Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tissot in the new millennium: Oils at Auction

All auction prices listed are for general reader interest only, and are shown in this order:  $ (USD)/ £ (GBP).  All prices listed are Hammer Price (the winning bid amount) unless noted as Premium, indicating that the figure quoted includes the Buyer’s Premium of an additional percentage charged by the auction house, as well as taxes.

Over sixty oil paintings by James Tissot have been sold at auction since 2000.

The record price for a Tissot oil (as well as a Victorian picture) was set in October, 1994, when British musical theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948) purchased The Garden Bench (Le banc de jardin, c. 1882) from American millionaire Frederick Koch (b. 1933) for $ 4,800,000/£ 3,035,093 at Sotheby’s, New York.  This was a favorite image of Tissot’s, depicting his happy half-dozen years with his young mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854–1882), and her children in the garden of his villa at 17 (now 44) Grove End Road, London; Tissot kept this painting all his life.  Kathleen Newton died of tuberculosis on November 9, 1882.  [See James Tissot’s garden idyll & Kathleen Newton’s death.]

Still on Top (c. 1874), by James Tissot. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Since 2000, the highest price paid for a Tissot oil was $ 2,763,150/£ 1,500,000 for Preparing for the Gala (c. 1874-76, oil on canvas, 34 by 16 1/2 in./86.4 by 41.9 cm), which was sold at Christie’s, London in 2006.  It is possibly the first of Tissot’s works painted in the extensive garden of his new home in Grove End Road in St. John’s Wood.  It belonged to Lord Ghanely, and was with Leonard P. Lee by 1955, when it was exhibited in public (in Sheffield, England) for the first and only time.  It then was with M. Newman Ltd., London before it was sold at Sotheby’s, New York, in 1996, for $1,650,000/£ 1,090,188.

Coincidentally, when Preparing for the Gala was sold in 2006, Tissot’s house was on the market for the first time in over fifty years (but the house and this painting were purchased by different buyers).

Still on Top (c. 1874), in the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki  in New Zealand, is a slightly enlarged close-up of Preparing for the Gala.  It depicts two women and an elderly male servant wearing a red liberty cap, a revolutionary symbol in France, and was painted only three years after Tissot had fled Paris – under some suspicion – during the French government’s suppression of the radical Paris Commune.  The image is rather daring for an apparent French political refugee of the time, remaking his career in England.

Young Ladies Looking at Japanese Objects (c. 1869), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 24 by 19 in. (60.96 by 48.26 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Young Ladies Looking at Japanese Objects (c. 1869, oil on canvas, 24 by 19 in./60.96 by 48.26 cm) was sold in 2002 at Sotheby’s, New York for $ 270,000/£ 186,464.  Tissot painted three versions of this subject in the same year, and one was gifted to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, in 1984, the year it was sold at Sotheby’s, New York for $ 75,000/£ 62,945.  The other, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1869, was in a private collection in Europe as of about 1900 and descended in the owner’s family until it was sold at Sotheby’s, New York, in 1999 for $ 2,100,000/£ 1,285,425.  This version, known as Young Ladies Admiring Japanese Objects, has been on loan to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, since about 2012.

“Goodbye” – On the Mersey (c. 1881), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 33 by 21 in. (83.82 by 53.34 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

On February 19 and 20, 2003, The Forbes Collection of Victorian Pictures and Works of Art was sold at Christie’s, London.  It was the first major sale of a collection of Victorian Art since the sale of the Koch collection in 1993.  The collection, a comprehensive overview of Victorian art, included 361 works by Holman Hunt, Millais and Rossetti, as well as G.F. Watts, Albert Moore and James Tissot, some of which belonged to Queen Victoria.  In 2001, the Forbes family had decided to auction off the bulk of its renowned collection of Victorian paintings, fourth largest in the world after the collections owned by the Tate, the Victoria and Albert, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Christopher (Kip) Forbes who, with the support of his father, Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990), had assembled the collection over a period of thirty years, said, “If I could have the money and not have to sell the paintings, I wouldn’t sell them.”  But, he later added, “other than me, nobody else [in my family] was all that interested, and the market has been … pretty good for Victorian painting right now.”  Tissot’s “Good bye” – On the Mersey (c. 1881), which Malcolm Forbes bought at Christie’s, London in 1970, was sold at the 2003 sale for $ 1,196,700/£ 750,000.  [Incidentally, Andrew Lloyd Webber acquired the other known version of “Goodbye” – On the Mersey in 1997; this oil on panel version is smaller, measuring 34.2 by 22.8 cm.]

