Food portions depicted in paintings of the Last Supper have gotten larger just as our own meal portions have, Cornell University obesity researchers have reported. Studying 52 of the most famous paintings of this Biblical scene, they found main courses, bread, and plates in front of Jesus and his disciples have grown by up to two-thirds. Published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers said “the last thousand years have witnessed dramatic increases in the production, availability, safety, abundance and affordability of food. We think that as art imitates life, these changes have been reflected in paintings of history’s most famous dinner.” Their analysis of works by El Greco, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Rubens shows main meals grew by 69 per cent and plate size 66 per cent between the oldest works (from 1000 AD) and most recent (1700)s. Bread size grew by about 23 per cent.
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