in a highly skillful way.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 – 1669), The Carcass of Beef, 1655, oil on wood, 94 x 69 cm, the Louvre
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 – 1669), The Carcass of Beef, 1655, oil on wood, 94 x 69 cm, the Louvre
Francisco José de Goya (1746 – 1828), Still life with Sheep's Head, oil on canvas, 45 x 62 cm, the Louvre
Francisco José de Goya (1746 – 1828), Still life with Sheep’s Head, oil on canvas, 45 x 62 cm, the Louvre
Oscar-Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), Still Life: Piece of Beef, 1864, 24 x 33 cm, Musee D'Orsay
Oscar-Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), Still Life: Piece of Beef, 1864, 24 x 33 cm, Musee D’Orsay

 

Édouard Manet (1832 -1883), Eel and Red Snapper, 1864, oil on canvas, Musee D'orsay
Édouard Manet (1832 -1883), Eel and Red Snapper, 1864, oil on canvas, Musee D’orsay

 

Édouard Manet (1832 -1883), The Ham, 1880, oil on canvas, 32 x 42 cm, Burrell Collection, Glasgow
Édouard Manet (1832 -1883), The Ham, 1880, oil on canvas, 32 x 42 cm, Burrell Collection, Glasgow
Édouard-Émery Richard (1844 – 1904), Plucked Hen, oil on canvas, 27 x 35 cm, the Heritage
Édouard-Émery Richard (1844 – 1904), Plucked Hen, oil on canvas, 27 x 35 cm, the Heritage

Chinese paintings on cooked meat

Meat has never been a popular subject for traditional Chinese artists. There are not many examples of Chinese paintings on cooked meat.

Modern artists like Ren Bonian (任百年) and Qi Baishi (齊白石) did paintings with cooked crab and a jar of wine. Zhèng Nǎiguàng (鄭乃珖) did paintings of raw seafood on plates.

Using watercolour, it is not easy to show the fine texture of meat like pork. Drawing other things like crabs with more distinctive features may be more practical.

 

Ren Bonian (任百年) (1840 – 1896), 把酒持螯 bǎ jiǔ chí áo (Eating Crab and Drinking Wine), ink and watercolour on paper
Ren Bonian (任百年) (1840 – 1896), 把酒持螯 bǎ jiǔ chí áo (Eating Crab and Drinking Wine), ink and watercolour on paper
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Qi Baishi 齊白石 (1864 – 1957), Crabs and Wine, ink and watercolour on paper

 

Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Carp 《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》 img002 Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Yellow Snails《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》
Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Carp 《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》

 

Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Yellow Snails《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》
Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Yellow Snails《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》

Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Shrimps 《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》
Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Shrimps 《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》

 

Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Flathead《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》Flathead
Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Flathead《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》Flathead

 

Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Purple Fish《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》
Zhèng Nǎiguàng 鄭乃珖 (1911—2005) Purple Fish《荣宝斋画谱 郑乃珖》

 

 

Sculpture of Meat

A piece of jasper, a form of agate, are cleverly used to create a likeness of a piece of pork cooked in soy sauce. The colours and textured surface makes the layers of skin, lean meat, and fat materialized incredibly lifelike.

Dong-Po Rou (東波肉)(The pork belly meat) rock. Taipei Palace Museum https://www.pinterest.com/pin/90635011224061300
Dong-Po Rou (東波肉)(The pork belly meat) rock. Taipei Palace Museum https://www.pinterest.com/pin/90635011224061300

 

Bibliography :

户辅圣  (2003) 中国画历代名家技法图典 花鸟编 (中) 上海书画出版社

Gowing, Lawrence (1987), Paintings in the Louvre, Stewart, Tabori & Chang ISBN 1-55670-007-5

Rosenblum, Robert (1989) Paintings in The Musee D’Orsay, Stewart, Tabori & Chang ISBN 1-55670-099-7

French Painting from the Hermitage, Leningrad, Mid-19th to early 20th Century(1987), Aurora Art Publishers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Palace_Museum

 

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