Spring (c. 1878), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 56 by 21 in. (142.24 by 53.34 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Tissot’s Spring (c. 1878), which depicts Kathleen Newton, was sold at Christie’s, London in 2003 for $ 1,572,556/£ 920,000, and became part of the largest private art collection in the world, owned by Juan Antonio Pérez Simón (b. 1941).  Pérez Simón, a Spanish telecommunications billionaire and naturalized Mexican citizen, owns over 3,000 paintings representing artists from fourteenth-century Italy and the German Renaissance to El Greco, Rubens, Canaletto, Goya, Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Dalí.  He plans to leave them to a museum to be built in Mexico City, but many of the paintings normally hang in his six homes.

Pérez Simón loans individual pieces to museums around the world but had not shown works from his collection together until the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid presented fifty-seven of his paintings, which traveled outside of Mexico for the first time, in From Cranach to Monet:  Masterpieces from the Pérez Simón Collection, June 20 to September 10, 2006.  Two rooms were dedicated to Victorian artists, whose work is not well represented in Spain, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Venus Verticordia and Tissot’s Spring.

Edmond J. Safra (1932–1999), a Lebanese-born banker, founded the Republic National Bank of New York, the Republic New York Corporation and the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation.  In 1976, he married the former Lily Watkins (born 1934).  She was the daughter of a British railway engineer and a Russian mother, and she grew up in Brazil, where her father made a fortune manufacturing railway carriages.

Study for ‘Le sphinx’ (Woman in an Interior), by James Tissot.  Oil on panel, 44 by 27 in. (111.76 by 68.58 cm).  Private Collection.

Study for ‘Le sphinx’ (Woman in an Interior), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 44 by 27 in. (111.76 by 68.58 cm). Private Collection.

In 2005, Sotheby’s, New York sold works from the Collections of Lily and Edmond J. Safra, one of the greatest private collections assembled in the 20th century.  It included more than 800 items from the Safra residences in London, Geneva, Paris and New York:  French, Continental and English furniture, clocks, porcelain, paintings, carpets, Fabergé and Russian works of art.  Tissot’s Study for “Le sphinx” (Woman in an Interior), sold for $ 650,000/£ 364,023.  Tissot’s oil, Le sphinx, unlocated, was one of the fifteen large paintings in Tissot’s Femme à Paris series, 1883-85, and the Safras had acquired it from collectors Joey and Toby Tanenbaum, Toronto, at Sotheby’s, New York in 1993.

In 2011, Sotheby’s, New York offered more property from the Safra collections, including Tissot’s Sur la Tamise (Return From Henley), expected to bring $1.5 million to $2.5 million.  The painting brought $ 370,000/£ 293,860 at Sotheby’s New York in 1985, when The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey sold it to benefit the acquisition fund, but it did not find a buyer at the 2011 sale.  Neither did Tissot’s pastel portrait of the Princesse de Broglie, estimated at $500,000 to $700,000, which the Safras bought from Joey and Toby Tanenbaum at Sotheby’s, New York in 1989.

The Japanese Scroll (c. 1874), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 15.24 by 22.52 in. (38.70 by 57.20 cm). Private Collection. Courtesy, http://www.jamestissot.org

The Japanese Scroll (c. 1874), provides a glimpse of an interior from Tissot’s home in London, either 73 Springfield Road (now demolished), where he lived for a year from March 1872 to 1873, or the house he lived in from early 1873 to late 1882, in nearby Grove End Road.  The Japanese Scroll belonged to Isaac Smith, J.P., Bradford, England and was sold as A Question of Colour by his executors at Christie’s, London, in 1911, to Gaunt.  The painting later was with The Leicester Galleries, Ernest, Brown and Phillips, Ltd., London.  In 1985, it was sold at Sotheby’s, London for $ 285,802/£ 220,000, and it then was with Paul Rosenberg, New York.  In 2009, it was sold at Christie’s, New York for $722,500 /£ 446,787 (Premium).

Hélène Violette de Talleyrand-Périgord (1915–2003), Duchesse de Sagan, owned Tissot’s small picture, Femme en pied, vue de dos, which was sold at Sotheby’s, Paris in 2010 for € 17,500 EUR (Premium) [$ 23,835/£ 15,638].  Violette, whose mother was American heiress and socialite Anna Gould (1875 – 1961), the daughter of financier Jay Gould, married collector Gaston Palewski (1901–1984), the Chief of State under General de Gaulle from 1942 to 1946.  (Palewski, by the way, was a notorious womanizer who had a long-term affair with British novelist Nancy Mitford.)  The Tissot picture, formerly owned by pasta manufacturer and collector of French art Camille Groult (1837–1908,) was part of Palewski’s eclectic collection of art and furniture from his apartment in the rue Bonaparte in Paris.

