The Ascension of the Bourgeoisie
Daily Life
“The banquet is a ceremony of representation and the senses.”
Palaces and villas were venues for festivities as well as important meeting places for the bourgeoisie and aristocracy. At the end of Congress, those in political positions met with honourable guests at lavish banquets and gala dinners to celebrate individuals, corporations and special events. Fine foods, exclusive dishes and drinks were important elements. The banquet represented the most elaborate of these festivities, with requisite fine dining, elaborate ceremony and speeches, to celebrate the occasion. Rhetoric at the time was a prized art form.
Senator Ratta Banquet

Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio
Bologna, Italy
Etching: Giacomo Maria Giovannini (1667, Bologna – 1717, Parma); designer: Marco Antonio Chiarini (1652, Bologna – 1730, Bologna)
Etching on paper
This memorable banquet was documented by a series of printed etchings and descriptions.