Picnic, a story with beards, from ancient Babylon to the painting of French masters – Current

Picnic, a story with beards, from ancient Babylon to the painting of French masters - Current


The democratization of the picnic

Over time, the picnic as a social gathering took on new contours, essentially associated with leisure. A sharing practice, where diners contribute with cold and easily transportable dishes. A practice that, in the Old Continent, coincides with the transition from a rural population to an urban population and the need for this new man to seek in nature a lost link.

For history there was to be a picnic in the seventeenth century, when powerful Oliver Cromwell, a British politician, descended on the lawns of Hyde Park in London to savor an outdoor meal. At the time, the nobility transformed the picnics into true sumptuous dinners.

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Painting by the Impressionist Edouard Manet, "Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe", 1863.

Under the motto "Freedom, Equality, Fraternity" that emerged from the French Revolution of 1789, the democratization of the picnic was institutionalized. The parks, once closed to the people and to the little Bourgeoisie, are now open. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's theories about the human being's proximity to nature compete to make the picnic more popular. A meal that becomes universal, to find references in many languages: Merenda in Italian, Snack in Spanish, pique nique in French, Picknick in German, or picnic in English.

Regardless of the format, it is essential to have a glacier, to keep food and beverages fresh; a towel to insulate food from soil contamination and crawling insects. Add to the cast some cushions to increase in comfort, do not forget the dishes, glasses and cutlery and, of course, good mood.

And remember: whether on the lawn of a garden, on the beach or in the forest, avoid making fires and do not leave trash behind. Take with you a book, some games and good company to welcome the warm weather that comes there.



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