The Morning Ride (c. 1880), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 26.26 by 38.35 in. (66.70 by 97.40 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The Morning Ride (c. 1880) was with London art dealer Thomas McLean around 1898, when it was included in the 34th Exhibition.  It then belonged to Hugo Hanak, a Czechoslovakian collector, and was sold at Parke Bernet, New York in 1944, to Jacques Helft [antiques dealer Jacques Helft (1891–1980), brother-in-law of art dealer Paul Rosenberg (1881–1959)].  By 1955–56, it was with the Weitzner Gallery, New York, and it was acquired by Mrs. Monique Uzielli (née de Gunzberg, 1913–2011), a Swiss aristocrat and art collector who resided in New York, around 1960.  She lent it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Impressionist Epoch, December 12, 1974 to February 10, 1975 as well as to summer exhibitions from 1975–1993.  It was sold from Mrs. Uzielli’s estate at Sotheby’s, New York in 2012 for $1,874,500/£ 1,160,681 (Premium).

Two notable sales occurred in 2013, and you can read about them in detail by clicking these links:

For sale: A Visit to the Yacht, c. 1873, by James Tissot

For sale:  In the Conservatory (Rivals), c. 1875, by James Tissot

Tissot’s elegant painting of a woman in a rowboat, Waiting (c. 1873, also known as In the Shallows), was sold by the London dealer William Agnew to the German Jewish banker Emile Levita on January 23,  1874 for £800.  But by February 17, Levita had changed his mind.  [Interesting side note:  Emile Levita, who came to Britain in the 1850s and obtained British citizenship in 1871, was the great-great grandfather of British Prime Minister David Cameron.]  Tissot exhibited Waiting at the Royal Academy that year, along with The Ball on Shipboard (c.1874, Tate Britain) and London Visitors (c.1874, Toledo Museum of Art), and the returned picture immediately was bought by Manchester silk manufacturer James Houldsworth for 700 guineas.  Waiting was sold at Christie’s June 17, 2014 sale of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art in London.  Estimated at $849,500 – $1,359,200/£500,000 – £800,000, it actually sold for $1,635,288/£962,500 (Premium). 

Rivals (1878 – 1879), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 36.22 by 26.77 in. (92 by 68 cm). Private collection.

In October, 2014, Tissot’s The Rivals (I rivali, 1878–79) was sold at Casa d’Aste Pandolfini, Florence, Italy.  Set in Tissot’s conservatory, it depicts Kathleen Newton cast as a young widow, crocheting while taking tea with two suitors, one middle-aged and one old.  Tissot exhibited it with a number of other works at London’s Grosvenor Gallery in 1879, and that same year, it was shown at the Royal Manchester Institution’s Exhibition of Modern Paintings and Sculpture, priced at £400.  It was purchased by John Polson, of Tranent and Thornly [who also owned Tissot’s A Portrait (1876, Tate, London)], and sold by his executors at Christie’s, London in 1911.  It then belonged to Sir Edward James Harland (1831–1895), head of the Belfast shipbuilding firm of Harland and Wolff and sometime M.P. for North Belfast, of Glenfarne Hall, near Enniskillen, Ireland and Baroda House in Kensington Palace Gardens, London, where it was sold by his executors at Christie’s upon his widow’s death in 1912.  Since 1913, The Rivals has been in private collections in Milan, beginning with the Ingegnoli Collection.  It was sold by Paul Ingegnoli’s executors at Galleria Pesaro in 1933 and purchased by a Milanese private collector.  It was displayed in public again only in Milan, at the Palazzo della Permanente, La Mostra Nazionale di Pittura, “L’Arte e il Convito,” in 1957.  At the 2014 sale, The Rivals was purchased for € 954,600 EUR (Premium) [$ 1,215,969/£ 753,715].

Update:  The Rivals, in pristine condition, is on display at the Stair Sainty Gallery booth at TEFAF in Maastricht, Netherlands (March 13-22, 2015), the world’s leading art fair.  In 2014, TEFAF attracted 74,000 visitors; TEFAF 2015 includes 275 leading galleries from 20 countries.

