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Though essentially a portrait, this work reflects the Camden Town group’s commitment to the painting of everyday life.Mrs Mounter was the artist’s landlady. He shows her with a blank, perhaps melancholy expression. She seems almost dominated by the very ordinary tea pot, jug and cups which speak, perhaps, of a simple, everyday life. It’s hard to imagine now, but such simplicity in a painting would have seemed radical to audiences used to seeing more lavish subjects.

July 2007