I’d like to propose a toast to Anu Garg & to all who have an abiding appetite for A.Word.A.Day! It’s time for this year’s illustrated words, & for our first course we have “Aristology.”
I’d never encountered the word until Anu suggested it, & on seeing the definition alone, my first idea was an opulent tablescape array similar to Gastronome. But I was curious about the word’s origin, & a bit of research led to Thomas Walker, the writer who originally coined the word in 1835, in his book Aristology, or the Art of Dining.
It turns out the fellow was adamantly opposed to grandiose excess at the table, & as concerned with his diners’ health & digestive comfort as with their sensory delight. So I decided to scale down the menu to something much lighter. For a while I focused microscopically on the scientific side of dining, with Molecular Gastronomy as the theme, but the sketches left me cold & hungry for another idea.
Then a pair of amorous antelopes wandered into the sketchbook & warmed things up. Antelopes are very dainty eaters, preferring a light repast of leaves, twigs, grass & mushrooms. But as far as I know, science has not yet proven that they don’t appreciate a nice glass of wine by candlelight now & then. And occasionally they may even enjoy nibbling appropriate quotations from the bark of nearby trees.
(This painting & prints are available in my Etsy Shop, Curious Art Lab.)