Woman by Zinaida Serebriakova



Earlier today I was looking at images of paintings online and came across this great blog that collects artworks that have been forgotten or that are not widely known. I came across this Russian artist: Zinaida Serebriakova.

Serebriakova started out by painting subjects in their daily life and landscapes from her home area. In 1920 she moved to Paris and specialized in portraits.

The painting that caught my attention is Woman painted in 1927.

The painting portrays a woman seated behind a table covered with pastries, bread, tarts and cakes. I think she could be the baker who is now selling her products. It is interesting to see the contrast between the woman’s simple outfit and hairstyle, and the table full of rich and abundant delicacies.

I can recognize many of these delicacies. I come from a family where cooking is a very important part of our daily lives. My mother and grandmother bake many of these desserts. My favorite is apple cake, like the round cake on the far left, below the three buns. I remember helping my mother bake this when I was younger. My job was to place the slices of apple on top, following a circular pattern.

Since I feel close to this particular dish, I will share my mother’s recipe. Here is a picture of the cake.


Apple Cake


1 yogurt container

2 containers (use the yogurt container) of sugar

3 containers of flour

1 container of vegetable oil

1 tablespoon of baking powder

3 eggs

Grated rind of 1 lemon



Mix the yogurt with the sugar. Then add the eggs yolks and the oil. Whip the egg whites until fluffy and add them to the mixture. Then add the grated lemon rind, the baking powder and the flour. Mix everything together until you get a smooth mixture. Pour the mixture into a round baking pan. Now wash, peel and slice the apples so that you get 0.19 inch thick half moon slices. Now you can position the slices in a circular pattern all over the mixture.

Cook for 40-50 minutes at 356 F.


2 thoughts on “Woman by Zinaida Serebriakova

  1. Painting is simple and realistic and reminds me all the flavours of the bakery when I was young and on weekends they would make pies and cakes as the Italian tradition required, so that for us kids Sunday was a special day with no school and sweets on the table. Thank you for your memory.

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