Crispijn de Passe’s Picnic in New Mirror for Youth

Crispijn de Passe’s Picnic in New Mirror for Youth

As early as the 16th century, the Dutch had no specific word for what is the equivalent of our picnic, but they were adept at alfresco entertaining. It’s evident in their paintings and in so-called emblem books, primers or handbooks, meant to instruct youthful...
Bowles’ Silly Picnic In the Summer House

Bowles’ Silly Picnic In the Summer House

People do silly things at picnics, and Jane Bowles’ play In the Summer House proves the rule. Bowles means for the play to be absurd, and she succeeds. The play begins with a lawn picnic at which characters with tenuous relationships incessantly bicker. When Mr....
Foster’s Howards End  Garden Party

Foster’s Howards End Garden Party

The episode featuring Henry Wilcox’s garden party for his daughter’s wedding is central to E.M. Foster’s Howards End and James Ivory’s 1992 film because it reveals Edwardian hypocrisy and its predatory sexuality. It is a disaster when Henry Wilcox’s former mistress...
Chesnut’s “Charming Picnic”

Chesnut’s “Charming Picnic”

Thomas Coram’s View Of Mulberry in 1800 looks up to the rear of the house from the vantage point of “the street” so-called because it was lined with slave quarters, of which height houses are visible. Coram’s view suggests “the street” was a matter pride and...
Charles Dickens and Cast of The Frozen Deep

Charles Dickens and Cast of The Frozen Deep

Frederic Ouvry’s invitation to July garden party at his home in Fulham Green, London is he insinuates that guests would gather with two celebrities: Albert Smith popular lecturer of “The Glaciers of Mont Blanc” and Charles Dickens who was producing and acting in The...
Napoleon’s Almonds

Napoleon’s Almonds

Napoleon’s valet said that he was a frugal eater, but after five years of exile on St. Helena, his face was fat and his figure plump. Henry Dodgin’s contemporary sketch of the great man suggests a penguin. But it’s not a caricature, and for sure, this is how Napoleon...
Passari’s Lovers in a Garden

Passari’s Lovers in a Garden

Giovanni Baptista Pesseri’s A Party Feasting in a Garden seems a happy end to an alfresco luncheon. Young couples are deep in conversation flirting and courting, which suggests that this is a garden of love. It casual and innocent, though Pessari is a moralist, and...
Sebastian Vrancx’s picnicky  Feast In The Park Of The Duke Of Mantua

Sebastian Vrancx’s picnicky Feast In The Park Of The Duke Of Mantua

Feast In The Park Of The Duke Of Mantua is Sebastian Vrancx’s fantasy of what the Duke’s Palazzo del Te might be like in summer –if it were not usually scourged by swarming gnats and mosquitoes from its nearby swamps and marshes. A white picnic cloth is highlighted in...