A Suburban Tea-House

A Suburban Tea-House by Mortimer Menpes. 1901. Watercolor. Source: Japan: A Record in Colour, facing p. 90. Here is rather a plain tea-house — according to the caption, in the suburbs. Nevertheless, it has its appeal for the artist, who felt that "Nothing disturbs in a Japanese landscape. It is the harmonic combination of untouched naturalness and high artistic cultivation. The tea-houses owe much of their charm to the absence of paint. The benches, lintels, the posts, are uncoloured, except by age" (111). Here, some guests are glimpsed in a far corner (on the left), and it is surely not by chance that trees frame it so neatly on either side: "the gardener has exhausted his art in pruning all the unnecessary growths without leaving a trace of his handiwork" (111-12). — Jacqueline Banerjee

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Menpes, Dorothy. Japan: A Record in Colour. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1901. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of California Libraries. Web. 26 June 2019.

Created 26 June 2019