A Cottage Interior: An Old Woman Preparing Tea thumbnail 1
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A Cottage Interior: An Old Woman Preparing Tea

Oil Painting
1793 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This cottage interior is painted in great detail, as the story of the picture is told not by actions, but by the objects displayed in it. Bigg specialised in painting genre pictures of the 'virtuous poor', whose poverty he indicated by depicting the modest and unshowy nature of the few things they possessed. The little table is set with the old lady's frugal meal of bread, butter and tea. She sits before a small fire of twigs, where her kettle is boiling. The teapot, cup and saucer, knife and tea caddy on the table are carefully painted, as is the square wooden platter, with a circular hole for the salt, shown propped up on the shelf behind her. Wooden plates were cheaper than pewter, and less fragile than ceramic dishes.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
oil on canvas
Brief Description
Oil painting, 'A Cottage Interior - an Old Woman Preparing Tea', William Redmore Bigg, 1793
Physical Description
Oil painting
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 25.5in
  • Estimate width: 21.25in
  • Framed height: 795mm
  • Framed width: 925mm
  • Framed depth: 77mm
Dimensions taken from Summary Catalogue of British Paintings, Victoria and Albert Museum (London:1973)
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'W R Bigg 1793' (Signed and dated by the artist)
Object history
Probably exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1794 [14] as `Poor old woman's comfort.'
Subjects depicted
Summary
This cottage interior is painted in great detail, as the story of the picture is told not by actions, but by the objects displayed in it. Bigg specialised in painting genre pictures of the 'virtuous poor', whose poverty he indicated by depicting the modest and unshowy nature of the few things they possessed. The little table is set with the old lady's frugal meal of bread, butter and tea. She sits before a small fire of twigs, where her kettle is boiling. The teapot, cup and saucer, knife and tea caddy on the table are carefully painted, as is the square wooden platter, with a circular hole for the salt, shown propped up on the shelf behind her. Wooden plates were cheaper than pewter, and less fragile than ceramic dishes.
Associated Object
Bibliographic Reference
p.20Taste and Essence, Macau : Museu de Arte, 2013. ISBN: 9789996502040.
Collection
Accession Number
199-1885

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL