Category Archives: Art blog

A Closer Look at Tissot’s “Embarkation at Calais”

James Tissot began a follow-up series to his 1883-85 series of large-scale paintings, La Femme à Paris (The Parisian Woman), to be called L’Etrangère (The Foreign Woman), but he only completed two canvases. The first, L’Esthétique (The Aesthetic Woman, or In the Louvre, 1883-1885), entered the renowned Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian art collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1962.

The other, La Voyageuse (The Embarkation at Calais, or The Traveller, 1883-1885), is in the collection of the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (The Royal Museum of Fine Arts), Antwerp, and I was able to view it a few weeks ago. It is a large picture, measuring 146.5 by 102 by 1.7 cm (57.7 by 40.2 by .7 in.), and it is known there as The Embarkation at Calais.

Embarkation at Calais, KMSKA, copyright Hugo Maertens

James Joseph Jacques Tissot, Embarkation at Calais, KMSKA, Photo: Hugo Maertens

In this lively scene, a beautiful, fashionable, and confident woman descends a ship’s gangplank unaccompanied, surrounded by fellow travelers, sailors, and laborers. You can hear the shouts and sounds of the dock workers, the thumping footfall of the porter bearing her trunk, and the din of the genteel stampede behind her.

goodbye-on-the-mersey

“Goodbye” – On the Mersey (c. 1881), by James Tissot. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

In mid-1871, following the Franco-Prussian War and the bloody days of the Commune, James Tissot moved to London.

Around 1876, he met Kathleen Newton, who moved in with him and became his principal model. Mrs. Newton, a divorcée with two children, died of tuberculosis on November 9, 1882, at age 28, at Tissot’s villa in suburban St. John’s Wood.

Immediately after her funeral on November 14, Tissot returned to Paris, beside himself with grief [see James Tissot’s garden idyll & Kathleen Newton’s death.]

The Embarkation at Calais seems to portray an English woman, connected with his images of Kathleen Newton travelling [see Victorians on the Move, by James Tissot].

In fact, if you look closely just behind the woman’s head, you’ll see a ghostly figure of a woman wearing Mrs. Newton’s distinctive triple-caped greatcoat and high black bonnet. The face is not Kathleen’s though; it’s as if Tissot has put her unforgettable garb on some anonymous stand-in.

Ghost of Kathleen Newton

Arthur_d'Echérac_(Bracquemond_1883)

Portrait of Arthur d’Echerac (1883, etching), by Félix Barcquemond.

The Embarkation at Calais was exhibited at Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris, in 1885. In 1903, about twenty years after Tissot painted it, it was donated to The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp by Belgian art collector, art dealer, and critic Paul Leroi (Léon Gauchez 1825-1907).

It is interesting that Leroi, who from 1875 to the year of his death co-published the illustrated weekly magazine, L’art, owned this picture; in 1885, L’art printed an unflattering review of Tissot’s La Femme à Paris series by G. Dargenty [pseudonym of the sculptor, public administrator and art critic Arthur Auguste d’Echérac (1832-1919)] that referred to the central figures as “graceful puppets put into movement on the stage where they are used to performing, who call for neither commentary nor notes, inspire neither admiration nor repugnance nor desires, and are content to be interesting and pleasant to see.”

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp has been closed for renovation since late 2011. Tissot’s painting, displayed in Antwerp, the Netherlands, and Honfleur, France over the past decade and a half, was last exhibited in public in “James Tissot: 1836-1902” (September 26, 2015 – February 21, 2016), held at the Palazzo Montoro in Rome, Italy. Now in storage in the museum’s facility in Kallo, about twenty minutes outside Antwerp in the harbor, it was made available for me to view by the accommodating staff.

IMG_1586, edited

My embarkation at Antwerp, in the splendid Central Station (c. 1905)

IMG_1563                             IMG_2567 (2)

At first glance, it is an odd picture for Tissot – cheerless, using the thick, dry pigment that characterized his La Femme à Paris series but in a dark palette of browns, greys and blues with touches of burnt sienna for contrast. It’s as if Tissot has lost his direction, attempting to soldier on in the vein of the unsuccessful La Femme à Paris but without the passion that animated that project.