©  2015 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

 

Related Posts:

Tissot vs. Whistler, Degas, Manet & Morisot oils at auction

The Stars of Victorian Painting: Auction Prices

James Tissot in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection

Tissot in the new millenium: Museum Exhibitions

Tissot in the new millenium: Museum Acquisitions

 

CH377762If you do not have a Kindle e-reader, you may download free Kindle reading apps for PCs, Smartphones, tablets, and the Kindle Cloud Reader to read The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot.  Read reviews.

The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot, brings Tissot’s world from 1870 to 1879 alive in a story of war, art, Society glamour, love, scandal, and tragedy.

Illustrated with 17 stunning, high-resolution fine art images in full color

Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library

(295 pages; ISBN (ePub):  978-0-615-68267-9).    See http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009P5RY

 

 

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Tissot in the new millenium: Museum Acquisitions

Since 2000, museums have acquired seven more oil paintings by James Tissot.  As of January, 2015, there now are eighty-three oil paintings by James Tissot in public art collections worldwide:  twenty-four in the U.K., two in the Republic of Ireland, eighteen in France, one in Belgium, one in Switzerland, twenty-five in the U.S. and one in Puerto Rico, six in Canada, one in India, two in New Zealand, and two in Australia.

View of the Garden at 17 Grove End Road (c. 1882), by James Tissot. Ooil on canvas, 27 by 21 cm. Geffrye Museum of the Home, London. Courtesy www.jamestissot.org

View of the Garden at 17 Grove End Road (c. 1882), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 27 by 21 cm. Geffrye Museum of the Home, London. Courtesy http://www.jamestissot.org

Previously in a private collection, Tissot’s View of the Garden at 17 Grove End Road (c. 1882) was sold to Agnew’s by Sotheby’s, London in 2000 for $14,215 USD/£ 10,000 GBP (Hammer price).  In 2004, the Geffrye Museum of the Home in London purchased the painting from Agnew’s for £21,000, with assistance from The Art Fund, the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and The Friends of the Geffrye Museum.  View of the Garden at 17 Grove End Road was exhibited at the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford, in J J Tissot and his London Circle, October 2002 through January 2003, and at the Geffrye Museum in Home and Garden Part Two, 1830-1914, March 9 to July 18, 2004.  The painting is on exhibit in the Geffrye’s permanent display of eighteenth and nineteenth century paintings of domestic spaces in the Reading Room.

En plein soleil (In the Sunshine, c. 1881), by James Tissot. Oil on wood, 9 3/4 by 13 7/8 in. (24.8 by 35.2 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

En plein soleil (c. 1881), which depicts Tissot’s young mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854–1882) in the lower left hand corner, was painted in the garden of his large home at 44, Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood, London.  En plein soleil was with Lenz Fine Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. until 1976, when it was sold to Williams and Son, London.  That firm sold the painting to Stair Sainty Gallery, London, from which it was purchased in 1976 by Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol (1915 – 1985), London.  In 1983, the Marquess sold it back to Stair Sainty, where it was purchased that year by retired oil executive Charles B. Wrightsman (1895–1986) and his wife, the socialite, philanthropist and fine arts collector Mrs. Jayne Wrightsman (b. 1919), of New York.  After Mr. Wrightsman’s death, Mrs. Wrightsman kept the picture until 2006, when she gifted it to the Met.  It is not currently on view, but click this link to see an interactive image of it.

Image -- James_Tissot_-_Portrait_of_the_Marquis_and_Marchioness_of_Miramon_and_their_children_-_Google_Art_Project

The Marquis and the Marquise de Miramon and their Children (1865), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 69 11/16 by 85 7/16 in. (177 by 217 cm). Musée d’Orsay, Paris. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

In 1865, Tissot had found an entrée to the French aristocracy when he was commissioned to paint The Marquis and the Marquise de Miramon and their children [René de Cassagne de Beaufort, marquis de Miramon (1835–1882), his wife, née Thérèse Feuillant (1836–1912), and their first two children, Geneviève and Léon, on the terrace of the château de Paulhac in Auvergne].  Tissot depicted them outdoors, as an informal, affectionate family.  The Marquis and the Marquise de Miramon and their children served as Tissot’s calling card to the lucrative market for Society portraiture when it was exhibited in Paris, at the Cercle de l’Union Artistique, in 1866.  The portrait remained in the family until 2006, when it was acquired by the Musée d’Orsay; the first time it had been exhibited anywhere else since 1866 was with the blockbuster exhibition, Impressionism, Fashion, and ModernityClick this link to an interactive image for a closer look.

