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The butcher stall
16th Century
The butcher stall
[La Macelleria]
Oil on canvas
112 x 152 cm  [HxW]
Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini, Roma

We are the buyers, leaning over the counter while the butchers offer meat from the freshly slaughtered boar. This glimpse of everyday life reflects Bolognese realism which was to have its impact on artists such as Annibale Carracci and is thought to be the first depictionof a butcher’s shop in Italian painting. It may also be a satirical reference to the pleasures of the ‘flesh’ in a time of religious unease.

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