March 23, 2010
Super-Sizing the Last Supper
According to a panel of obesity experts, the Last Supper has been getting super-sized in artistic representations through the years:
The Cornell University team studied 52 of the most famous paintings of the Biblical scene over the millennium and scrutinised the size of the feast.
They found the main courses, bread and plates put before Jesus and his disciples have progressively grown by up to two-thirds.
This, they say, is art imitating life.
Professor Brian Wansink, who, with his brother Craig, led the research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, said: “The last thousand years have witnessed dramatic increases in the production, availability, safety, abundance and affordability of food.
“We think that as art imitates life, these changes have been reflected in paintings of history’s most famous dinner.”
The take-away lesson from all this: That Pompeiian snack bar might be a cool find, but don’t expect the portions to satisfy.
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