Image -- Jacques_Joseph_Tissot_(French_-_Portrait_of_the_Marquise_de_Miramon,_née,_Thérèse_Feuillant_-_Google_Art_Project

Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant (1866), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 50 1/2 by 30 3/8 in. (128.3 by 77.2 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

The J. Paul Getty Museum, in Los Angeles, California, acquired the stunning Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant (1866) from the family in 2007.  Thérèse-Stephanie-Sophie Feuillant (1836–1912) was from a wealthy bourgeois family.  She inherited a fortune from her father, and in 1860, she married Réne de Cassagnes de Beaufort, Marquis de Miramon.  Tissot depicts the 30-year-old Marquise in her husband’s castle, the château de Paulhac in Auvergne, wearing a pink velvet peignoir and leaning on the mantel in her sitting room with a stylish Japanese screen behind her.

Alongside this portrait at the Getty is displayed a sample of the pink silk velvet used in the Marquise’s peignoir, produced with a modern aniline dye.  Her descendants kept this piece of fabric, as well as the letter that Tissot wrote to her husband, who had commissioned the portrait, asking permission to display it at the 1867 Paris International Exhibition.  Permission was granted, and this private image was seen by the public for the first time – the only time, until the Getty purchased it.

I saw this painting in May, 2013, when it was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity.  It’s gorgeous – the photograph doesn’t do it justice.  It’s currently on view at the Getty, but if you can’t get there, click this link to an interactive image for a closer look.

Tissot 4 (2)Admiring a Portfolio (c. 1883, pastel on linen, 23½ by 29 in. (59.7 by 73.7 cm) features a woman who modelled for Tissot on other occasions, and this picture could have been a means of attracting new commissions.  It was sold in Sevres, France, around 1900, then at Sotheby’s, London in 1994 to a private collector in California.  In 2008, it was sold at Christies, New York for $104,500 to the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, where it currently is on display behind the front desk in the lobby.

Spring Morning (c. 1875) oil on canvas, 22 by 16 3/4 in. (55.9 by 42.5 cm), was in the possession of Thomas McLean, London, until about 1901; at some point after that, it was with Goupil, London.  It was sold by Sotheby’s Belgravia, London, in 1981, as Matinée de printemps, for £40,000 to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, New York.  Mrs. Wrightsman gifted it to the Met in 2009.  It is not currently on view, but click this link to see an interactive image of it.

In the Conservatory (The Rivals, c. 1875-1876), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 15 1/8 by 20 1/8 in. (38.4 by 51.1 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Incidentally, the Met owned a fourth Tissot oil painting, described as a “masterpiece:”  In the Conservatory (Rivals), c. 1875.  Mrs. Wrightsman gifted it to the Met in 2009, and it was not displayed; the last time it had been exhibited was in the U.K. in 1955.  It was deaccessioned on October 28, 2013, at Christie’s, New York, where it sold for $2,045,000 USD/£ 1,270,817 GBP (price includes Buyer’s Premium).  Read about this quick passage from museum storage to auction house at For sale: In the Conservatory (Rivals), c. 1875, by James Tissot.

The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868), by James Tissot. 68 7/8 by 110 5/8 in. (175 by 281 cm). Musée d’Orsay, Paris. (Photo credit: Wikimedia.org)

In 1868, most likely due to his portraits of the Marquis de Miramon and his wife and family in 1865 and 1866, Tissot was commissioned to paint the most lucrative and elaborate painting of his career, a group portrait of the twelve members of The Circle of the Rue Royale.  Members of the exclusive club, founded in 1852, each paid Tissot a sitting fee of 1,000 francs.  He portrayed them on a balcony of the Hôtel de Coislin overlooking the Place de la Concorde in Paris (if you look closely at the original painting, you can see the horse traffic through the balustrade).  From left to right: Count Alfred de La Tour Maubourg (1834-1891), Marquis Alfred du Lau d’Allemans (1833-1919), Count Étienne de Ganay (1833-1903), Captain Coleraine Vansittart (1833-1886), Marquis René de Miramon (1835-1882), Count Julien de Rochechouart (1828-1897), Baron Rodolphe Hottinguer (1835-1920; he kept the painting according to the agreed-upon drawing of lots), Marquis Charles-Alexandre de Ganay (1803-1881), Baron Gaston de Saint-Maurice (1831-1905), Prince Edmond de Polignac (1834-1901), Marquis Gaston de Galliffet (1830-1909) and Charles Haas (1833-1902).  The members decided who would own the painting through a drawing.  The winner was Baron Hottinger, seated to the right of the sofa.  The Musée d’Orsay acquired The Circle of the Rue Royale in 2011 from Baron Hottinguer’s descendants for about 4 million euros.  It also was included with Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, and it drew crowds.

