Skip to main content


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

David Martin | Portrait of Benjamin Franklin | Roasted Parmesan Potatoes

 David Martin | Benjamin Franklin

David Martin, QS:P170,Q2915164, Benjamin Franklin 1767

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was a man of many talents, including being a leading writer, printer, political philosopher, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He was an advocate for colonial unity, and worked as a diplomat in Europe where he influenced the Paris peace treaty that ended the Revolutionary War.

The portrait of Benjamin Franklin, painted by David Martin in 1767, is a full-length portrait that shows Franklin in a different light than other, more formal portraits.

In the painting, Franklin is depicted in an intimate setting, sitting comfortably in a high-backed chair with a manuscript in his hand. He is dressed in a plain blue suit, matching the relaxed atmosphere of the setting. His attention is entirely focused on manuscript he is reading, suggesting his well-known love of knowledge and learning.

This painting provides a more personal and intimate view of Franklin, emphasizing his intellectual pursuits rather than his political achievements. The image of Franklin deeply engrossed in a book reflects his reputation as a voracious reader and a self-taught polymath.


David Martin (1737–1797) was a British portrait painter and engraver, known for his portraits of notable figures in British society, politics, and the arts. He was born in Fife, Scotland and studied under the prominent artist Allan Ramsay.

Martin's career as a portraitist began in earnest when he was appointed Ramsay's chief assistant in 1755. In this role, he was responsible for producing versions of state portraits of George III. He gained a reputation as an accomplished portraitist, and his clients included many influential figures of the time.


Recipe: Roasted Parmesan Potatoes

The potato was brought to Europe in the late 16th century, but it took some time for it to be widely accepted and consumed. During Franklin's time, the potato was still not a very popular food item, especially among the upper classes. It was often seen as a food for the poor or for animals, and many people believed it was unhealthy. 
However, Franklin, recognized the nutritional value of the potato. He was introduced to the potato while in France and he enjoyed them very much. He even served potatoes at a dinner in France where he invited a number of high-profile guests, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, to help boost the reputation of the potato. This event is often credited with helping to increase the popularity and acceptance of the potato.

While Franklin was living in Paris, he had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of European foods and ingredients, including cheeses like Parmesan. In a letter, he wrote: "And for one I confess that if I could find in any Italian Travels a Receipt for making Parmesan Cheese, it would give me more Satisfaction than a Transcript of any Inscription from any Stone whatever."


  • 2 pounds of potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs for garnish (optional) 


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  2. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cut them into quarters. If they are large, you might want to cut them into smaller chunks.
  3. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with the olive oil until they are fully coated.
  4. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the potatoes, then season with salt and pepper. Toss again to make sure the potatoes are evenly coated with the cheese and seasonings.
  5. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet, ensuring they are in a single layer for even cooking.
  6. Roast the potatoes in the oven for about 45-60 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown. You may want to turn them over halfway through to ensure they are evenly browned.
  7. Once done, you can garnish with parmesan and  fresh herbs if desired.

Additional information

In the 18th century, food in America was influenced by both native traditions and the cuisines of European colonists. Franklin himself was known to have a wide-ranging curiosity and appreciation for different types of food, both from his own country and from abroad.

The diet of the average person during this time period was quite diverse and often depended on what was available locally. In Franklin's native New England, common foods included corn, beans, and squash (known as the "Three Sisters" and often grown together), as well as fish and shellfish.

In terms of meat, wild game such as venison, turkey, and rabbit was common, as well as pork, beef, and mutton. Fresh fruits and vegetables were seasonally available and were often preserved for use during the colder months.


Popular Posts