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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

Vincent Van Gogh | Café Terrace at Night | Daube Provençale

Vincent Van Gogh | Café Terrace at Night

"Terrasse du café le soir" or "Café Terrace at Night" is a painting by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, created in September 1888. This artwork showcases a vibrant night scene at a café on the Place du Forum in Arles, France. The painting is known for its rich use of color, unique composition, and striking nocturnal atmosphere.

In the foreground, the terrace of the café is depicted, with several tables and chairs arranged for customers to enjoy their drinks and meals. The café's patrons are portrayed as silhouettes, engaged in conversation or quietly enjoying their time. The waitstaff can be seen attending to the guests and moving about the terrace.

The cobblestone street extends into the background, where additional people can be observed walking and conversing. The surrounding buildings, illuminated by the warm glow of the café's gas lamps and a few windows, exhibit the architectural charm of the region. A large tree on the left side of the painting adds depth and balances the composition.

One of the most striking elements of "Café Terrace at Night" is van Gogh's use of color. The artist employed a vivid palette, with dominant shades of blue, yellow, and orange, creating a remarkable contrast between the warm, inviting atmosphere of the café and the cooler, more mysterious night sky. The brushstrokes are bold and expressive, which is characteristic of van Gogh's signature style.



Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. Despite his exceptional talent, van Gogh struggled with mental health issues throughout his life and received little recognition for his work during his lifetime. He created over 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which he made during the last two years of his life.

Born in Zundert, Netherlands, van Gogh pursued various careers before turning to art, including working as an art dealer and a preacher. His artistic career began in earnest in the late 1880s, during which he moved to Paris, where he was exposed to the works of the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists. This experience greatly influenced his style, and he began incorporating brighter colors and more expressive brushstrokes into his paintings.

In 1888, van Gogh moved to Arles, in the south of France, seeking a brighter, more vibrant environment. This period, known as his "Arles Period," is characterized by some of his most famous works, such as "Sunflowers," "Starry Night Over the Rhone," and "Café Terrace at Night."


Recipe: Daube Provençale (Provencal Meat Stew)

Daube Provençale is a traditional French dish originating from the Provence region in the southeastern part of the country. It has a rich history and has been a part of French cuisine for centuries.
This dish's roots can be traced back to the Romans, who brought their culinary traditions, including slow-cooked, marinated meats, to the region when they conquered it in the 2nd century BCE.

Daube Provençale is a slow-cooked stew made with beef or other meats, such as pork or lamb, marinated in red wine, garlic, and various herbs and spices, like thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. The marinated meat is then cooked with vegetables, such as carrots, onions, and tomatoes, which help to create a rich and flavorful sauce. The dish is typically cooked in a large, heavy pot called a "daubière," which has a tight-fitting lid to lock in moisture and flavors during the slow cooking process.


  • 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg) beef chuck or stew meat, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) cubes
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz (411 g) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (240 ml) dry red wine (such as a Côtes du Rhône or Burgundy)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) beef broth
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) brandy (optional)
  • 1 strip orange zest, about 1 x 3 inches (2.5 x 7.5 cm)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (about 75 g) pitted black olives, such as Kalamata or Niçoise
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish 


  1. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer the browned beef to a plate and set aside.

  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil to the pot. Add the onions and carrots, and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are softened and slightly translucent.

  3. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

  4. Add the browned beef back to the pot, along with the diced tomatoes, red wine, beef broth, brandy (if using), orange zest, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, and allspice. Stir to combine.

  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer gently for 2-3 hours, or until the beef is very tender and the flavors have melded together.

  6. About 15 minutes before the end of cooking, add the black olives to the stew and stir to incorporate.

  7. When the daube is ready, remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprig. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

  8. Serve the daube over cooked egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or polenta, garnished with chopped fresh parsley

Additional information

In the 19th century, as French cuisine began to develop and refine further, daube Provençale became a signature dish of the Provence region, known for its delicious flavors and hearty, comforting nature. The dish remains popular today, with many variations on the classic recipe, which sometimes include olives, mushrooms, or orange zest, among other ingredients. It is often served with pasta, polenta, or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.


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