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The tea party

Painting, 1880, 64.7×92 cm

Description of the artwork «The tea party»

The tea party refers to the impressionistic period of art, Mary Cassatt. The film was presented at the fifth impressionist exhibition in 1880. Most critics viewed it in negative terms: "Tea party" called "poorly drawn" and "unfinished" work. In addition, Cassatt was criticized for emphasis on the formal elements of the composition. However, in 1881 the painting was bought by the engineer, artist, collector and high-school friend Edgar Degas Henri Ruar. After the death Roar in 1912 "Tea party" was sold at auction. The new owner admiring the purchase of 30 years, then for 6 thousand dollars lost canvas Boston Museum of fine arts, where it remains to this day. Now the painting is considered one of the masterpieces of Cassatt and, in addition, comes in a variety of informal ratings of the best paintings depicting the tea party.

In the late nineteenth century decent ladies, to which belonged Cassatt and her model was not supposed to visit the cafe. And it's where the artists, actors and other representatives of the Parisian Bohemia. Many of them did sketches on the spot and immortalized favorite places in his work (you can remember the work of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec). At Cassatt's choice of decorations was a small. In his paintings she portrayed women in a small circle permitted them occupation: child care, education at home, going to the theatre, a friendly visit.

The theme of the tea is present in many famous works of the artist: "Cup of tea" (1881), "Lady at the tea table" (1883-1885), "Afternoon tea"(1890-1891), etc.

The picture "Tea drinking" (another name — "Five hours") takes us into the cozy living room. Striped Wallpaper, marble fireplace, elaborately framed painting on the wall, pink sofa — so were the apartments of the bourgeoisie of the time. Vintage silver tea set — a family heirloom Cassatt, which she brought with her from Philadelphia (six items from the set are now in the same Museum, where the painting "the Tea party"). Some researchers believe that depicted a living, too, belonged to the artist.

We see everyday genre scene, one woman went to the tea to another. Probably, the guest is in a hurry, because he took off his hat and gloves. The conversation has dried up: the hostess Seating to the left, lost in thought. Two women looking in the same direction, and we can assume that "behind the scenes" is the third member of the tea party. There is an opinion that the landlady living — sister Cassatt Lydia, and guest — friend of the family. But a more plausible version of what it models.

Cassatt captured a moment. Another second — and the guest would put the Cup on the saucer, revealing to us his face. But the artist invited the audience to finish person in your mind. For modernists, who were treated Cassatt, the resemblance with reality was not so important. In addition, the artist violated accepted at that time, the laws of composition, with emphasis on the object — set, which came to the fore. Cassatt is skillfully written brilliant kettle and sugar bowl and suffused them with a matte porcelain cups. The ovals set, cups and saucers, tray and cap trim ladies striped Wallpaper and the foot of the fireplace. This contrast creates tension between the foreground and background of the painting, giving it momentum.

Like many other works of Cassatt, the Tea party captivates through simplicity and naturalness, to which so longed for the Impressionists. Using subdued colors and less detail for the artist to truthfully conveyed the atmosphere of tea-drinking, which for women at that time was an important social ritual.

Author: Larissa Kuzara
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1880

Size: 64.7×92 cm

Artwork in selections: 23 selections

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