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square BANQUETS AT THE PORTUGUESE COURT
   IN THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURIES:
   SPACE, PLACE AND TRADITION

    Memory Holloway


ABSTRACT
The representation of meals and banquets in Portuguese painting from the Renaissance to the early modern period is almost exclusively linked to religious imagery that features meals as rites associated with the Eucharist and Biblical texts. The food that appears in paintings by Gregório Lopes, Francisco Henriques,Vasco Fernandes (Grau Vasco), Josefa d’Ayala, (Josefa de Óbidos) is symbolic. What the royal family and the upper classes ate, how they were served, and food preparation appropriate for a banquet was left to the written work of the cook who served nobility and presented banquets in the royal household. Domingo Rodrigues, whose Arte de Cozinha of 1690, was the first cookbook to be published in Portugal, should be read along with the paintings as a guide that confirms the formality and symbolic presentation of royal meals. His work, practical in its details, gives us a view of the specifics of the court banquet in Portugal of the time and is in direct contrast to paintings of the same period.