Majális is Pál Szinyei Merse’s staid Hungarian middle-class-style homage to Manet’s Dejeuner sur L’herbe. Everyone is buttoned-up. Though this is obviously a picnic, the title means “Mayfair.” Merse does not use the Hungarian loanword piknik or the expression jó s Majális zórakozás, a pleasant amusement or diversion.

Merse’s Hungarian picnic gastronomy is the usual stuff—cold chicken and wine.

Featured Image: Lovers on the grass. Pal Szinyei Merse. Majális [Mayfair] (1873), oil on canvas. Budapest: Hungarian National Museum of Art

Among Hungarian Impressionist painters, Szinyei Merse is preeminent and Majális is a perennial, has become fair game for satirical artists, who treat it irreverently. My current favorite is Gyula Konkoly’s Majális (2004c,)

Gyula Konkoly. Majalis (2004c.)