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François Barraud | La Tailleuse de Soupe | Rustic Onion Soup

 François Barraud | La Tailleuse de Soupe In "La Tailleuse de Soupe," a painting from 1933 by François Barraud, we witness a scene imbued with mystery and a touch of surrealism, both characteristics that pervade many of Barraud's works. The title originates from the French verb "tailler" which means "to cut" or "to carve". This painting captures an intriguing domestic moment. A young girl, adorned with a large orange ribbon, sits at a table where a large steaming tureen of soup sits. She gazes at the viewer with a somewhat sullen expression, while across from her, her mother, seemingly in a cheerful mood, cuts slices of bread with a distinct smile. The narrative preceding this scene remains unknown. We're left to speculate what might have led to the young girl's mood, her refusal to watch the near-dismemberment of the loaf of bread that her mother enthusiastically carves into thin slices, presumably to accompany the hot soup soon to b

Michelangelo | Dividing Light from Darkness | Shadows and Light Risotto

 Michelangelo | Dividing Light from Darkness

Michelangelo, Dividing Light from Darkness

"Dividing Light from Darkness" is one of the nine central panels depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. In this specific scene, Michelangelo portrays the third day of the Creation story, where God separates light from darkness.

The scene features a powerful and muscular God, with his right arm raised and his left arm extended outwards. His face is full of determination, and his hair and beard flow dynamically, giving a sense of movement and energy. God's swirling draperies convey a sense of motion, as if he is flying through the chaos to bring order and structure to the universe.

The background is relatively simple, with few details, as the focus is on God's commanding figure. The contrast between light and dark is evident in the painting, with God's radiant form emerging from the shadows.

"Dividing Light from Darkness" is a powerful portrayal of God's creative force, emphasizing the theme of order triumphing over chaos and establishing the natural world's balance.



Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was an Italian Renaissance artist, sculptor, architect, and poet, widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of Western art. Born in Caprese, Tuscany, he was raised in Florence, a city that played a significant role in shaping his artistic development.

Michelangelo's exceptional talent was recognized early in his life, and he was apprenticed to the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio before studying sculpture under Bertoldo di Giovanni at the Medici family's school. His natural skill and dedication to his craft quickly earned him a reputation as a prodigy, and his works would eventually become some of the most celebrated masterpieces in the world.

Among Michelangelo's most iconic works are the sculptures of "David" and the "Pieta," both of which display his mastery of anatomy, proportion, and expressive emotion. As a painter, he is best known for his work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Vatican City, which features an expansive series of frescoes depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis. This monumental project showcases his incredible skill in composition, perspective, and the use of color.
In addition to his work in sculpture and painting, Michelangelo was also an accomplished architect, designing the facade of the Laurentian Library and the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, among other projects.
Michelangelo's artistic legacy has had a profound and lasting impact on the development of art in the centuries that followed, and his works continue to inspire awe and admiration. His relentless pursuit of perfection, innovative techniques, and deep understanding of the human condition have solidified his place as a true genius and one of the most influential artists in history. 

Recipe: Shadows and Light Risotto

Risotto's roots can be traced back to the 10th century when Arabs introduced rice to Italy and Spain. Rice was first cultivated in the Po Valley region in Northern Italy, which provided an ideal environment for its growth due to its fertile soil and abundance of water. The modern version of risotto is believed to have originated in Milan during the 15th century. At that time, Milan was under Spanish rule, and slow-cooking techniques were popular. The combination of locally grown rice and these slow-cooking methods gave birth to the first risotto dishes.

Italy has numerous variations of risotto, each incorporating local ingredients and flavors like vegetables, seafood, meats, cheeses, herbs, and even truffles. As regional examples, Risotto al Barolo from the Piedmont region is made with red wine, while Risotto al Nero di Seppia from Venice includes cuttlefish ink for a striking black color and unique taste.


  • 1 cup Arborio White Rice
  • 1 cup Black (forbidden) Rice
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped, divided
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced, divided
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth, divided
  • 1 cup White Wine, divided
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Chopped fresh Parsley, for garnish 


  1. Begin by cooking the white and black rice separately in two different pots or large saucepans. In each pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the chopped onion to each pot and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.

  2. Add half of the minced garlic to each pot and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

  3. Stir 1 cup of Arborio rice into one pot and 1 cup of black rice into the other. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice is well-coated in the oil and onion-garlic mixture.

  4. Add 1/2 cup of white wine to each pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is mostly absorbed.

  5. Add 1 cup of vegetable broth to each pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, to each pot, stirring occasionally and allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more.

  6. Cook the rice until tender and creamy, about 25-30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

  7. Remove both pots from heat. Stir 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese into each pot.

  8. To serve, use a large spoon to place a portion of white risotto on one half of a plate, and a portion of black risotto on the other half, or put the white risotto in the center. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Additional information

Arborio rice

The key to a perfect risotto is the use of short-grain rice, which has a high starch content that contributes to the dish's creamy texture. Arborio rice is the most commonly used variety for risotto, named after the town of Arborio in the Piedmont region of Italy where it was first cultivated.

Gradual addition of liquid

Risotto is made by gradually adding warm broth to the rice while continuously stirring. This slow and steady process allows the rice to release its starch, creating the signature creamy texture of risotto.


The final step in making risotto is called "mantecatura," which involves vigorously stirring in butter and grated cheese (usually Parmesan) to add richness and creaminess to the dish.




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