Veronese’s Moses Rescued from the Water is a fête champêtre, and Pharaoh’s daughter enjoys alfresco entertainment. Surrounded by courtiers and ladies waiting, Pharaoh’s daughter’s pleasantries are interrupted when Miriam presents her with the infant Moses.

The scene is picnicky in mood and not as serious as one might expect for such a momentous and serious occasion.

Tucked into the busy crowd, there is an informal picnic, dominated by two lovers, three servants share a frugal lunch. Sitting on a bench covered with a white, they have placed sausages and wine served from a leather carafe. There are no glasses, and two dogs wait at their feet, obviously hoping for scraps.

Detail. Informal picnic.

Deeper in the background, there is a deer hunt in progress.

*The episode is from Exodus II, 5-6. It was a popular theme, and Veronese completed at least eight variations.

Featured Image: Bonifacio Veronese. Moses Rescued from the Water (1540-1545c.), oil on canvas. Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan