Friday, September 1, 2017

Colors and "Tea Leaves"

While I have great appreciation for black-and-white images, I came across both color and black-and-white images of some artwork that surprised me this week. As I often do, I was researching tea images on the Library of Congress website when I found the image at left, a photograph of a painting by William McGregor Paxton titled "Tea Leaves."

The painting is lovely, isn't it? But because of the black and white colors of the photograph, I had a hard time distinguishing some of the objects in the photo. The bottom of the teapot, for instance, almost looks clear to me in this image. And then, like Dorothy stepping into Oz, I discovered  …

The colorized version! (Thank you, Metropolitan Museum of Art.) And wow, is this a different scene! Viewing the oil on canvas painting in color, I'm noticing the silver teapot, the ruffles of the redhead's dress, the lemons in the bowl in the foreground (I hadn't regarded them before), and the wrap or drape or whatever that is across the chair on the left. Does this color image grab you as much as it did me? 


  1. This is one case where color makes a big difference!

  2. I prefer the colorized version. It really shows off her blue hat. Loving it.

  3. The color does make a huge difference. Love finding tea related vintage pictures and this is a good one.

  4. While I love black and white images, hands down, the color version is preferred. I am amazed at how many details come to life. Agreed! The lemons, shawl, dress, hat, tablecloth, side table, large frame, cookies-all were lost in the black and white. What a fun little exercise. Thank you, Angela.


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