Monthly Archives: April 2018

French Painter James Tissot’s British Clients: Rising Industrialists, by Lucy Paquette for The Victorian Web

The Victorian Web, a vast resource on literature, history and culture in the age of Victoria, published this article in March, 2018:

By 1865, French painter James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836 – 1902) was earning 70,000 francs a year, and had found his entrée to aristocratic patronage with The Marquis and the Marchioness of Miramon and their children (1865, Musée d’Orsay) on the terrace of the Château de Paulhac in Auvergne.  The next year, the marquis commissioned Tissot to paint Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née Thérèse Feuillant (1866, Getty Museum, Los Angeles) in her sitting room at the château.

In 1867, while Tissot’s opulent new villa on the most fashionable of Baron Haussmann’s boulevards was under construction, he painted the president of Paris’ exclusive Jockey Club, Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1824 –1896), now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  He moved into his elegant house by 1868, the year he painted a hearty slice of the French aristocracy in a group portrait of an exclusive club, founded in 1852, The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868, Musée d’Orsay).  At the Salon in 1868, Tissot exhibited two oil paintings, one of which, Beating the Retreat in the Tuileries Gardens (private collection), was purchased by Napoleon III’s influential cousin, Princess Mathilde.

But after the Franco-Prussian War in 1870–71, and its bloody aftermath, the Paris Commune uprising in the spring of 1871, Tissot moved to London.  Within two years, he established himself in a large house in the London suburb of St. John’s Wood with a studio, a conservatory and a luxurious garden.  While British aristocrats did not purchase the French artist’s paintings, plenty of newly-wealthy industrialists sought his work as they enhanced their social status by building art collections.  Because provenance (the history of ownership) of Old Masters paintings was not always meticulously documented at this time, many new collectors – wary of fakes – concentrated on contemporary artists so they would know exactly what they were getting for their money.

William Agnew (1825 – 1910), the most influential art dealer in London, specialized in “high-class modern paintings” and represented Tissot for a time during the 1870s.  Tissot’s The Last Evening was purchased from Agnew’s by Charles Gassiot (1826 – 1902), a London wine merchant and art patron who lived in a mansion in Upper Tooting, Surrey.  Gassiot bought The Last Evening in February, 1873, before it was exhibited at the Royal Academy, for £1,000.  Gassiot also purchased Tissot’s Too Early, from Agnew’s in March, 1873 (before its exhibition at the Royal Academy that year), for £1,155.  Gassiot and his wife Georgiana, a childless couple, donated a number of his paintings, including The Last Evening and Too Early, to the Guildhall Art Gallery from 1895 to 1902.


A Visit to the Yacht (c. 1873), by James Tissot. (Photo:

Tissot sold La Visite au Navire (A Visit to the Yacht, private collection) to Agnew’s, London, in mid-June 1873.  Less than five months later, at the beginning of November, Agnew’s, Liverpool sold the painting to art collector David Jardine (c. 1826 – 1911) of Highlea, Beaconsfield Road, Woolton.  Jardine, a timber broker and ship owner, was the head of Farnworth & Jardine, world famous for their mahogany auctions; a man of considerable ability and courtesy, he was well liked for his “courtly bearing.”

Les Adieux (Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, U.K.) was reproduced as a steel engraving by John Ballin and published by Pilgeram and Lefèvre in 1873 – an indication of its popularity.  The picture was owned by wealthy international railway contractor Charles Waring (c. 1827 – 1887).

The Ball on Shipboard (c. 1874, Tate) was purchased from Tissot by William Agnew the year it was completed and sold to Hilton Philipson (1834 – 1904), a solicitor and colliery owner living at Tynemouth.  (Philipson also spent 620 guineas at Agnew’s for John Everett Millais’ 1874 painting, The Picture of Health, a portrait of Millais’ daughter, Alice (later Mrs. Charles Stuart Wortley).


