Ando Hiroshige’s Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gotenyama

Ando Hiroshige’s Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gotenyama

Hiroshige’s sly sense of humor turns this hanami topsy-turvy. What his title Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gotenyama does not suggest tis that hanami is a drunken brawl. Well into the afternoon, some of the men are fist fighting and providing spectacle for of nearby...
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...
Charles Doyle is Drunk and Picnicking with Fairies

Charles Doyle is Drunk and Picnicking with Fairies

Charles Altamont Doyle’s The Enchanted Picnic (1882) is a sad picnic that is not enchanted. The picnicker, perhaps Doyle himself, having finished four bottles of wine and champagne is pleasantly suffering delirium tremens. Instead of monsters, the picnicker is smiling...
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...
Bousquet’s Pierrot is Dispirited

Bousquet’s Pierrot is Dispirited

Auguste Bouquet’s Le repas de Pierrot looks like a picnic, though according to French usage a pique-nique was an indoor meal. Bouquet’s Pierrot celebrates the actor Jean-Gaspard Deburau of the Théâtre des Funambules‎ (Theater of the Tightrope Walkers]. the most...