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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

Robert Spear Dunning | Peaches and Grapes | Grilled Peaches and Caprese with Grapes

 Robert Spear Dunning | Peaches and Grapes

"Robert Spear Dunning - Peaches and Grapes" from 1886 is a beautiful still life painting that showcases the artist's talent for capturing the intricate details and textures of fruit. In the composition, a variety of ripe peaches and grapes are arranged on a table, their vibrant colors contrasting with the empty background.

The attention to detail in the painting, from the delicate fuzz on the peaches to the subtle reflections on the grapes, showcases Dunning's mastery of still life painting. The composition as a whole is visually appealing, with the play of light and shadow adding an air of realism and depth to the scene. 



Robert Spear Dunning (1829-1905) was an American painter known for his exceptional still life and genre paintings. Born in Brunswick, Maine, he developed an interest in art at an early age and began his studies in Boston under the guidance of various artists. Eventually, he settled in Fall River, Massachusetts, where he established his studio.

Dunning was a founding member of the Fall River School of painting, a group of artists who specialized in still life and genre scenes. His works often featured fruits, flowers, and household objects, which he depicted with great attention to detail and realism. The use of light and shadow in his paintings, along with his ability to capture the texture and color of various objects, made him stand out as a talented still life painter.


Recipe: Grilled Peaches and Caprese with Grapes

Fruits, like peaches and grapes, held special significance in still life paintings during the area of Dunning. They were not only visually appealing but also symbolized abundance, fertility, and the ephemeral nature of life, as fruits have a limited lifespan before they decay. The depiction of ripe fruits was a reminder of life's fleeting moments and the need to enjoy and appreciate its beauty.


  • 4 large ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced (or small mozarella balls)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Grill the peach halves on medium-high heat until slightly charred and tender. Arrange the grilled peaches, mozzarella, and (halved) grapes on a platter. Mix the balsamic glaze with some honey. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze, then season with salt and pepper. Top with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Additional information

Peaches were native to China but were introduced to the Western world through trade routes. By the 19th century, peaches were grown in Europe and North America, where they were cherished for their sweet, juicy flavor. They were often enjoyed fresh or preserved for later use. Peaches were also used in pies, cobblers, and other baked goods. 

Grapes, on the other hand, have a long history of cultivation and consumption across Europe and the Mediterranean region. They were valued not only for eating fresh but also for making wine, vinegar, and raisins. In the 19th century, grapes became more accessible due to advancements in agriculture and transportation, making them a popular ingredient in various dishes and desserts, such as fruit salads and jellies. Grapes were also used as table decorations and as an accompaniment to cheese platters.


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