In April 1604, the Italian painter Caravaggio, believing that he had been slighted, threw a platter of artichokes at the head of waiter in a Roman tavern. This essay examines this curious episode through the lens art history, food history, and of social mores in seventeenth-century Rome, considering the history of the artichoke, Caravaggio's polemical naturalism, and contemporary attitudes to his art and behavior.
Jesse Locker is Associate Professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art at Portland State University. He is the author of numerous works on early modern art including Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting (Yale University Press, 2015), and editor of Art and Reform in the Late Renaissance: After Trent (Routledge, 2018).
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Jesse Locker; Caravaggio's Artichokes. Gastronomica 1 November 2019; 19 (4): 20–27. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2019.19.4.20
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