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Mary Cassatt--The Cup of Tea, ca. 1880-81

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"Taking afternoon tea was a social ritual for many upper-middle-class women. Committed to portraying the ordinary events of everyday life, the artist made that ritual the subject of a series of works painted around 1880, when she had been living abroad for the better part of a decade. Her model for this canvas was her sister, Lydia, who had moved to Paris, along with their parents, in 1877 and often posed for her. Cassatt’s embrace of French Impressionism is signaled by her scintillating brushwork, high-keyed palette, and emphasis on contrasting complementary colors. Cassatt showed the painting to critical acclaim in the 1881 Impressionist exhibition."
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Haha, Pat, that was a fun bit of history! :-))


The pinky pointing out was something my grandmother told me was the proper way for a young lady to drink a beverage. When I was young, it was very common to see. Where I lived anyway. Seeing it in this painting didn't strike me as odd at all. I didn't teach my girls to do that, in fact, I remember my kids and husband laughing good-naturedly at me because I did it. "What's wrong with your finger, Mom?" "Look it. There's Mom's finger again." I had to go out to the kitchen just now and pick up a glass to see if I still do that. I do, but it's very slight. Just barely away from the glass. Apparently, my family succeeded in modifying Nana's training. Or, after all these years, the pinky just got tired. :-D


It was really because those gloves were so tight! The tea was lovely, Gayle you surely entertain well :))


I wonder if the pinky sticking out is an affectation or a balancing act. ;-)


One of my favourite artists. I do like how Lydia has positioned her right hand pinky finger (outstretched) in true English-tea-drinking style. It brought a smile to my face.
Thanks, Gayle.


Mary does have that special flare. Thanks, Bill, Pat, and Barb, for stopping by for tea. One lump or two?


Love Cassatt paintings, they are so feminine, some thing we don't see much of these days. Thanks, Gayle :))


Yes, very nice, Mary. Thanks, Gayle.


Nicely done, Mary--with no mirrors or reflections. Thanks, Gayle.

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