Groups of figures, mostly men, are seated in an interior gathered around tables. In most cases they lean against the tables, principally the table at the back of the room that is parallel to the picture plane, looking away from the viewer. The exception is the man at the center of the composition who is leaning on the table wearing a cap and coat who looks at the viewer as he raises his right hand towards his face. At the right are seated a woman and baby,
In keeping with Whistler's interests in the docks and establishments along the Thames in London, this scene of men and the woman and child at the right gave the artist the opportunity to explore working class labor in London, recalling some of the character studies the Rembrandt executed in the neighborhoods of Amsterdam.
A lightly draped femaie figure sits against a low wall; before her is a tray with tea cups and other items. In her left hand she holds a teacup, which she is lookng at. She stands facing to the right; he weight is on her right leg while her left is raised against the wall on which she sits.
The drawing of this figure is closely related to two others in the UMMA collection: the "Model Draping" and "The Dancing Girl." When Whistler first drew this lithograph, he was was not enthusiastic and directed the Ways to erase the work from the stone; this was never carried out and when Whistler reconsidered the work in 1892 and was pleased to discover that the work still existed. The stone was finally erased in 1903.
Bronze oval cup with a rounded base supported on three slender legs of triangular cross section; each leg tapers to a point. The vessel has one loop handle attached to the side, a long pouring spout with a U-shaped channel on one side balanced by a pointed tail on the other, and a pair of capped finials rise from the rim. The piece has a rich green patina and minimal surface decoration.
The “jue” cup was the main drinking utensil during the Bronze Age. It is found in a tomb paired with the “gu” wine container. The earliest known “jue” were cast from multipart piece molds. The form of the vessel is complex, and the lack of symmetry is relatively unusual among ritual bronzes. Unlike other tripod food and wine vessels, the three legs of the “jue” are not evenly spaced around the bottom, instead, the two legs opposite the handle are a little closer together and a little more vertical. To balance the handle visually as well as to support its weight the leg under it is slightly longer and sticks out at more of an angle. How this type of cup was used and the function of the two knobs on the rim is still not clear. The long spout is impractical for drinking.
Tea ceremony bowls are meant to serve two functions as not just a container but as a work of art. Kuwata's tea bowls while somewhat far removed from traditional tea bowl aesthetics still serve both of these functions. With his works, Kuwata is not trying necessarily to break tradition, but to create contemporary ceramic pieces that build off of tradition.
An angular bottle executed in two tones of white stands tall just to the (viewer's) right of center. To its left is a stack of gray drinking cups. Irregular blocks of various sizes and colors make up the rest of the field.
A Cubist still life, depicting a bottle and drinking cups. The perspective is mildly fragmented and, through the use of the blocks of color as well as the blocky objects, the space is flattened into discrete planes.