The Potato in Fine Art
Do you prefer your potatoes in a landscape or in a still life or in a stew? Come with me on a tour of the humble potato in art.
Candy Bedworth 2 March 2023
min Read16 February 2023
Birthday cakes are an established tradition for many. Baking in itself is an art – a delicious one. So why have a cake that is only delicious? Make it beautifully artsy as well to satisfy not only the appetite but also the eyes of art lovers.
Humans have been baking birthday cakes for a very long time. In Ancient Greece, moon-shaped cakes were offered as a tribute to Artemis (the goddess of the moon). It was in the Middle Ages, though, that the Western birthday tradition we know today took shape.
German children received a cake with lit candles on the morning of their birthday. The candles, which represented the child’s age plus one (for the hopes of another year of life), burned through the day. Only at night, after dinner, the child would blow out the candles and make a wish.
Later on, the Industrial Revolution popularized the birthday cake tradition. The mass production that came with that period made baking tools and ingredients more easily available. Even pre-baked and prepared cakes became more common because of that. But that’s enough of historic chit-chat! Here are some beautiful cakes inspired by famous artists and artworks to serve as inspiration for your next birthday.
The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli is one of the most iconic images of Venus. Also known by the Greek name Aphrodite, the goddess was born from the sea foam – which explains the seashell elements in the cake. Why not summon the goddess of beauty and love on your special day?
Whether you prefer Michelangelo’s classical looks or Bosch’s crazy chaos, here are more Early Modern Art inspired cakes:
Cake inspired by Hieronymus Bosch. Photograph by Tortik Annushka via My Modern Met.
Cake inspired by Sandro Botticelli. Photograph by Laura Saporiti Pastry and Cake Art via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Michelangelo. Photograph by Elena Gnut via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. Photograph by Italian Sugar Dream Collaboration via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Johannes Vermeer. Photograph by Callicious Cakes via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Rachel Ruysch. Photograph by Amy DeGiulio of Sugar Flower Cake Shop via Pinterest.
French painter Claude Monet was one of the precursors of Impressionism. The name of this art movement even originated from one of his paintings – although not with a complimentary intention. Unlike the first Impressionist paintings, this Waterlilies-inspired cake will certainly be successful with the public.
Vincent van Gogh is, without a doubt, one of the best-known artists today. No matter how much one knows about art, they have probably heard of him at some point. With so many beautiful paintings to choose from, Van Gogh is a source of inspiration to bakers all over the world. This cake that looks just like Almond Blossom is almost too beautiful to eat – almost.
Here are some other cakes that look just like 19th century art:
Cake inspired by Georges Seurat. Photograph by For the Love of Cake via Cake Wrecks.
Cake inspired by Claude Monet. Photograph by Simply Sweet By Jessica via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Vincent van Gogh. Photograph by Cioccocakes via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Vincent van Gogh. Photograph by Breyanne’s Sweets via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Vincent van Gogh. Photograph by Leslie’s Vigil via Pinterest.
To reflect on the illusory power of art, Surrealist painter René Magritte coined the phrase “ceci n’est pas une pipe” (French for “This is not a pipe”). He purposely created strange and confusing images that challenged the viewer’s perception. But do not worry about the following image: yes, it is cake.
If you’re in the mood for another Surrealist, though, you can make a Salvador Dalì inspired cake. Follow this recipe for your own version of The Persistence of Memory.
See more cakes inspired by 20th century art here:
Cake inspired by René Magritte and Salvador Dalì. Photograph by Zoë Clark Cakes via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Gustav Klimt. Photograph by Cakes by Cassandra via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Gustav Klimt. Photograph by pattygirl254 via Cake Central.
Cake inspired by Frida Kahlo. Photograph by Sweet LionHeart via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Pablo Picasso. Photograph by Nasa Mala Zavrzlama via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Grant Wood. Photograph by H Cake Bake Shop via Cake Wrecks.
If you have ever craved one of Wayne Thiebaud‘s sweet creations in real life (as one does), then here is your chance. The painting Cakes is currently in the National Gallery of Art (in Washington DC), but the cakes in this photo are identical recreations of the ones in Thiebaud’s artwork.
A lot of interesting artworks involve food, so there is no lack of inspiration for baker artists. Another Pop Art icon turned into a cake is Campbell’s Tomato Soup can (not only in the classic red and white but also echoing the colorful works of Andy Warhol).
For more Pop Art in its baked version, see these:
Cake inspired by Roy Lichtenstein. Photograph by cutiepiecupcake via Cake Central.
Cake inspired by Andy Warhol. Photograph by Eat Cake Be Merry via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Keith Haring. Photograph by Bella’s Bakery via Pinterest.
Missed your favorite artist or art movement in this list? Here are some other cake ideas to please pretty much every art lover:
Cake inspired by Hokusai. Photograph by Trimy via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Amedeo Modigliani. Photograph by Sasa Aleksić via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Art Nouveau. Photograph by Maggie Austin viaPinterest.
Cake inspired by Art Deco. Photograph by Julien Drapeau via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Jackson Pollock. Photograph by Adriano Zumbo Patissier via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Jeff Koon. Photograph by Tortik Annushka via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Piet Mondrian. Photograph by Tortik Annushka via Pinterest.
Cake inspired by Maurizio Cattelan. Photograph by Tortik Annusshka via Pinterest.
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