The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst (c. 1874), by James Tissot

In 1874, two of James Tissot’s paintings were purchased by aristocrats, one Irish and the other French.  Mervyn Wingfield, 7th Viscount Powerscourt (1836 – 1904), whose forebears had lived since 1300 on a magnificent estate outside Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, paid £1,000 for Avant le Départ (private collection).  By autumn, Tissot was commissioned to paint a double portrait of the exiled Empress of France, widow of Napoléon III, Eugénie de Montijo (1826 –1920), and their son, The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst (c. 1874, Musée Nationale du Château de Compiègne, France).  However, these sales were anomalies, and his clients continued to be industrialists.


The Convalescent (1875/1876), by James Tissot.  Museums Sheffield, U.K.

Kaye Knowles, Esq. (1835-1886), was a London banker whose vast wealth came from shares in his family’s Lancashire coal mining business, Andrew Knowles and Sons.  Knowles, a client of London art dealer Algernon Moses Marsden [1848-1920, see Who was Algernon Moses Marsden?], owned a large art collection, including works by Sir Edwin Landseer, John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Rosa Bonheur, Giuseppe De Nittis, Atkinson Grimshaw and Édouard Detaille.  He eventually owned four oil paintings by James Tissot, including The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst; On the Thames (1876, The Hepworth Wakefield, U.K.); and In the Conservatory (also known as Rivals, c1875-1876, Private Collection).  Incidentally, after Knowles’ sudden death, In the Conservatory (Rivals) was sold with his estate as Afternoon Tea by Christie’s, London, on May 14, 1887.  William Agnew bought the painting at this sale for 50 guineas and passed it to one of Kaye’s executors, his brother, Andrew Knowles, on May 16, 1887.  Andrew Knowles also owned The Convalescent (1875/1876, Museums Sheffield, U.K.), which was exhibited at the 1876 Royal Academy exhibition.


Chrysanthemums (c. 1874-76), by James Tissot.  Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute at Williamstown, Massachusetts

Chrysanthemums (c. 1874-76, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute at Williamstown, Massachusetts) was purchased by British cotton magnate, MP and contemporary art collector Edward Hermon (1822 – 1881) by 1877.  Hermon eventually owned over 70 paintings, including works by J.M.W. Turner, Sir Edwin Landseer, and John Everett Millais, which he displayed in the picture gallery of his magnificent French Gothic estate, Wyfold Court, built at Rotherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire between 1872 and 1878.

Portsmouth Dockyard (c. 1877, Tate) originally was owned by Henry Jump (1820 – 1893), a wealthy Justice of the Peace and corn merchant living at Gateacre, Lancashire.

File:James Tissot - Portrait of Mrs Catherine Smith Gill and Two of her Children - Google Art Project.jpg

Portrait of Mrs Catherine Smith Gill and Two of her Children (1877), by James Tissot.  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, U.K.

Mr. Chapple Gill (c.1833 – 1901/2), was the son of Robert Gill, a Liverpool cotton broker of Knotty Cross and R. & C. Gill; the son joined the business in 1857 and had risen to senior partner [by 1880, he became head of the firm].  In 1877, he commissioned French painter Tissot, then living in London, to paint a portrait of his wife, Catherine Smith Carey (1847-1916), whom he had married on June 10, 1868 at Childwall.  She was the only child of Thomas Carey (1809 – c. 1875), a wealthy, retired estate agent.  Tissot’s portrait of Catherine Smith Gill (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) shows her – heiress at age 30 – sitting with her two children in the drawing-room window of her mother’s home at Lower Lee, at Woolton near Liverpool, which was built by Catherine’s father.

William Menelaus (1818 – 1882) was a Scottish-born engineer, iron and steel manufacturer, and inventor. Widowed after only ten weeks of marriage, he never remarried but raised two nephews (William Darling, who became a law lord, and Charles Darling, who became an MP and later a baron). Menelaus earned a fortune at the Dowlais Ironworks in South Wales, and his only extravagance was his art collection, which was said to fill his home in Merthyr. He donated pieces to the Cardiff Free Library, then upon his death, bequeathed to it the remaining thirty-six paintings, valued at £10,000. His bequest included James Tissot’s Bad News (The Parting), 1872, now at the National Museum Cardiff.

File:James Tissot - Quiet.jpg

Quiet (c. 1881), by James Tissot.  Private Collection.

Quiet (c. 1881) was purchased by Richard Donkin, M.P. (1836 – 1919), an English shipowner who was elected Member of Parliament for the newly created constituency of Tynemouth in the 1885 general election.  The small painting remained in the family and was a major discovery of a Tissot work when it appeared on the market in 1993, selling for $ 416,220/£ 280,000.  In perfect condition, it shows Tissot’s mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854 – 1882), and her niece, Lilian Hervey in the garden of Tissot’s house at 17 Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood, in north London.  It was Lilian Hervey who, in 1946, publicly identified the model long known only as “La Mystérieuse” – the Mystery Woman – as her aunt, Kathleen Newton.

The story of James Tissot’s Victorian patrons is the story of social transition:  in the late nineteenth century, art collecting ceased to be the prerogative of the aristocracy and became a status symbol for the rising industrial classThe wealth of contemporary collectors of Tissot’s oil paintings gives an idea of the monetary value of his canvases as well as their perceived value as status symbols.

File:James Tissot - On the Thames, A Heron - Google Art Project.jpg

On the Thames, A Heron (c. 1871-1872), by James Tissot.  Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

An interesting side note is that, for one prominent financial dynasty, the value of Tissot’s paintings as investments did not hold.  On the Thames, A Heron (c. 1871-1872, Minneapolis Institute of Arts) was one of Tissot’s first paintings after his arrival in London – and it was the first on record to be sold at auction in England.  Calculated to appeal to Victorian tastes, this Japanese-influenced scene initially was owned by London banker José de Murrieta (c. 1834 – 1901), a member of a Spanish family who had made their fortune within two generations by trading, especially with Argentina.  Murrieta tried to sell the painting in May, 1873 as On the Thames: the frightened heron for 570 guineas, but it did not find a buyer.  José, who was married, lived at Wadhurst Park in East Sussex, designed by E.J. Tarver in 1872-75.  It was purchased by his bachelor brothers Cristobal (1839 – 1891) and Adriano (1843 – 1891); they resided in the mansion they built about 1854 at 11, Kensington Palace Gardens (which was decorated by Alfred Stevens, with Walter Crane painting a frieze in the ballroom they added in 1873).  José and his intelligent and witty wife, Jesusa (c.1834 – 1898), were members of the Prince of Wales’ set and entertained lavishly at the houses in London and Sussex, both showcases for the vast collection of modern British and Continental painting they  had amassed.  The Prince scandalized the Foreign Office before and after his trip to India by traveling to Menton on the Mediterranean for Easter with Mrs. Murrieta in March 1875, and spending three days sightseeing with her in April, 1876, while he stayed at lodgings taken for him under an assumed name.  José soon received royal favor himself, being created the first Marques de Santurce in October 1877 by 20-year-old King Alfonso XII of Spain.  Meanwhile, Lillie Langtry, a young married beauty from Jersey, consumed the Prince’s interest from mid-1877, and it was rumored that the Murrietas created a love nest for the Prince and her at Wadhurst.  The Prince’s attentions wandered by mid-1880, but by 1881, another wing had been added to Wadhurst to entertain him.  Within two years, the art collection was expendable.  In April 1883, among other paintings including a Turner and several Alma-Tademas, José offered At the Rifle Range (1869, Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire) for sale at Christie’s, London as The Crack Shot; at £220.10s, it failed to find a buyer. In June 1883, José attempted and failed to sell On the Thames for 273 guineas. The Murrietas, who invested heavily in Argentinian railways, were bankrupted in 1890, when Argentina defaulted on bond payments.


Afternoon Tea, by James Tissot.  Private Collection.

