Robert Norton’s Memories of Edith Wharton Picnicking

Robert Norton’s Memories of Edith Wharton Picnicking

Robert Norton recalls Edith Wharton “had a passion for picnics, a passion not shared by quite all of her guests, some of whom, unskilled at balancing a loaded plate on their knees, would have secretly preferred a hot square meal served on solid mahogany: but they...
George Morland’s The Anglers’ Repast (1789)

George Morland’s The Anglers’ Repast (1789)

Morland’s painting The Anglers’ Repast, aka A Luncheon Party, is a scene of outdoor amusement and leisure. (There was as yet not word to identify this as a picnic.) Though the popular title is The Anglers’ Repast, the presence of fishing gear —...
Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach (1991)

Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach (1991)

Ringgold’s tapestry Tar Beach (1988) and her children’s story Tar Beach (1991) portray classic rooftop entertainment. When Cassie Lightfoot flies over the rooftops of Harlem, the lights of the George Washington Bridge glow against the black sky like...
Sevso and Casena Hunting Plates (Late 4th Century)

Sevso and Casena Hunting Plates (Late 4th Century)

The Sevso Plate * (27.8 inches in diameter) may also reference a hunting feast describe by the roman writer Philostratus. But the iconography is Christian. The Chi-Rho situated at the apex of the legend on the plate’s circumference is a symbol for Jesus Christ...
Philostratus’s Imagines (250-300 CE)

Philostratus’s Imagines (250-300 CE)

Hunting feasts have a long history. Among the Romans, one such by Philostratus Elder uses the rhetorical device of Ekphrasis, a verbal description of a visual representation, to illustrate a painting he observed in Naples. Ironically, none survive, if they existed at...
Henry Angelo’s Reminiscences (1830)

Henry Angelo’s Reminiscences (1830)

Angelo, London’s most renowned fencing master, was an original Pic Nic. His in Reminiscences of Henry Angelo (1830) is among the few first-hand depictions of the society. Angel explains that “the plan [for the Pic Nics] was derived from a friendly custom...
Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery recipe for Lobster Salad (1845)

Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery recipe for Lobster Salad (1845)

Eliza Acton’s recipe for lobster salad is contemporary with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Thespis. Lobster Salad. First, prepare a sauce with the coral of a hen lobster, pounded and rubbed through a sieve, and very gradually mixed with a good mayonnaise,...
Jim Crace’s Being Dead (1999)

Jim Crace’s Being Dead (1999)

Crace’s combination of an awful  picnic and murder is not your average picnic. But Being Dead’s readers often find it so appealing they search for Baritone Bay, the place where the central characters are murdered.  There is no telling where they search...
John Fowles’s The Ebony Tower (1984)

John Fowles’s The Ebony Tower (1984)

Fowles’s The Ebony Tower bears the imprint of Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe. Though we’ll never know what Manet’s picnickers are discussing, Fowles provides some context and conversation Like Manet’s picnickers, Fowles’s men are clothed, and...