12 5/8 x 9 3/8in (32.1 x 23.8cm)
Beginning in Paris with Picasso and Braque, Cubism quickly became an international phenomenon, crossing the French border into Germany, Italy, and elsewhere in the 1910s and 20s. Le Thé Chez Miranda (Tea at Miranda's) is a great example of Cubism as translated by Henri Van Straten, a denizen of the cafes of Antwerp. Van Straten uses the strong diagonals of Cubism to organize the composition, causing our eyes to dart around the image, picking up details of the scene: a woman pouring tea, highly abstracted tea cups, and a man reading a menu. The composition gives us a sense that everything happens at the same time in the busy cafe. Van Straten also throws in a healthy dose of Jazz Age aesthetic with crisp, sharp lines and a wonderful play of black and white reminiscent of Art Deco. Van Straten signed the composition with a highly stylized monogram at the lower right.
Henri van Straten, 1892-1944: Oeuvre Catalogus van de Grafiek = Catalogue de L'œuvre gravé = Catalogue of the Graphic Work; Ludo Raskin; 2002; 43
Signature & date
Signed and dated, lower right.
Henri Van Straten (Belgian, b.1892, d.1944)