Had José de Murrieta known that London wine merchant Charles Gassiot purchased The Last Evening in February, 1873 for £1,000 and Too Early in March, 1873 for £1,155, perhaps he might have been able to sell him On the Thames: the frightened heron for 570 guineas in May, 1873.  The Spanish banker might have been prudent to have tried slipping his “high-class modern paintings” past William Agnew’s discerning taste; then again, Agnew snapped up Afternoon Tea at Christie’s in 1887 for a mere 50 guineas.  In 2013, this picture was deaccessioned [regrettably] by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York – selling at Christie’s, New York to a private collector for $1,700,000 (Hammer price).]


©  2018 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

The articles published on this blog are copyrighted by Lucy Paquette.  An article or any portion of it may not be reproduced in any medium or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical, without the author’s permission.  You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement to the author. 

My thanks to The Victorian Web‘s Editor-in-Chief and Webmaster, George Landow, and to Associate Editor Jackie Banerjee.

Selected Bibliography

Brooke, David S. “James Tissot and the ‘Ravissante Irlandaise.'” Connoisseur. May 1968.

Graves, Algernon, F.S.A. Art Sales from Early in the Eighteenth Century to Early in the Twentieth Century. London: Algernon Graves, 1918.

Misfeldt, Willard E. James Jacques Joseph Tissot: A Bio-Critical Study. Ph.D. diss. Ann Arbor: Washington University, 1971.

Paquette, Lucy. “Who was Algernon Moses Marsden?” The Hammock. Web. 26 March 2018.

Ridley, Jane. The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, The Playboy Prince. New York: Random House, 2013.

Wadhurst History Society Newsletter. Web. 26 March 2018.


See my other articles on The Victorian Web:

A James Tissot Chronology, by Lucy Paquette for The Victorian Web

James Tissot (1836-1902): a brief biography by Lucy Paquette for The Victorian Web


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


James Tissot, the painter art critics love to hate


Self portrait (c.1865), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 49.8 by 30.2 cm (19 5/8 by 11 7/8 in.). The Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California. Museum purchase, Mildred Anna Williams Collection, 1961.16. Image courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in “The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot,” by Lucy Paquette © 2012.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that both my blog and my book, The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot, celebrate French painter James Tissot and his work.  You also know that April 1 is my birthday, and that I write an annual April Fool’s Day post, so once again, here’s something a little different for you.

In the nine years that I’ve been researching Tissot, I’ve been startled and mystified by the nature of criticism of his work.  I can tell you my least favorite of his paintings and why I don’t like them.  But I find that Tissot’s critics – past and present – can’t seem to do only that.  Their animosity toward Tissot has a bizarre personal thrust of resentment and spite, as if their dislike of his work is based on some grudge that ensued after a formerly tight friendship, along the lines of “I loved that man until he stole my girlfriend/was promoted over me at work/bought a Ferrari and wouldn’t let me test drive it.”  And yes, these reviewers who love to hate James Tissot almost always happen to be male.

My introduction to the conflation of dislike of Tissot’s work with unhinged hatred of James Tissot himself was a 1985 review of a new Tissot biography published in advance of exhibitions of Tissot’s work in France and the U.S.  The reviewer for The New York Times called his paintings “gloomy and inconclusive,” illustrating “boredom, tinged…with bitterness.”  He continued, weirdly, “As for Tissot himself…Californians have access to him in the debonair but slightly shifty self-portrait that is in the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco…In short order, the devious, would-be jaunty little fellow who looks out at us from Degas’s portrait [at the Metropolitan Museum of Art] was making a fortune in Paris in his early 30’s [sic] and riding high in a fashionable townhouse.”

Tissot, by Degas-1868

James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot (c. 1867-68), by Edgar Degas.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

When the reviewer adds, “Unhindered by any personal commitment to anything in particular, he could take time off to see what the public wanted,” you might ask yourself, “So what’s so offensive about a successful single guy in his 30s?”  According to this reviewer:  “But what matters in the end is to get rich with good paintings and not with bad ones.”


