Fernando Arrabal’s Picnic on the Battlefield (1959)

Fernando Arrabal’s Picnic on the Battlefield (1959)

The big idea in Arrabal’s Picnic on the Battlefield is the stupidity of war. * Originally Pique-nique en campagne, the title was changed for American readers. The play is Aligned with the Absurdists, such as Beckett and Ionesco. Arrabal was a founder (among...
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...
John Fowles’  Daniel Martin(1977)

John Fowles’ Daniel Martin(1977)

Fowles’s macabre notion of wrecking pleasure is an aborted picnic on the River Cherwell. Daniel Martin and Jane Mallory, two Oxford undergraduates, set out for a pleasant outing.  They are punting and chatting, not knowing that this day is the beginning of a...
William BartlettView from Mount Holyoke (1838c.)

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...
Ray Bradbury’s “The Million Year Picnic” (1946)

Ray Bradbury’s “The Million Year Picnic” (1946)

Bradbury’s “The Million Year Picnic” (1946) is a somber metaphor about what a picnic is not—a family’s escape from Earth to build a new Eden on Mars. We don’t know how it ends because this is the final story in the collection of The Martian Chronicles. Sometime...
Larry Rivers’ Picnics (1985-1990)

Larry Rivers’ Picnics (1985-1990)

Rivers’ appreciation of Fernand Léger is expressed in two paintings, Picnic (1985) and The Pleasant Picnic (1990). Picnic closely follows Léger’s  La Partie de Champagne (The Country Outing)  (1952/53), showing a congenial group at the edge of a river or...
Gertrude Bell’s Baghdad Picnics (1920s)

Gertrude Bell’s Baghdad Picnics (1920s)

While serving, Bell was a spy. Often Bell’s dual roles as Oriental Secretary to the High Commissioner in Baghdad indistinguishable. Once using picnics as a mask, she and her companions took an official to a lonely beach for an interrogation. She and her...
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck’s Picnic (1939)

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck’s Picnic (1939)

At first, Donald Duck’s beach picnic is a pleasant outing. Donald and Pluto set up on the beach for a perfect day. Donald plants an umbrella for shade and spreads a blanket for food. Expectations are high. It doesn’t last, as usual. The picnic turmoil is classic....