The Picnic, c. 1914-1915
Maurice B. Prendergast
oil on canvas
94 x 144.8 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 4528)
When Maurice Prendergast was ten years old, his family moved from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Boston, where his father earned a modest income as a confectioner. He initially worked as a commercial artist in Boston, before studying art in Paris from 1891 to 1894. With its message of idyllic peace and harmony, "The Picnic" recalls the allegorical paintings of French painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, who was admired by the Post-Impressionists. "Picnic" also celebrates summer by displaying of a broad range of exuberant colours.