|Ludwig Passini, Caffe Greco (1855)|
|Picasso, The Frugal Repast|
I have posted before on Goethe as gourmand and his fondness for food and drink, but until I read this piece it had never struck me that Goethe probably never ate in the kinds of restaurants that were frequented by the rising bourgeoisie in Paris in the early part of the 19th century. Rick once pointed out to me the absence in The Italian Journey of discussions of Italian food. Goethe was in Berlin and Rome, but not in Paris or Vienna; and since he was in a courtly capacity in the former, the customs of the rising bourgeoisie in these cities were not something he experienced. He no doubt ate some well-prepared meals, especially at home, and he certainly favored freshness, but did he experience "cuisine"? Did Weimar have a concept of cuisine? You can learn a lot of about Goethe when you discover what he did not partake in, especially when it concerns customs that have become integral to la vie moderne. By the way, the Caffe Greco, which Goethe does mention in The Italian Journey, has a website featuring photos of interior and exterior.
|Toulouse-Lautrec, The Last Crumbs|
Does this not sound like Goethe talking about world literature?