Gustave Dore’s London, A Pilgrimage (1872)

Gustave Dore’s London, A Pilgrimage (1872)

Doré visited Epsom on Derby Day 1869 and concentrated on its carnival atmosphere; the throngs and tumult on the ground and the champagne luncheons on carriage tops in London: A Pilgrimage (1872). Blanchard Jerold’s text describes the scene as being in perpetual tumult...
Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs  (1896)

Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)

Jewett’s chapters “The Reunion” and “The End of the Feast” from The Country of the Pointed Firs describe Bowden picnic reunion in the fictional town of Dunnet Landing, Maine. The family sit at long tables in a grove of trees overlooking...
Jerome Thompson’s Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain (1858)

Jerome Thompson’s Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain (1858)

Six hikers have reached a plateau near Mansfield Mountain’s top and are ready to picnic just before sunset. Thompson titled the painting a Belated Party to provide tension, and we wonder if the picnickers will safely walk down the 4400-foot mountain in the...
William Bartlett’s  View from Mount Holyoke (1837)

William Bartlett’s View from Mount Holyoke (1837)

Bartlett was a British landscape artist known for his views appearing in picturesque travel volumes, including American Scenery: or Land, Lake, and River Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature. Each of the topographical landscape views was accompanied by Nathaniel P....
Cristoforo de Predis’s The Garden of Delights (1470c.)

Cristoforo de Predis’s The Garden of Delights (1470c.)

De Predis’ Venus: The garden of delights representing the joyful influence Venus exerts on mortals is an illustration for The Sphere of the Cosmos, De Sphaerae  (1466 or later). The original treatise dating from 1230c describes Venus’ feast day celebrated when Venus...
William Bartlett’s  View from Mount Holyoke (1837)

William BartlettView from Mount Holyoke (1838c.)

Bartlett’s View from Mount Holyoke was accompanied by a text by Nathaniel P. Willis. The view is a topographical landscape, and Willis asserted that this was “Probably the richest view in America, in point of cultivation and fertile beauty.” Unknown...
Lucas Cranach, the Elder’s The Fountain of Youth (1546)

Lucas Cranach, the Elder’s The Fountain of Youth (1546)

Cranach’s paintings often conflate the spiritual and erotic, particularly The Fountain of Youth and The Golden Age, both completed in 1546.  The subjects seem pagan, but his friendship with Martin Luther deeply influenced Cranach. The Fountain of Youth...
Ludolf Bakhuizen’s  Picnick aan zee  (1701)

Ludolf Bakhuizen’s Picnick aan zee (1701)

Bakhuizen embellished this seascape (his usual subject ) with a group of picnickers. The word picnic was used in Europe in 1701. The contemporary title Picnick ann zee is appropriate but inaccurate. A century later, Turner embellished many of his picturesque views...
Francisco Goya’s Merienda a orillas del Manzanares (1776)

Francisco Goya’s Merienda a orillas del Manzanares (1776)

Francesco de Goya. Merienda a orillas del Manzanares [Picnic At the Edge of the Manzanares River] (1776) is a tapestry painting intended for the dining room of Prince and Princess of Asturias in the San Lorenzo Palace in Madrid. Goya described the subject as a...