Ando Hiroshige’s Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gotenyama (1832c.)

Ando Hiroshige’s Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gotenyama (1832c.)

Hiroshige’s sly sense of humor turns this hanami topsy-turvy. The innocuous title Cherry Blossom Viewing at Gotenyama does not suggest is that this is a drunken brawl scene. Well into the afternoon, some of the men are fist fighting and providing spectacle for nearby...
Charles Altamont Doyle’s The Enchanted Picnic (1882)

Charles Altamont Doyle’s The Enchanted Picnic (1882)

Charles Altamont Doyle’s The Enchanted Picnic is sad.  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 at fairies oblivious to their...
Gustave Flaubert’s Emma Bovary

Gustave Flaubert’s Emma Bovary

Motivated by his distaste for the French bourgeoisie, Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary as a primer of their crudities and lack of taste. A key moment occurs at Emma Rouault’s picnic-style wedding party that foreshadows Emma’s disastrous relationship with Charles Bovary....
Auguste Bousquet’s Le repas de Pierrot  (1834)

Auguste Bousquet’s Le repas de Pierrot  (1834)

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