He had left his shining, enameled Academic style behind when he emigrated to England in mid-1871, but in this painting, there is none of the palpable self-confidence, exuberant brushwork, or wit, that characterized his best work throughout the 1870s, and in his remaining years with Kathleen Newton. Yet in its myriad vignettes, Tissot still shows his fascination with individual faces and human emotion. Even dejected and directionless, he can’t create a composition that doesn’t brim with life. This is the quality that Vincent van Gogh described in a letter to his brother, Theo, on September 24, 1880:

“A discerning critic once rightly said of James Tissot, ‘He is a troubled soul.’  However this may be, there is something of the human soul in his work and that is why he is great, immense, infinite…”

The museum staff kindly shared a high-resolution image for this article, so let’s get a good look at some of Tissot’s details.

Calais porter, top left

In his expression, his shoulders and his hands, we can see how the porter strains under his heavy load.

Soldier in background

The crowd on the pier is so detailed, it seems copied from a photograph.

Background couple

A rather smug-looking couple glances curiously at the central figure – or at us?

Crowd in background, top right

A young mother protectively hurries her two little daughters through the throng.

Dock worker, far right

A dock worker squats, his strong hands anticipating the next task.

Dock workers, bottom right corner

The captain automatically offers his hand, though the lady is managing well on her own, while the laborers to his right go about their business.

Calling worker's hands

We can tell how loudly this worker must shout to be heard.

Rope puller, lower left corner

Another dock worker quietly concentrates on the job at hand.

Lady's feet

We see no heels on the lady’s narrow leather boots, and so she appears to float.

Lady's plaid skirt, blanket detail

Tissot again demonstrates his love of painting plaid.

The Lady's gloves

The lady’s movement is suggested by the wrinkles in her gloves and the drape of her skirt.

Lady's head

A beautiful face, a self-possessed demeanor.

The lady, full length

There is something ethereal about this veiled woman, so weightless on those tiny feet, and strangely detached from the humanity surrounding her. Is she alone, or is the mysterious, headless man behind her actually with her? Overall, this is an unexpectedly haunting and somewhat sad painting of what it feels like to be lonely in a crowd of strangers: everyone is busy with their own tasks and emotional life, and not one of these people is engaged with any of the others. There is a strong sense in The Embarkation at Calais that, rather than portraying the life around him, James Tissot was inadvertently portraying his own psychological state at this time, between Kathleen Newton’s death and his imminent, abrupt reincarnation as a Bible illustrator. The Embarkation at Calais is significant in that this was Tissot’s last painting of “modern life.”

With special thanks to the following staff

at Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen:

Fleur Van Paassen, Registrar

Johan Willems, Depot Manager

Madeleine ter Kuile, Imaging Manager

© 2019 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. 

Related posts:

James Tissot’s “A Civic Procession” (c. 1879)

Tissot in the U.S.: The Speed Museum, Kentucky

A Closer Look at Tissot’s “The Ball on Shipboard”

A Closer Look: The Circus Lover (The Amateur Circus), by James Tissot

A Closer Look at Tissot’s “Hush! (The Concert)”

CH377762

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/B009P5RYVE.

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.

 

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Portrait of the Pilgrim: “a dealer of genius” (1899-1900)

James Tissot, having devoted years researching and completing his Life of Christ illustrations, did not leave his reputation to his friends.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Sermon_of_the_Beatitudes_(La_sermon_des_béatitudes)_-_James_Tissot

The Sermon of the Beatitudes (La sermon des béatitudes, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

In March, 1899, an eleven-page article on Tissot and his Christianity and art appeared in McClure’s Magazine. Written by Cleveland Moffett, a 36-year-old American journalist, the article was based on personal interviews with the artist, now 62, over several weeks.

It begins with a long shot of Tissot’s lone figure on a cliff, standing in rugged travel garb with his hands at his hips, surveying a vast desert landscape, over the caption, “The Place where the Sermon on the Mount was Pronounced” – along with a reproduction of Tissot’s watercolor, The Sermon on the Mount (right), showing the same landscape, this time crowded, with Jesus standing on the spot where Tissot was photographed. The awestruck Moffett extols Tissot’s “vigor” and describes him at the outset: “the spiritual quality in this distinguished artist is one of his most striking characteristics. Not only is he deeply religious in his daily life, but he is something beyond that: he is a mystic and a seer of visions.”

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Procession_in_the_Streets_of_Jerusalem_(Le_cortège_dans_les_rues_de_Jérusalem)_-_James_Tissot

The Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem (Le cortège dans les rues de Jérusalem, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

Moffett described Tissot’s earlier career, supplanted by his new religious fervor: “And now in the East a star of guidance shone out clear, a sign in the heavens beckoning this man, calling him to Jerusalem, and he heard the call and answered it.”

