Early in the 16th century, the Dutch had no specific word for that is our picnic’s equivalent. but their paintings and emblem books primers or handbooks for  youthful aristocrats show a keen fondness for alfresco entertainments that are unmistakably

Among the more socially and sexually suggestive of these books are The Garden of Love [Hortus Voluptatum]  (1599) and New Mirror for Youth [Nieuwen ieucht spieghel] (1617) that probably owe their inspiration to Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron (1553), a collection of ribald tales told by aristocrats seeking refuge in a garden while escaping the ravages of the plague.

Notably, the lessons for courting and lovemaking in a garden is Young People Amusing Themselves in a Spring Garden, which according to the artist Crispijn de Passe is remarkably is like a picnic with such activities including music and singing and dining alfresco.

The illustration’s legend that at such an entertainment, men and women are expected to engage in discreet sexuality:
How fertile are these sights! In springtime: nourishing
A
s Earth brings forth flowers of all kinds.
T
hese incite frolic and youthful celebration
Freeing you for all desires and delights.

Featured Image: Crispijn de Passe the Elder. Young People Amusing Themselves in a Spring Garden. New Mirror for Youth [Nieuwen ieucht spieghel] (1617), copperplate engraving. The author of the text is unknown. Emblem Project; http://emblems.let.uu.nl/nj1617023.html

PS: The translation from Latin is by Ken Albala.

See Crispijn de Passe, the Elder. Young People Amusing Themselves in a Spring Garden. New Mirror for Youth [Nieuwen ieucht spieghel] (1617), copperplate engraving. The author of the text is unknown. Emblem Project; http://emblems.let.uu.nl/nj1617023.html. 

(Translation from  Latin by Ken Albala)