Gustave Courbet’s  Le Repas de Chasse

Gustave Courbet’s Le Repas de Chasse

Courbet hugely enjoyed the hunt, and at the center of Le Repas de Chasse, he painted himself nearly life-size. Believing himself an embodiment of the hunter, who he considered embodying the spirit of liberty, “un homme libre,” he was proud of his skill, once bragging...
Langley’s The Master of Game

Langley’s The Master of Game

When Edward Langley, 2nd Duke of York, translated Gaston’s The Book of the Hunt (1389) into English in 1413, French was still the language of the Court and elsewhere. Whatever Edward had in mind, the translation the signaled the linguistic shift in English society,...
Nicolas Lancret’s Picnic after the Hunt

Nicolas Lancret’s Picnic after the Hunt

Because the scene is obviously a picnic, the National Gallery of Art’s title The Picnic after the Hunt is apt. But Lancret, whose language was French, would not have used pique-nique because it refers to an indoor dinner. More likely he would have titled  un repas de...
Gaston’s Book of the Hunt

Gaston’s Book of the Hunt

As a hunter’s handbook, Gaston’s The Book of the Hunt [Le livre de la Chasse] is peerless. Among all aspects of the hunt, hunters’ feast or assembly Chapter XXXVIII suggests a picnic because it shows the hunters dining on the grass in a forest glade. From...