Which of Tissot’s other oil paintings, now in private hands, will be acquired by public collections in the future?

Tissot’s Young Ladies Admiring Japanese Objects (1869) has been on loan to the Getty Museum from a private collection since about 2012.

Juan Antonio Pérez Simón (b. 1941) is a Spanish telecommunications billionaire and naturalized Mexican citizen who has the largest private art collection in the world.  He began collecting in his early 20s, and he now owns over 3,000 paintings representing artists from fourteenth-century Italy and the German Renaissance to El Greco, Rubens, Canaletto, Goya, Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Dalí.

Many of the paintings normally hang in Pérez Simón’s six homes, but he plans to leave them to a museum to be built in Mexico City.  His collection, also the largest private collection of Victorian art outside Great Britain, includes James Tissot’s Spring (c. 1878), another depiction of Kathleen Newton.

Award-winning musical theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948) began to collect Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite paintings as he achieved success with his musicals, Evita (1976), Cats (1981), Phantom of the Opera (1986) and Sunset Boulevard (1993).  His collection, now one of the world’s largest in private hands, includes several works by James Tissot from the artist’s London period, 1871-1882, all purchased in the 1990s.  In fact, Lloyd Webber owns more Tissot oils than the Tate Gallery in London, and he has said, “I hope that after my death my family will be able to find a way to exhibit the best of my collection on a more permanent basis.”

We hope for a long life for Lord Lloyd-Webber, a smooth construction for Pérez Simón’s museum in Mexico City, an extended loan period for the Getty’s Young Ladies, and for many philanthropic art collectors to gift their Tissot oil paintings to museums around the world in the coming years.

©  2015 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

Related posts:

A spotlight on Tissot at the Met’s “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity”

Tissot in the U.S.:  New York

For sale:  In the Conservatory (Rivals), c. 1875, by James Tissot

James Tissot in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection

Tissot in the new millenium: Museum Exhibitions

CH377762If you do not have a Kindle e-reader, you may download free Kindle reading apps for PCs, Smartphones, tablets, and the Kindle Cloud Reader to read The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot.  Read reviews.

The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot, brings Tissot’s world from 1870 to 1879 alive in a story of war, art, Society glamour, love, scandal, and tragedy.

Illustrated with 17 stunning, high-resolution fine art images in full color

Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library

(295 pages; ISBN (ePub):  978-0-615-68267-9).    See http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009P5RY

 

 

Tissot in the new millenium: Museum Exhibitions

Interest in the work of James Tissot has grown steadily over the decades of the twentieth century and has culminated in numerous exhibitions and loans of his paintings since 2000.

The Letter (c. 1878), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 28 ¼ by 42 ¼ in., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

The most recent retrospective of James Tissot’s work in North America, and the only one since the first in 1968 (in Rhode Island and Toronto), was James Tissot:  Victorian Life/Modern Love, a traveling exhibition with the support of the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, September 22 – November 28, 1999; the Musée du Québec, Canada, December 15, 1999 – March 12, 2000; and the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York, March 24 – July 2, 2000.  The exhibition featured approximately forty paintings, forty prints and twenty watercolors selected from public and private collections in North America, Europe and Australia, including works from the Tate Gallery in London, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  In New Haven, on display for the first time in the U.S. was Tissot’s The Hammock (1879), owned then by American stockbroker Jerome Davis of Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Captain and the Mate, (1873), by James Tissot. The Captain and the Mate (1873), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 53.6 by 76.2 cm. Private Collection. Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in "The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot," © 2012 Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot, © 2012

The Captain and the Mate (1873), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 53.6 by 76.2 cm. Private Collection. Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in “The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot,” © 2012

In the late 1990s, there was a booming market for Pre-Raphaelite art, driven by four wealthy collectors:  British musical composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Anglo-Bolivian tin heiress Isabel Goldsmith, U.S. stockbroker Jerome Davis and Dutch-born Australian cleaning and security services magnate John Schaeffer.  Prices peaked in June, 2000 when Lloyd Webber paid £ 6.6 million with fees – then the second-highest price ever for a British work of art – for John William Waterhouse’s St. Cecilia (1895).  The four collectors subsequently became less active, and contemporary art began to dominate the auction houses.

Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948), after spending forty years assembling his collection of Victorian art, lent 200 paintings to the Royal Academy in an exhibition from September 20 to December 12, 2003, Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection.  The exhibition featured work by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, John William Waterhouse, Holman Hunt, Richard Dadd, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Atkinson Grimshaw and James Tissot as well as Canaletto and Joshua Reynolds.  Gallery V featured Tissot’s L’Orpheline (Orphans, 1879), flanked by two paintings by Atkinson Grimshaw, and other pictures by Tissot, including The Captain and the Mate (1873).  It’s unlikely that Lloyd Webber’s collection will ever be shown again.  “He can’t bear to be parted from it,” said Royal Academy exhibitions secretary Norman Rosenthal.  “He’ll be pacing up and down looking at all the empty spaces on the walls.”

Quiet (c. 1878/79). Oil on panel, 13 by 9 in./33.02 by 22.86 cm. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

James Tissot et ses maîtres, a retrospective exhibition at the Musée des beaux-arts, Nantes, France, from November 4, 2005 to February 5, 2006, brought together twenty paintings and eight engravings and explored Tissot’s work in relation to his teachers and contemporaries, including Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780 – 1867), Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin (1809 – 1864), Louis Lamothe (1822 – 1869), Alfred Stevens (1823 – 1906), and Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917), as well as Tissot’s influence on a younger generation of painters and printmakers including Paul Helleu (1859 –1927).  A featured oil painting was Tissot’s Quiet (c. 1878/79), which depicts Tissot’s young mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854 – 1882).

Spring (c. 1878), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 56 by 21 in. (142.24 by 53.34 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Juan Antonio Pérez Simón (b. 1941) is a Spanish telecommunications billionaire and naturalized Mexican citizen who has the largest private art collection in the world.  His interest in art began as a teenager, and he began collecting in his early 20s, when he bought two prints at the Prado Museum in Madrid.  In the 1970s, he and his wife, Josefina, haggled in the streets for their first original oil paintings – two Mexican landscape paintings for a few pesos – when they had so little money that their flat was unfurnished except for a bed.  He now owns over 3,000 paintings representing artists from fourteenth-century Italy and the German Renaissance to El Greco, Rubens, Canaletto, Goya, Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Dalí.  He plans to leave them to a museum to be built in Mexico City, but many of the paintings normally hang in Pérez Simón’s six homes.  He loans individual pieces to museums around the world but had not shown works from his collection together until the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid presented fifty-seven of his paintings, which traveled outside of Mexico for the first time, in From Cranach to Monet:  Masterpieces from the Pérez Simón Collection, June 20 to September 10, 2006.  Two rooms were dedicated to Victorian artists, whose work is not well represented in Spain, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Venus Verticordia, John William Waterhouse’s The Ball Glass, and James Tissot’s Spring (c. 1878), which also depicts Kathleen Newton.

Pérez Simón also has the largest private collection of Victorian art outside Great Britain, and he has shared fifty-two paintings for the exhibition, A Victorian Obsession: The Pérez Simón Collection, November 14, 2014 to March 29, 2015 at the Leighton House Museum in London, the first time these pictures have been exhibited together in the U.K.  Unfortunately, Tissot’s Spring is not included in this exhibition.

Daniel Robbins, curator of the Leighton House, said that Pérez Simón “buys what he loves and he has been buying these pictures – often highly decorative and featuring beautiful women – since they were very much out of fashion.  I think people in the art world didn’t quite put it together and work out where they were all going.”   That’s because Pérez Simón has assembled his collection so quietly.  The good news is, he claims that he never refuses to loan a work, so perhaps the public will have the opportunity to see Spring again.  And he continues to purchase paintings, so perhaps he will collect more of Tissot’s work.

Mavourneen (Portrait of Kathleen Newton, 1877).  Oil on canvas, 36 in. /91.44 cm. by 20 in./50.80 cm.  Photo courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in "The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot," © 2012 by Lucy Paquette

Mavourneen (Portrait of Kathleen Newton, 1877). Oil on canvas, 36 in. /91.44 cm. by 20 in./50.80 cm. Private collection. Photo courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in “The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot,” © 2012 by Lucy Paquette

Tissot’s 1877 painting, Mavourneen (Portrait of Kathleen Newton), in which Mrs. Newton wears the same ensemble as she does in October (1877), was exhibited at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington from November 28, 2006, through March 30, 2007.  The painting had been in a private collection in Australia before it was purchased by Theodore Bruce, Adelaide, at Christie’s in 1984.  By the next year, it was with the Owen Edgar Gallery, London.  In 1995, it was sold to an American collector at Christie’s, New York for $ 2,300,000/£ 1,433,915.  Kathleen Mavourneen was a popular love song during Tissot’s years in London (“mavourneen” means “my darling”), as well as a play by William Travers, which enjoyed a revival at the Globe Theatre in July, 1876.

