Even prolific Italian geniuses had to unwind, although it should come as no surprise to learn that their revelries were a cut above the average mortal booze-up. Just as modern artists vie for invitations to the hottest receptions or Biennale party, so the hippest insider scene in Florence was La Società del Pauiolo, the Company of the Cauldron. This artists-only club was run by the most eccentric and flamboyant sculptor in the city, Giovanni Francesco Rustici. Its meetings were really the ultimate potluck, a sort of cross between a dinner party and a gallery reception. Every guest had to bring a meal that was also a sculptural creation — a cathedral made of pasta, say, or a scene from mythology crafted from roast poultry. Some of the most inventive minds in art history threw themselves into the challenge, creating edible objets that, had they not been so essentially ephemeral, would… More…