Chatterton (1856), by Henry Wallis.  Tate.  (Photo:


Bill Gates, World Economic Forum 2007 (Photo:

Why?  Matters to whom?  Who gets to decide whose paintings are good enough for them to “get rich” by, if not those who buy them?  Whose ring are they supposed to kiss – the leader of the Establishment, or the anti-Establishment?  Is there some rule that artists have to prove themselves by suffering for some cause, starving in a garret, dying young, or perhaps killing themselves for being misunderstood, before they are promoted to Officially Important Artist?

Does it count that Tissot fought in the Franco-Prussian War, was wounded in a battle at the front that his unit unexpectedly was sent to one morning?  That he stayed in Paris during the Commune while his peers all fled and alone recorded mass executions by the French Government that no one wanted to know about at the time?  That, after emigrating to London, he was no longer considered a real French artist, nor considered an English one, so his work must speak for itself?  James Tissot became wealthy through his own independent nature, talent, and hard work; isn’t that something universally admired?

Enough people thought, and continue to think, well enough of Tissot’s work that they have paid enormous sums for it, and museum curators think highly enough of Tissot’s work that it hangs in major art museums around the world, from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Tate in London, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.  Why, then, is James Tissot even now such an object of scorn to certain people?

This New York Times reviewer in 1985 summed Tissot up as a “dexterous careerist” and “a minor master, in way above his head.”  As a parting shot, he referred to Tissot’s mistress, the young divorcée Kathleen Newton, as a “concubine…lolling around like a beached porpoise,” modelling for “many a droopy painting.”


The Hammock (1879), by James Tissot. 50 in./127 cm. by 30 in./76.20 cm. Image 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

The current EY Exhibition at Tate Britain, “The Impressionists in London:  French Artists in Exile 1870-1904,” (through May 7, 2018) features a great deal of work by James Tissot, including some never before displayed in public, as well as a horrified letter he wrote to an English aristocrat describing executions he witnessed.  While visitors are even now crowding around these items, many reviewers tore into Tissot in the days before the show opened.

“How I despise the obsequies and sneers of James Tissot, his meringue frills and cupcake palette,” wrote the critic for London’s Evening Standard, who made no comment on Tissot’s elegant watercolor, The Wounded Soldier (c. 1870), or his May 29, 1871 watercolor of a dozen men being pushed off the ramparts outside Paris to their grisly deaths, a government massacre he witnessed.


Le premier homme tué que j’ai vu (Souvenir du siège de Paris) (The First Killed I Saw (Souvenir of the Siege of Paris)), by James Tissot.  (Courtesy of

The Telegraph’s reviewer also ignored Tissot’s extraordinary war reportage, and let him have it:  “Really, though, Tissot was a manicured and superficial fawner, with an excessive interest in flouncy, expensive women’s fashions.  As an artist, he was always too eager to please.”  He called Tissot’s work “irredeemably insincere” and “finicky,” filled with “meretricious flash and sparkle.”

The Financial Times’ art critic (the rare female) was sweet by comparison, merely lambasting Tissot’s “queasily compressed compositions” and “his easy facility and brittle surfaces.”

The Guardian’s critic termed Tissot a  “bore” – “a famous one whose work is still familiar from greetings cards and paperback covers of classic novels.”  He begrudgingly mentioned that Tissot, though an exile from French tumult, remained in London for a decade, “living in increasing affluence in St John’s Wood.”  Tissot’s affluence seems to be the lightning rod for many, while this critic also trots out the charge of plagiarism made against Tissot by his frenemies, James McNeill Whistler and Edmond de Goncourt:  “There’s a twist of Degas, a pinch from Manet, a whole subject from Whistler, all ironed flat by his noncommittal brushwork.”


Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, also called Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1871), by James Abbott McNeill Whistler.  Musée d’Orsay, Paris. (Photo:


Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet (1657), by Rembrandt van Rijn. Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd, Wales. (Photo:

[See Was James Tissot a Plagiarist? and

More “Plagiarists”: Tissot’s friends Manet, Degas, Whistler & Others.  To the left, Whistler with a soupçon of Rembrandt (right).]

