Joyful painting, it is not.
The grey hues and cold light create a bleak general atmosphere; the close up on the adults’ stiff attitude is oppressive; then you notice the vacant eyes of the lady and her hand on the blade.
The very small head of the child is cleverly wedged on the tip of an inversed triangle (made by the three heads), directly linked by the table’s edge to the large fish in the foreground.
Everything enhances the boy’s insignificance.
A scene is brewing, and clearly, the fishplate will win ( look at the orange slices, it is elaborate cooking); the child has no chance to escape from an abhorred meal…I wouldn’t like to be present, though!
I met this very interesting young british painter, Michael Taylor ( here: ‘Fish Meal’, 1989 ),through Wixter : thank you very much! If you don’t know this stumbler, go and look him up for art and poetry.