Monday, June 28, 2010

Go tell it on the Mountain

While I was strolling along the paths on Mont Royal last week I espied this little luncheon scene.  It put me in mind of Manet's "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe"--only this time fully clothed and "avec chien."

What I really like about the photo is the dog watching me photographing his people.

Who would have guessed that in about an hour's time those fluffy clouds would turn dark and moody and release a deluge of rain upon the city.  Not me, out with neither parasol nor parapluie.

Déjeuner sur l'herbe
(Edouard Manet)

Un dimanche après-midi sur La Grande Jatte
(Georges-Pierre Seurat)

(thanks to Owen for suggesting this other scene)

Obviously, a timeless activity:
clothing and/or bustles optional.  Parasols recommended.


  1. Hmmmm, one could also perhaps see shades of Seurat's Un dimanche après-midi à l'île de la Grande Jatte here ? Just missing the monkey and the parasols...

    Don't you love it when life imitates art ?

  2. Owen,
    The monkey was behind the camera and the parasol was purchased about an hour later when the skies opened up to spew rain.

    Actually, I don't remember a monkey in the Seurat painting. Will have to go have a look. I don't like monkeys I'm afraid. Or should that be I don't like monkeys; I'm afraid.

    Life imitating art: isn't that what poseurs do?

    BTW--sorry for making you choke on the party snacks at the gallery the other night.


  3. PS--Owen, thanks for the suggested Seurat. You can see I diligently updated my post.

  4. It does look like a serene French impresionist picnic. Bravo to you and Owen on the analogies.

    As far as getting caught in the deluge without parapluies... I'm the champion at that.


  5. Eleonara,
    Maybe getting caught in the rain is genetically Italian? How are you at always being in the slowest line-up at the check-out counter? Although, I guess Italians don't acutally line up for anything.

  6. Anonymous29 June, 2010

    A bit amazing how you are able to remind me of a picknick once made beneath pouring rain and a huge umbrella; as it was during summer, surely one of the best ever, back then, when time had little do to with money and other status symbols.
    How very nice to see that people are still able to share such space and time together.
    Whenever you find a method to transform oneself into such a painting, I beg you, please let me know.

  7. Robert,
    Summer rainstorms are rather least when one has a bit of shelter,like an umbrella. I've always loved the sound of rain on a roof, and as a child, carrying an umbrella seemed like carrying my own mini-roof, with the rain pattering down upon it. Your remembered picnic under a huge umbrella in a rainstorm sounds quite delightful. Isn't it sad how time has been converted to be synonymous with money.

  8. I think I have the same day and month of birth as Seurat (from my vague recollections of my high school art history lessons...
    Oh and yes indeed, I recall a picnic where we were forced back into the car with the amount of rain bucketing down (see, I even cleaned up my language) real siblings and I spent the time drawing on the misted over car windows...

  9. Hi Saj!
    Would your birthday be Dec.2, then? (I did my homework.)

    Picnics in the rain definitely need some sort of shelter, else the sandwiches get unbearably soggy. (The Unbearable Sogginess of Sandwiches was the follow-up book to The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but the movie version of it has not yet been made.)

    I used to love drawing on the misty car windows, too. Sometimes I got into trouble for it,sometimes not--but it was well worth the risk.

    "Misty watercolour memories, of the way we la-la"

  10. Hi Louciao,

    Just had to find out who was behind the skull avatar! And what a delight at the end of the link! I had a little time to look at your dreamy paintings and I am in awe! The dimension, complex compositions, the moods, the expert handling of color. I can't wait to get more time to study them.

    And you are right, that little dog's head looking behind the back of his companion is so endearing!

  11. Stickup Artist,
    I'm flattered that you came by to take a peek (and rather shy about the quality of photos you will find posted here, in comparison with the excellence of your own). I'm happy that you took some time to browse through my paintings--and thank you for the lovely comment. It would be great to use as a quote!

    I'm glad you liked my skull avatar. I was afraid it was scaring too many people so recently changed it. The newer one might be even scarier (my own face) so I might just get the skull back on, thanks to your encouragement.

  12. Tis the season of parks and strolling/picnicing in them.

    The dog is charming!

  13. Art,
    Isn't it just! I live in the country so all I have to do is go park myself down in the mowed part of our field...which I rarely do. I love the escape that city parks provide for their residents; real oases.

    City dogs, I must say, are so much more well-behaved and civilized than their unsocialized country cousins.

  14. See, now you know my birthday so I will make sure I send you a slice of cake later in the year!

  15. Saj,
    I'm really terrible at remembering birthdays so when a piece of birthday cake randomly turns up in my mail in December I will be pleasantly surprised. Will there be a tetrapak of wine to go with?