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Can you read this picture?


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#1 Lucille Oka

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:18 PM


http://collections.v...ichard-collins/


I have been thinking about this picture for a few days now and have come to several conclusions. Let's see if you can read this picture. What do you think of the tea drinking activity? Go get a handleless cup and hold it just like the people in the painting. Of the three which one can actually and comfortably drink the tea? Enlarge the image to get a better view.

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#2 Benzine

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:30 PM

They seem more like teabowls, as opposed to cups.

And, when I read "Can you read this picture?" I originally thought, you were asking us to analyze the meaning or symbolism of the work. So much of that period of work, had all types of hidden bits.
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#3 Lucille Oka

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

They seem more like teabowls, as opposed to cups.

And, when I read "Can you read this picture?" I originally thought, you were asking us to analyze the meaning or symbolism of the work. So much of that period of work, had all types of hidden bits.


Like what for instance? It looks more like an advertisement to me. The woman's pose seems to be showing off the porcelain cup not poised for drinking.
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#4 Chris Campbell

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:09 PM

I think he just wasn't really good with natural poses ... this is another attributed to him ...

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#5 Pres

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:31 AM


http://collections.v...ichard-collins/


I have been thinking about this picture for a few days now and have come to several conclusions. Let's see if you can read this picture. What do you think of the tea drinking activity? Go get a handleless cup and hold it just like the people in the painting. Of the three which one can actually and comfortably drink the tea? Enlarge the image to get a better view.


These types of paintings were meant to show the affluence of the family posing. The poses were not natural, representative. The important items included the silver on the table, the fact that sugar was being used, and china was also afforded. I checked into symbolism for this particular genre, and there isn't a whole lot there. It is the work of an artist that made his way in everyday offerings to the newly affluent.

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#6 Benzine

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:09 PM


They seem more like teabowls, as opposed to cups.

And, when I read "Can you read this picture?" I originally thought, you were asking us to analyze the meaning or symbolism of the work. So much of that period of work, had all types of hidden bits.


Like what for instance? It looks more like an advertisement to me. The woman's pose seems to be showing off the porcelain cup not poised for drinking.


I'd say Pres, hit the nail on the head, with his analysis. It just seems that work around that time had a lot of hidden meanings. Bowls of fruit meant something, the animals they included meant something, etc. Artists included it for commentary of sorts. Now whether or not the subjects knew about this commentary, I don't know.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#7 Nelly

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:34 PM



They seem more like teabowls, as opposed to cups.

And, when I read "Can you read this picture?" I originally thought, you were asking us to analyze the meaning or symbolism of the work. So much of that period of work, had all types of hidden bits.


Like what for instance? It looks more like an advertisement to me. The woman's pose seems to be showing off the porcelain cup not poised for drinking.


I'd say Pres, hit the nail on the head, with his analysis. It just seems that work around that time had a lot of hidden meanings. Bowls of fruit meant something, the animals they included meant something, etc. Artists included it for commentary of sorts. Now whether or not the subjects knew about this commentary, I don't know.


Dear All,

When I "read" this picture, I see so many things. As for a "gestalt" or understanding of the whole, it becomes difficult for me. I do not know what the symbolism means. What is striking for me is the portraiture. There is an oddity about it. For example, the man's face seems a little off?? There is a flatness about the picture and yet the dog at the bottom seems alive. In addition, I found myself thinking about how they were holding the cups (i.e., practicing this gesture with my hand to see if it would work) in reality. It does. Thus, that offers no clue??

I am guessing it is simply a picture chalk full of symbolism. On the surface it is flat. But beneath the layers of arrangement of ideas there is much information. But I don't know really. I never took any art history courses to be able to comment with depth.

Just my thoughts.

Nelly

#8 Lucille Oka

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:39 AM

I think the painting is an ad like "shop Bloomingdales' it's like no other store in the world!" or 'find it at Macy's!'