Moffet recorded Tissot’s anecdotes of his travels. In November, 1886, approaching Jerusalem in the rain, Tissot reprimanded the guide for suggesting a short cut: “Do you think I have traveled two thousand miles to have my first impression spoiled? Do you think I have come here like a scampering tourist?”

Tissot also told Moffett how he painted his pictures – and that “many of his best pictures were never painted at all, because the very gorgeousness of the scene made it slip from him as a dream vanishes, and it would not come back. ‘Oh,’ he sighed, ‘the things that I have seen in the life of Christ, but could not remember! They were too splendid to keep.’”

Brooklyn_Museum_-_What_Our_Lord_Saw_from_the_Cross_(Ce_que_voyait_Notre-Seigneur_sur_la_Croix)_-_James_Tissot

What Our Lord Saw from the Cross (Ce que voyait Notre-Seigneur sur la Croix, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

In 1900, Tissot entered into partnership with the McClure Company of New York to publish The Life of Christ, previously published in New York by L. Weiss & Co. (1896-97) and Doubleday (1898).

Tissot’s talent for publicizing his piety while monetizing his Christianity did not sit well with some of his friends.

Edmond de Goncourt, a cynical observer of those around him and whose novel, Renée Mauperin (1884), Tissot had illustrated, did not find him credible; Goncourt wrote in his journal in January, 1890, “Tissot, this complex being, with his mysticism and cunning, this intelligent worker, despite his unintelligent skull and his eyes of a cooked whiting, was passionate, finding every two or three years a new passion, with which he contracted a new little lease on his life.”

Edgar Degas, once one of Tissot’s closest friends, had a different reaction to his success: fury. He wrote in a letter to Ludovic Halévy, “Now he’s got religion. He says he experiences inconceivable joy in his faith. At the same time he not only sells his own products high but sells his friends’ pictures as well…To think we lived together as friends and then…Well, I can take my vengeance. I shall do a caricature of Tissot with Christ behind him, whipping him, and call it Christ driving His Merchant from the Temple. My God!”

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Merchants_Chased_from_the_Temple_(Les_vendeurs_chassés_du_Temple)_-_James_Tissot

The Merchants Chased from the Temple (Les vendeurs chassés du Temple, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Bad_Rich_Man_in_Hell_(Le_mauvais_riche_dans_l'Enfer)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall

The Bad Rich Man in Hell (Le mauvais riche dans l’Enfer, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

While Tissot was not alone in selling works bought from Degas or received from him as gifts, he did sell at least two. In 1890, Tissot sold Degas’ Horses in a Meadow (1872) for an unknown amount to art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who kept it until his death in 1922. Durand-Ruel actually had purchased the picture from Degas in 1872 and sold it in January, 1874 for under 1,000 francs to Paris opera baritone Jean Baptiste Faure (1830-1914). Faure returned it to Degas, who gave it as a gift to James Tissot. Several years later, on January 11, 1897, Tissot sold a painting that Degas had given him as a gift in 1876, right after finishing it – a portrait of a woman named Lyda, titled Woman with Binoculars. Tissot received 1,500 francs from Durand-Ruel for the picture; Durand-Ruel sold it to H. Paulus that November for 6,000 francs. After keeping the picture for over twenty years, why did Tissot sell it – especially for a mere 1,500 francs when it was worth four times that? [Tissot sold Manet’s Blue Venice in 1891, possibly at a profit, after Manet’s 1883 death had made his work valuable; he bought it on March 24, 1875 for 2,500 francs, after the two painters had traveled to Venice together, and Manet badly needed the income.]

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Jesus_Goes_Up_Alone_onto_a_Mountain_to_Pray_(Jésus_monte_seul_sur_une_montagne_pour_prier)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall

Jesus Goes Up Alone onto a Mountain to Pray (Jésus monte seul sur une montagne pour prier, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

But any profit realized by the sale of these paintings paled in comparison to the income the French painter in the English business suit was earning from his own work.

In 1900, at the end of the North American tour, James Tissot’s Life of Christ water-colors and pen-and-ink drawings were purchased by the rapidly expanding Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, now the Brooklyn Museum, as advised by the painter John Singer Sargent. Sargent referred to Tissot as “a dealer of genius,” but the museum’s trustees wanted to attract the crowds that flocked to Tissot’s exhibitions.

Tissot set the price for these 540 works – he refused to allow them to be sold separately – at the substantial price of $60,000. The money was raised by public subscription.

