Gustave Dore’s London, A Pilgrimage (1872)

Gustave Dore’s London, A Pilgrimage (1872)

Doré visited Epsom on Derby Day 1869 and concentrated on its carnival atmosphere; the throngs and tumult on the ground and the champagne luncheons on carriage tops in London: A Pilgrimage (1872). Blanchard Jerold’s text describes the scene as being in perpetual tumult...
Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs  (1896)

Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)

Jewett’s chapters “The Reunion” and “The End of the Feast” from The Country of the Pointed Firs describe Bowden picnic reunion in the fictional town of Dunnet Landing, Maine. The family sit at long tables in a grove of trees overlooking...
Jerome Thompson’s Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain (1858)

Jerome Thompson’s Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain (1858)

Six hikers have reached a plateau near Mansfield Mountain’s top and are ready to picnic just before sunset. Thompson titled the painting a Belated Party to provide tension, and we wonder if the picnickers will safely walk down the 4400-foot mountain in the...
William Bartlett’s  View from Mount Holyoke (1837)

William Bartlett’s View from Mount Holyoke (1837)

Bartlett was a British landscape artist known for his views appearing in picturesque travel volumes, including American Scenery: or Land, Lake, and River Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature. Each of the topographical landscape views was accompanied by Nathaniel P....
Paul de Kock’s Monsieur Dupont (1825)

Paul de Kock’s Monsieur Dupont (1825)

De Kock sometimes styled the French Dickens, is known for his broad portrayals of the Parisian working-class society, affairs, cabarets, and other entertainment. In Monsieur Dupont, the entertainment spotlighted is a tumultuous picnic at Romainville, still a popular...
George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876)

George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876)

Daniel Deronda has two archery picnics, both of which do not meet the usual expectations of being joyous. Eliot uses sport to illustrate gender relationships. Both archery picnics are metaphors in which Gwendolyn Harleth and the other women archers are contrasted to...
William Bartlett’s  View from Mount Holyoke (1837)

William BartlettView from Mount Holyoke (1838c.)

Bartlett’s View from Mount Holyoke was accompanied by a text by Nathaniel P. Willis. The view is a topographical landscape, and Willis asserted that this was “Probably the richest view in America, in point of cultivation and fertile beauty.” Unknown...

Thomas Rowlandson’s Hunt the Slipper, Pic-Nic Revels (1802)

Rowlandson’s Hunt the Slipper, Pic-Nic Revels satirizes the Pic-Nics, a society of Dilettanti  (amateur actors),  gamblers, and gourmands who briefly flourished 1802-3. The rules of the Society are framed on the wall: Ici on boit, on danse, on rit! Et quelquefois on...
Pic Nic Society hosts a Balloon Launching (1802)

Pic Nic Society hosts a Balloon Launching (1802)

Among the Pic Nic Society anecdotes is its sponsorship of a balloon launch. In London. In July 1802, the Pic Nics called an ad hoc meeting to watch and cheer Jacques Garnerin’s successful launch of a hot air balloon from Ranelagh Gardens. See: Universal Magazine of...
Pic Nic Society: Gamblers, Actors, and Pic Nic Dinners (1801)

Pic Nic Society: Gamblers, Actors, and Pic Nic Dinners (1801)

The Pic Nic Society attracted obsessive gamblers, eager amateur actors called Dilettanti, and gourmand diners. Taking advantage of a truce in a decade-long war with France (lead by Napoleon, then First Consul), the Pic Nics wagered (and lost) that London might have a...