Sunday, 20 October 2013


History of butter sculpture

The history of carving food into sculptured objects is ancient.Archaeologists have found bread and pudding molds of animal and human shapes at sides from Babylon to Roman Britain.Butter sculpture is an ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition;yak butter and dye are still used to create temporary symbols for the Tibetan New Year and other religious celebrations.
     During the renaissance and Baroque periods molding food was commonly done for wealthy banquets.It was during this period that the earliest known reference to a butter sculpture is found.In 1536,Bartolomeo Scappi,Cook to pope Pius V,organized a feast composed of nine scenes elaborately carved out of food,each carried in episodically as centerpieces for a banquet.Scappi mentioned several butter sculptures for the feast,including an elephant with a palanquin,a figure of Hercules struggling with a lion,and a Moor on a camel.Another early reference is found in the biography of Antonio Canova(1757-1822),who said he first come to his patron's attention when as a humble kitchen boy he sculpted an impressive butter lion for a banquet-the story is no thought apocryphal,though it reaffirms the existense of butter sculptures during the period.Butter sculpturing continued into the 18th century when English dairy maids molded butter pads into decorative shapes.
       The earlist butter sculpture in the modern sense as public art and a banquet centerpiece can be traced to the 1876 Contennial Exhibition,where caroline Shawk Brooks, a farm woman from Helena Arkansas displayed her dreaming.

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