It’s a rare thing to see a painting by James Tissot from a private collection. For this opportunity, I thank a lovely gentlemen I know from Twitter, who alerted me last fall that three of Tissot’s oil paintings were on temporary loan to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. I made the trip to see Quarrelling (c. 1874-76), The Bunch of Lilacs (1875), and Algernon Moses Marsden (1877).
In Quarrelling, which Tissot exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1876, a stylish couple stand in uncomfortable silence on opposite sides of one of the cast-iron columns in the graceful, curved colonnade that Tissot added to his garden at 17 (now 44), Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood, around 1875. Copied from the colonnade in Parc Monceau in Paris, it became the backdrop for a number of Tissot’s paintings in the next few years.
Everything in this picture is beautiful – and beautifully painted: the man’s dapper beige lounge suit, his flamboyant tan and white leather spectator shoes, and his straw boater with its black band; the woman’s chic fur-trimmed ensemble, which Tissot used in other paintings, the slick black cast iron, the slightly broken surface of the ornamental pond, and the quietly rippling willow branches. Enjoy Tissot’s brushwork in the photographs below!
Stay tuned for another private viewing in my next post, “A Closer Look at Tissot’s Algernon Moses Marsden.”
As for The Bunch of Lilacs, one of my favorite of all Tissot’s oil paintings, this is what I found during my visit:
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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).
NOTE: If 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 EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870 – 1904),” November 2, 2017 – May 7, 2018.
Curator, Dr. Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, Assistant Curator 1850-1915
And see “James Tissot, the Englishman,” by Cyrille Sciama, Curator of the 19th century collections at the Musée d’arts de Nantes, in the exhibition catalogue.