Friday, November 27, 2015

A Book to Read Outdoors



Embroidered satin book with floral motif. The Whole Booke of Psalmes (London, 1639), The British Library Database of Bookbindings.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dogs & Cats in American Folk Art - Robert Peckham 1785-1877


Deacon Robert Peckham (American, 1785-1877). Portrait of a Young Child in a White Dress and Red Shoes with Peach and Dog. C. 1830


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

17C Love on Horseback



Gonzales Coques (Flemish artist, 1614-1684) A Couple on Horseback ,1640-50



Aelbert Cuyp (Dutch artist, 1620-91) Lady & Gentleman on Horseback 1650s



Gonzales Coques (Flemish artist, 1614-1684) Couple on Horseback 1640-50


Friday, November 13, 2015

16C Love on Horseback



 Johan IV van Nassau and His Wife Maria van Loon by Barend van Orley, c.1530



 Le Comte Engelbert I de Nassau et son épouse Jeanne de Polanen by Barend van Orley, c. 1530



  Mencía de Mendoza and Enrique de Nassau on Horseback by Bernard van Orley, c 1530



Otto, comte de Nassau and his spouse Adelheid van Vianen by Berend van Orley, c. 1530


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Chess & card games in the 1500s


1508 Lucas van Leyden (Dutch artist, 1494-1533), Game of Chess



1508-10 Lucas van Leyden (Dutch artist, 1494-1533), Card Players



1525 Lucas van Leyden (Dutch artist, 1494-1533), Card Players



1552 Hans Meulich (1516-1573) Duke Albrecht V. of Bavaria and his wife Anna of Austria playing chess.



1555 Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) The Chess Game


Sunday, November 1, 2015

The earliest Picnics occured after the Hunt in the 18C



Food historians tell us picnics evolved from the elaborate traditions of outdoor feasts enjoyed by the wealthy. Medieval hunting feasts & Renaissance-era country banquets probably were the earliest picnics.


1737 Carle or Charles-André van Loo (1705-1765) After the Hunt

"Picnic. Originally, A fashionable social entertainment in which each person present contributed a share of the provisions." The OED traces the oldest print evidence of the word picnic in the English language to 1748. The word was known in France, Germany, and Sweden prior to becoming an English institution. 

---Oxford English Dictionary [Clarendon Press:Oxford], 2nd edition, Volume XI (p. 779)

1738 Carle or Charles-André van Loo (1705-1765) The Picnic after the Hunt

"The earliest picnics in England were medieval hunting feasts. Hunting conventions were established in the 14C, and the feast before the chase assumed a special importance. Gaston de Foiz, in a work entitled Le Livre de chasse (1387), gives a detailed description of such an event in France. As social habits in 14C England were similar to those in medieval France, it is safe to assume that picnics were more or less the same."  

---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 602)


 1737 Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743)  The Hunting Party Meal

"The French might have invented the word "picnic," pique nique being found earlier than "pic nic." It originally referred to a dinner, usually eaten indoors, to which everyone present had contributed some food, and possible also a fee to attend. The ancient Greek "eranos," the French "moungetade" described earlier, or modern "pot luck" suppers are versions of this type of mealtime organization. ...Picnics derive, also, from the decorous yet comparatively informal 16C "banquets"...whichh frequently took place out of doors."

---The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolutions, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners, Margaret Visser [Penguin:New York] 1991 (p. 150-1)


1740 Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743) Picnic after the hunt

"Picnic. An informal meal in which everyone pays his share or brings his own dish,' according to the Littre dictionary. That was probably the original meaning of the word, which is probably of French origin (the French piquer means to pick at food; nique means something small of no value.) The word was accepted by the Academie francaise in 1740 and thereafter became a universally accepted word in many languages. From the informal picnic, the outdoor feast developed...Weekend shooting parties and sporting events were occasions for grand picnics, with extensive menus and elaborate presentation."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completely updated and revised edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 883)