The kiss of death from this Guardian critic?  “He has more to offer the historian of costume than the historian of art.”  But in 1869, the reviewer for L’Artiste praised this and more about Tissot’s work exhibited at the Paris Salon:  “Our industrial and artistic creations can perish, our morals and our fashions can fall into obscurity, but a picture by M. Tissot will be enough for archaeologists of the future to reconstitute our epoch.”

The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (Portsmouth) c.1876 by James Tissot 1836-1902

The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (Portsmouth) c.1876, by James Tissot.  Tate.

A week later, a different reviewer for The Guardian decried Tissot’s work for “how shallow and calculated some of his scenes are,” and was especially affronted that, “A woman accidentally displaying her bottom perfectly plays to Victorian sexual hypocrisy.”  Clearly, the display of this bottom was not accidental.

But not all art critics despise Tissot and his work.


On the Thames (1876), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 74.8 by 110 cm.  The Hepworth Wakefield.  Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in “The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot” by Lucy Paquette © 2012.

Time Out’s reviewer had just begun describing the Tate’s EY Exhibition for his readers, before his excitement brimmed over:  “…then you get hit with a room full of James Tissot paintings, and that’s where it gets good.  Tissot came to England to make a name for himself as a society painter, and boy did he ace it.  His paintings of parties in mansions, picnics in the garden, trysts on the Thames are lush, cool, refined and debauched.  His colours are deep and luxurious, his fabrics flowing and infinitely detailed.  This is society painting at its finest: knowing, cynical and sexy.  He’s an obscure and not particularly cool artist, but it’s such a treat to see so many of his works together.”  (To hipsters and sophisticates, most people described as “knowing, cynical and sexy” would, indeed, be considered cool.  Why not James Tissot?)


Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant (1866), by James Tissot. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. (Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.)

I never have had to struggle through determined museum crowds to see a painting as I did at “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity” at the Met in 2013.  The dense, semi-circular crushes before Tissot’s The Marquis and the Marquise de Miramon and their Children (1865), Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant (1866), and The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868) were astounding, and deserved.  But a New York Times reviewer couldn’t resist disparaging the Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant as “zealously detailed,” when that’s why it’s so wonderful.  People (including me) vied for a position close enough to examine its every exquisite detail, and the masterful brush curls of the gown’s ruffled edging.

Likewise at the Tate’s “Impressionists in London” recently, with waves of visitors flowing past, I had to anchor myself in front of Tissot’s The Wounded Soldier (1870) and his eyewitness account in watercolor, The Execution of Communards by French Government Forces at Fortifications in the Bois de Boulogne, 29 May 1871 (private collection), displayed in public for the first time.

Call James Tissot “devious,” “shifty,” “a manicured and superficial fawner,” whatever makes you feel superior to a man who’s been dead for 116 years but lives on in continued public popularity.  It’s said, “The best revenge is living well,” and Tissot, with his champagne on ice for visitors at his large private villa in the leafy suburbs of London, his hot girlfriend, and his enormous self-generated income and therefore his independence, lived better than pretty much anyone.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

“…there is something of the human soul in his work and that is why he is great, immense, infinite…”  

Vincent van Gogh on James Tissot, in a letter to his brother, Theo, September 24, 1880

© 2018 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

The articles published on this blog are copyrighted by Lucy Paquette.  An article or any portion of it may not be reproduced in any medium or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical, without the author’s permission.  You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement to the author. 

Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me, and please enjoy other posts on my blog as well as my book, The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot.

If you’d like to learn more about James Tissot and his work, see this show if you can, and let me know what you think:

The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870 – 1904)

November 2, 2017 – May 7, 2018

Tate Britain

Previous April Fool’s Day posts:

The Missing Tissot Nudes

Was James Tissot a Plagiarist?

Tissot and his Friends Clown Around

Happy Hour with James Tissot

Tissot’s Tiger Skin: A Prominent Prop


View my video, “The Strange Career of James Tissot” (Length:  2:33 minutes).

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