Inaugurating the On the Table
series, that explore the encounter between food and art
, Three Banquets for a Queen
recounts the spectacular feasts that greeted Queen Christina of Sweden in Rome in 1668
In 1668, Queen Christina of Sweden was greeted in Rome with three spectacular banquets that surpass all historical precedents and successors in the register of extravagant gastronomy. As the first publication of her series, On the Table
, Charlotte Birnbaum
presents Antonio degli Effetti's newly translated seventeenth-century text, which elaborately describes the three feasts in all their sumptuous and performative glory. The original text, dotted with quotations from Ovid's Metamorphoses
and Virgil's Aeneid
, outlines the lavish preparations for the celebrations, the dining experience—designed by Bernini, no less—and the delectably boundless menus themselves.
The text is contextualized by two essays and a foreword by Charlotte Birnbaum.