According to the museum’s website, “Every two or three days, newspaper headlines in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle urged the borough to ‘Bring the Tissot Pictures Here.’ The Eagle published the names of the donors and the amounts they had pledged toward the acquisition, which the paper described as ‘the most important contribution to the knowledge of the life of Christ that has been given to mankind in the form of art since the creations of the great masters of the Italian, Spanish and Dutch schools of painting.’” Subscriptions flowed in at the rate of $300 – $1,000 per day for several months.

In 1992, the Brooklyn Museum acquired a sketchbook of studies Tissot made during his research trips to the Middle East.

Tissot’s Life of Christ illustrations, not currently on view, were last exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum in 2009-2010.

© 2019 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. 

Related posts:

Portrait of the Pilgrim: James Tissot’s Reinvention (1885-1895)

Portrait of the Pilgrim: “not necessary or advisable to start a controversy” (1896-1898)

James Tissot the Collector:  His works by Degas, Manet & Pissarro

CH377762

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 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/B009P5RYVE.

 

Paris, 1885-1900

April 1 is my birthday, and I write an annual April Fool’s Day post, so here’s something fun: an illustrated timeline of James Tissot’s life in Paris during La Belle Époque. It puts him in the context of his time, and it provides us a little escapism.

woman-of-fashion-la-mondaine-1885

La Mondaine (The Woman of Fashion), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 58 by 40 in. (147.32 by 101.60 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

1er_juin_1885_-_Enterrement_Victor_Hugo

Cortège toward the Panthéon with Victor Hugo’s coffin, Paris, June 1, 1885 (Wikipedia.org)

In 1885, Tissot’s La Femme à Paris series was exhibited at Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris, along with his collection of the cloisonné enamels he created. Upon his return to Paris after living in England for eleven years following the Franco-Prussian War, he intended this series to reestablish his place in the French art world, but it was not well received.

June 1, 1885 was a day of national mourning for the death of poet and novelist Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885), revered as a national hero for his passionate defense of democracy as well as his contributions to French culture. He had requested a pauper’s funeral but was given a state funeral, and more than two million people followed his coffin as the cortège carried it from the Arc de Triomphe to the Panthéon, where he was buried.

Forain_-_The_tightrope_walker

The Tight-Rope Walker (c. 1885), by Jean-Louis Forain. Art Institute of Chicago. (Wikimedia.org)

Two days before Hugo’s death, Tissot participated in a séance in London, where he exchanged kisses with an apparition he believed to be his late mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854–1882).

During this year, he became engaged to Louise Riesener (1860 – 1944), daughter of painter Léon Riesener, but she was 25 and he was 49, and she changed her mind.

Tissot also had a brief romance with a tightrope walker in a Paris circus.

Tissot joined the new Société de pastellistes français and exhibited his work. From the mid-1880s to the early 1890s, he executed about forty portraits of aristocratic and Society women, most often in pastel.

Clotilde Briatte, Comtesse Pillet-Will, James-Jacques-Joseph Tis

Portrait of Clotilde Briatte, Comtesse Pillet-Will (c. 1883 – 1885), by James Tissot. Pastel on linen. Private collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Caricature_Gustave_Eiffel

Caricature of Gustave Eiffel, Le Temps, February 14, 1887.

In 1886, Tissot exhibited his La Femme à Paris series at Arthur Tooth and Sons, London as “Pictures of Parisian Life by J.J. Tissot”; they were not well received. In Paris, he exhibited with the Société d’aquarellistes français.

But in 1885, James Tissot had a religious revelation, in the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, and he decided he would dedicate the rest of his life to illustrating of the Bible. Between October 1886 and March 1887, he traveled to the Middle East to research his illustrated Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ  visiting sites in Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria to make his work as authentic and realistic as possible.

While Tissot was abroad, work began on an iron tower on the Champs de Mars, to be a centerpiece for the 1889 Exposition Universelle: the foundations of the Eiffel Tower were laid in late January, 1887. A “Committee of Three Hundred” – the most important figures in the cultural life of France – protested that this “gigantic black smokestack” would dominate Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and other monuments in Paris “in this ghastly dream.”

There is no indication of Tissot’s opinion on Eiffel’s tower; the United Kingdom, rather than Paris, seemed to be his focus. In 1887, he exhibited at least one painting, Waiting for the Ferry at the Falcon Tavern (1874), at Nottingham Castle and at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and in 1888, he exhibited three works at the International Exhibition, Glasgow.