When I try drinking from the vessel holding it like the persons in the painting the only one that is holding the cup believably is the young girl. To imitate the others drinking tea makes maneuvering the cups with tea in it difficult. I think this artist was a painter like Toulouse-Lautrec he painted ads for businesses. I have no proof of this but he was obviously 'talking' to someone and saying, 'Look at what we have!'


Also there are three persons and 4 cups of tea, maybe the tea cup of the painter?
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#9 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

I was going to say the child. The child in both paintings are holding the cup by the foot. The adult males hold it as though it isn't hot. The woman seems to be the ad.
I can't see how she would take a sip comfortably.

Marcia

#10 Nelly

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

I was going to say the child. The child in both paintings are holding the cup by the foot. The adult males hold it as though it isn't hot. The woman seems to be the ad.
I can't see how she would take a sip comfortably.

Marcia


Dear All,

And if you look at the head size of both the woman and the child they seem small compared to the rest of the body. The man's head seems a normal size.

Funny how as humans when we look at a portrait that is off in terms of body proportion it strikes us. There is no measuring stick for this. We know it on an unconsciousness level. We know it is not right. In addition, I noticed that the man has almost androgenous features.

But again, the focus seems on the tea ceremony. Everything is placed perfectly in this picture right down to the cookies or bread on the plate. The lighting is considered very carefully.

In many ways it is almost too perfect to be real. In addition, there is what I would call a monotony or feeling boredom in this image. No one seems really connected to each other. They are strategically placed or positioned to make us think of them as a family.

Nelly

#11 Benzine

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:21 AM

"I noticed that the man has almost androgenous features."

That could be because the figure, the artist modeled the man after, was actually female. Artists sometimes just used, the same models, when painting/ drawing either sex. Michelangelo was known to do this, which is why some of the female figures on the Sistine Chapel, look a little "bulky".
However, it could also just be that the male figure looks feminine, because men in the period wore wigs and makeup.
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#12 Frederik-W

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:08 AM


A snobbish and vulgar display of the fashion of drinking tea and material possessions.
The scene begs for a Marxist analysis.

As the summary says: "
fashionable family sitting around a tea table, obviously proud of their up-to-date and valuable silver and porcelain, and also of their knowledge of the correct manner of taking tea"

Besides that, I find the way they hold their bowls quite stupid.
A cup with an ear is just so immensely practical.


It seems even at that time it was fashionable to have one of those stupid, neurotic little dogs that are allowed at the table and treated like a kid.

#13 LawPots

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:33 PM

There's this moment looking at the painting when it seems like the artist sat the family down with the stuff on table, which none of them have actually used before, and said - here, pick up the teacups and pretend to drink so I can get a picture of you. It's like a wacky candid shot.

See, the father didn't even have any tea poured in his cup because he prefers beer (or rum!); the mother is holding the too hot cup up by the foot and the edge, because she wants to hold it, but not drink it; and the child is like - what's this taste like? There's four cups; three people, three spoons, but only two saucers - and one of the saucers is already holding a cup.

Then there is this question - Who poured the tea? I can only conclude its not a servant: the utensils are on the table and the sugar bowl is open. A servant wouldn't have brought, or left, and empty cup on the table, right? Who would leave the cover off a sugar dish? That stuff is as expensive as the tea - maybe moreso.

And, really, I don't care how ornamental the dog, you want to have a dog near your fine china? Look there - your can see the shadow under the edge of that plate right next the to dog - the edge of the plate is over the edge of the table. Doggie might have gone in a lap, but we want to show off our fine clothes, and don't want them to get messed up by actually holding the dog. So dog was seen on the ground, but painted into the chair/stool?, because everyone is sitting, but we don't want to have to paint thier feet - the canvas would be too big.

About the sitting - wife has a chair with a back; father has a chair with a back, but daughter? No back. Was it because the color doesn't go with the dress? Were these three even sitting at the table together? Mother has lots of fine details in her dress and facial expression, like she sat several times, but father and daugher look like they came over to the studio once for a quick sketch and that was it.

It's a funny picture indeed.




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