In the Louvre (L’Esthetique, 1883-1885), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 58 by 39 3/8 in. (144.4 by 100.0 cm). Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

From June 13 to September 6, 2009, In the Louvre (1884) was displayed at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut with Masterpieces of European Painting from Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, a premier institution of Italian Baroque, Spanish, Flemish, French Academic, and British 19th-century art founded by Puerto Rican industrialist Luis A. Ferré (1904 – 2003).  Ferré had traveled to Europe in 1956 and acquired art including many Pre-Raphaelite works.  On January 3, 1959, with seventy-two works of art, Ferré opened an art museum in a small wooden house in his birthplace of Ponce.  Tissot’s In the Louvre (L’Esthetique, 1883–1885) was purchased at Sotheby’s, London in April, 1959 for $ 2,099/£ 750 for the Ponce’s renowned collection of Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian art.  The permanent building, designed by modernist Edward Durrell Stone, was opened in 1962.  At the time of the exhibition at the Bruce Museum in 2009, the Museo de Arte de Ponce was under renovation.

Young Ladies Admiring Japanese Objects (1869), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 22 by 15 in. (55.88 by 38.10 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Tissot’s Young Ladies Admiring Japanese Objects (1869) has been on loan to the J. Paul Getty Museum in California from a private collection since about 2012.

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The Marquis and the Marquise de Miramon and their Children (1865), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 69 11/16 x 85 7/16 in. (177 x 217 cm). Musée d’Orsay, Paris (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

A major show of twelve of Tissot’s oil paintings occurred, unheralded, about two years ago, buried in Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity, which opened at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, from September 25, 2012 to January 20, 2013, traveled to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York from February 26 to May 27 and closed at The Art Institute of Chicago from June 26 to September 22.  The blockbuster exhibition was billed as “A revealing look at the role of fashion in the works of the Impressionists and their contemporaries.  Some eighty major figure paintings, seen in concert with period costumes, accessories, fashion plates, photographs, and popular prints, will highlight the vital relationship between fashion and art during the pivotal years, from the mid-1860s to the mid-1880s, when Paris emerged as the style capital of the world.”  I attended this show at the Met in May, and I can tell you that dense crowds formed around Tissot’s paintings, particularly The Marquis and the Marquise de Miramon and their Children (1865) [the portrait remained in the family until 2006, when it was acquired by the Musée d’Orsay, and this was the first time it had been exhibited anywhere else since 1866]; Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant (1866) [on loan from The J. Paul Getty Museum, in Los Angeles, California, which acquired the picture from the family in 2007]; and The Circle of the Rue Royale, which filled a wall at the Met [the Musée d’Orsay acquired this painting in 2011 from one of the twelve sitters’ descendants for about 4 million euros].  Tissot’s paintings, inexplicably, were not publicized with the exhibition, yet I had to jostle through the crowd of admirers to view them close-up.  They were, quite literally, showstoppers.

On the Thames (1876), by James Tissot

On the Thames (1876), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 28 5/8 by 42 1/4 in. The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire, U.K. Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in “The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot,” © 2012

From March 28 to November 3, 2013, The Hepworth Wakefield, West Yorkshire, U.K., presented James Tissot: Painting the Victorian WomanTaking the much cherished painting On the Thames, 1876, from our collection as a starting point, this new collection display explores the representation of women in the work of French-born artist, James Tissot (1836 – 1902).”  The exhibition also featured loans, from the Tate and several regional art galleries, of works including The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (c. 1876) and Portsmouth Dockyard (1877), to discuss the portrayal of Victorian femininity in relation to Tissot’s life history and the contrasting roles of women in the region’s coal industry.

There are no current or upcoming Tissot exhibitions, but since the last Tissot retrospective was in 2005–2006, perhaps the next one isn’t too far off.

©  2015 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

Related posts:

James Tissot and the Revival of Victorian Art in the 1960s

Kathleen Newton by James Tissot: eight auctioned oil paintings

James Tissot in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection

A spotlight on Tissot at the Met’s “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity”

CH377762If you do not have a Kindle e-reader, you may download free Kindle reading apps for PCs, Smartphones, tablets, and the Kindle Cloud Reader to read The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot.  Read reviews.

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Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library

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