Bellini’s Feast of the Gods

Bellini’s Feast of the Gods

Giovanni Bellini was eighty-five(?) and in failing health, when Alfonso d’Este his wife Lucrezia Borgia, commissioned a scene intended for their Alabaster Chamber, Camerino d’alabastro. They requested, too, that the subject must be delightfully worldly and...
Frederick Ashton’s Picnic at Tintagel

Frederick Ashton’s Picnic at Tintagel

Frederick Ashton’s Picnic at Tintagel is inspired by  Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s popular Victorian novel Royal Mount in which sightseers picnic on the ruins of Tintagel Castle. (Discussion of Braddon’s Royal Mount is posted elsewhere on PicnicWit.com) Ashton famed the...
Dürer’s Picnic at the Crossroads

Dürer’s Picnic at the Crossroads

Xenophon’s Memorabilia of Socrates (371BCE) tells that when Hercules was approaching manhood, he was given a choice of a life of pleasure or life of virtue. While sitting at a crossroad and considering his future, he is approached by two immortal women, Virtue, in a...
Piero’s Lapiths and Centaurs

Piero’s Lapiths and Centaurs

Giorgio Vasari’s assessment of Piero di Cosimo in Lives of the Painters (1550/68) is a mixed bag. Of his art, Vasari is complimentary but that as a man Vasari says that he was difficult, reclusive, and gloomy, so that “as he discoursed, he would twist everything to...