The Asparagus
Édouard Manet

"... a single stalk perched on the table's edge... This little work ... happens to be one of the most magical paintings in existence.  It concentrates sensuous arousal in a manner that verges on the sexual but remains in the realm of food and furniture.  Its fulness of life suggests a thought: The artist ate the asparagus after he painted it.  Painting and eating,   art and sociability, loving and liking all flow together, in
just a glance at a stray vegetable."

from "The Urbane Innocent: Seeing Manet through his Still-Lifes." by Peter Schjeldahl
The New Yorker, November 20, 2000