Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery recipe for Lobster Salad (1845)

Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery recipe for Lobster Salad (1845)

Eliza Acton’s recipe for lobster salad is contemporary with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Thespis. Lobster Salad. First, prepare a sauce with the coral of a hen lobster, pounded and rubbed through a sieve, and very gradually mixed with a good mayonnaise,...
Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot’s View Near Naples  (1841)

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot’s View Near Naples (1841)

At the center of Corot’s View Near Naples is a summery rustic picnic in a grassy field above the Bay of  Naples. Two couples have come for a holiday to eat, drink, sing, and dance. Despite the title’s location, the landscape is imaginary but based on...
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...
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...