JF Ptak Science Books Post 2488
- [Please be aware that there were 75 blog posts and another 30,000 words made on this blog in June, 2015--check them out by going to the Recent Posts block at right]
Meat, seaweed, "beef fluid", corn, pasta, spices, shrimp, bananas--have all served as a bases for the construction of maps--not maps of _____-producing areas, but the maps themselves being made of the actual thing (or image of it) itself. Antique examples of this semi-anti-accomplishment are tough to find, with the Moderns being a little more common (as we can see on the Time magazine site, the background of the maps being negatives of antiquarian maps).
And so I just had to stop and collect up this image found on Flickr of the rectifying and emboldening Bovril "fluid beef" holding up the world, like an Atlas constructed of water and suspended beef-ish squeezings, which is a lot less appetizing than the original myth. I can't think offhand of another atlas-like entity made of meat-things holding up the world.
Also I should point out that the idea for constructing non-food things from food does go back a long way--there are numerous sculptural items in art and architecture that employ food/foodbits going back many century. The most famous of these maps, I guess, is the semi-magnificent The Porcineograph, produced by the Forbes Lithographic Manufacturing Company of Boston in 1876 or so, which defines the states and territories of the U.S. in terms of their regional foods.
[Map source: the Library of Congress.]
And before proceeding any further, I must at least make reference to another master in this field, an earlier, perhaps revolutionary figure (without producing a revolution), Giuseppe Arcimboldo (also spelled Arcimboldi; 1527-1593), who painted (in his non-conventional works) fantastic portraits and images using fruits, vegetables and other natural objects as the sole source of representation. On the other hand his influence may not have been so very well known, as many of his works were stolen during war time in the mid-17th century, and he fell rather deeply into obscurity until being revived and resurrected by the Surrealists in the 20th century.
[Image source: http://www.giuseppe-arcimboldo.org/]
Also in a nearby carrot patch lives some of the work of Nicolas de Larmessin (1640-1725)--an enormously creative and productive artist--who in his way created a genre similar to the great and ancient Dance of Death/.Danse Macabre/Totentanz--though his was the Dance of Life, and in some cases he used mostly food to construct and decorate his portraits.
There are more of these examples, to be certain, but that's all there is time for today. It is probably some sort of bona fide sub genre, although not a big one, and even there it may all be invisible.