Friday Art: The Spice Shop by Paolo Antonio Barbieri (1637)

Barbieri was a Bologense painter of still lifes and animals, mostly. His more famous older brother Guercino got the big Papal invite to play the big-time at Rome. Paolo helped him out on some material, but also produced some nice work of his own, most notably this one.

I like how all the containers of raw spices look like gumball machines. The kid grinding out the mix with the mortar & pestle has a lot to choose from.

I’m thinking about what kind of spice rub to give my steak tonight, in case you’re wondering why this painting is today’s subject. Even though the prices are relatively cheaper now than in 1637, not much else has changed about spices. They’re still better freshly ground and kept whole. And I even have a small mortar and pestle to do it with.

I guess now all I need is that kid’s outfit. The hat is really me.

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