Sevso and Casena Hunting Plates (Late 4th Century)

Sevso and Casena Hunting Plates (Late 4th Century)

The Sevso Plate * (27.8 inches in diameter) may also reference a hunting feast describe by the roman writer Philostratus. But the iconography is Christian. The Chi-Rho situated at the apex of the legend on the plate’s circumference is a symbol for Jesus Christ...
Brillat-Savarin’s The Psychology of Taste (1826)

Brillat-Savarin’s The Psychology of Taste (1826)

Brillat-Savarin, a passionate hunter, knew firsthand the traditional halte de chasse or midday tryst for luncheon. It’s the subject of “Meditation XV” in Physiologie du Gout, or The Psychology of Taste.* Because the halte de chasse is alfresco, it is...
Gustave Courbet’s  Le Repas de Chasse  (1858)

Gustave Courbet’s Le Repas de Chasse (1858)

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...
Stephen Frear’s The Queen

Stephen Frear’s The Queen

  The hunt picnic at Balmoral Castle is a low key but powerful episode in Stephen Frears and screenwriter Peter Morgan’s The Queen (2007). See discussion on Picnicsonfilm.org Featured image: The Queen, Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) sets a...
Edward Langley’s The Master of Game (1413)

Edward Langley’s The Master of Game (1413)

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,...
Jean-Antoine Watteau’s Rendez-vous de chasse (1717/20)

Jean-Antoine Watteau’s Rendez-vous de chasse (1717/20)

Watteau’s Rendez-vous de chasse illustrates a common activity among hunters, especially aristocrats who stopped about midday for a luncheon. The pause was called a tryst (a  meeting at predetermined location), where their wives or mistresses met the hunters....
Nicolas Lancret’s Picnic after the Hunt (1735/40)

Nicolas Lancret’s Picnic after the Hunt (1735/40)

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 III, Count of Foix’s Book of the Hunt (1389)

Gaston III, Count of Foix’s Book of the Hunt (1389)

*Gaston III, Count of Foix, was nicknamed Phoebus because of his golden hair. He was a second-tier noble whose domain was Béarn, bordering the Pyrenees in southwestern France. Gaston was immensely rich, unlucky in love, delighted to compose poetry, and passionate...