Mortimer Menpes
Flower of the Tea 1887–8

Artwork details

Mortimer Menpes 1855–1939
Flower of the Tea
Date 1887–8
Medium Oil paint on wood
Dimensions Support: 267 x 171 mm
frame: 310 x 215 x 27 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1970
Not on display

Display caption

Menpes painted this tea-house in Japan during a visit of eight months to study Japanese art. His scenes in Japan were exhibited in London in 1888, and he dedicated the exhibition to Whistler. Although so small, this was one of the largest paintings there.
Menpes was Australian, and toured Europe to make topographical etchings. He became an assistant and friend of Whistler, who encouraged his interest in Japanese art. The self-conscious arrangement of trees and the central post in this picture was intended to emulate Japanese design, but it remains a conventional view.

August 2004

About this artwork