Construction_tour_eiffel4

Eiffel Tower: Installation of the pillars above the first level (May 15, 1888). (Wikimedia.org)

Construction on the Eiffel Tower was proceeding steadily, and by the end of the year, Tissot would have been able to see it from the villa he had built in 1867 near the entrance to the Bois de Boulogne, at the far west end of what is now avenue Foch.

In 1888, Tissot’s father died, leaving him the Château de Buillon, near Besançon, in eastern France. During his remaining years, Tissot lived partly at his villa in Paris and partly at the Château.

Central_Dome_of_the_Gallery_des_Machines_Exposition_Universelle_de_Paris_1889_by_Louis_Beroud_1852_1930

Central Dome of the World Fair in Paris, 1889 (1890), by Louis Béroud (Wikimedia.org)

But Tissot exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889, winning a gold medal for his Prodigal Son series.

Paul_Renouard_-_Café_Tortoni

Café Tortoni (1889), by Paul Renouard. (Wikimedia.org)

Bérard_Gloppe

La Pâtisserie Gloppe au Champs-Élysées (1889), ), by Jean Béraud. (Wikipedia.org)

Le_bar_de_Maxim's_par_Pierre-Victor_Galland_(A)

The Bar at Maxim’s (c. 1895), by Pierre-Victor Galland. (Wikimedia.org)

Henri_de_Toulouse-Lautrec,_At_the_Moulin_Rouge

At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance (1889-90), by
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Wikipedia.org)

It seems unlikely that Tissot avoided the sophisticated delights of Paris, including its café culture, but in 1889, he left for his second journey to the Middle East to research his illustrated Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1893, focusing on the art market beyond France, he exhibited in the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, displaying his Prodigal Son series and one of his pastel portraits.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Jesus_Goes_Up_Alone_onto_a_Mountain_to_Pray_(Jésus_monte_seul_sur_une_montagne_pour_prier)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall

Jesus Goes Up Alone onto a Mountain to Pray (Jésus monte seul sur une montagne pour prier, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

Alphonse_Daudet_Vanity_Fair_11_March_1893

Caricature of Alphonse Daudet, Vanity Fair, March 11, 1893.

But after his long absence as a prominent artist in Paris, James Tissot stole the show at the Salon of 1894.

He exhibited 270 of the ultimate total of 365 drawings for La Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (The Life of Christ).

The pictures were given a gallery and a special catalogue. The public reaction was astonishing: one headline read, “THE CHAMP DE MARS SALON; JAMES TISSOT’S LIFE OF CHRIST A MARVELOUS SERIES. Women Weep as They Pass from Picture to Picture.”

Tissot’s achievement was the talk of Paris; at a dinner party on May 6, 1894 given by Tissot’s longtime friends Alphonse and Julia Daudet, celebrated writer Émile Zola said he was “captivated” by Tissot’s Bible illustrations.

the-princesse-de-broglie

The Princesse de Broglie (c. 1895), by James Tissot.

poster-for-victorien-sardou-s-gismonda-starring-sarah-bernhardt-at-the-théâtre-de-la-1894.jpg!PinterestSmall

Gismonda (1894), by Alphonse Mucha (Wiki)

James Tissot’s presence at Robert, Comte de Montesquiou’s extravagant “fête littéraire” at Versailles in 1894, along with princes and princesses, counts and countesses, indicates that Tissot socialized among the upper echelon of Parisian Society, where he found many of the subjects for his pastel portraits.

On January 1, 1895, Parisians awoke to find a startling, life-sized advertisement for Victorien Sardou’s play Gismonda starring Sarah Bernhardt at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris posted on the streets.

Designed by an unknown Czech, Alphonse Mucha, the poster almost immediately was pulled down by collectors.

summer.jpg!Large

Summer (1878), by James Tissot.

Alfons_Mucha_-_1896_-_Summer

Summer (1896), by Alphonse Mucha.

The new style, or Art Nouveau, was emerging throughout Europe, inspired by the natural, curving lines of plants and flowers. It influenced the decorative arts, architecture, interior design, jewelry, furniture, and fashion. James Tissot’s “modern art” of the 1870s and 1880s was completely outdated, and his realization of this must have contributed to his dedication to his Bible illustrations, which he considered historical accurate and therefore timeless.

In 1895, Tissot exhibited his entire series of 365 Life of Christ illustrations in Paris, and he exhibited the next year in London. La Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ was published in France, and he received a million francs for the reproduction rights. In 1896, he made a third trip to the Middle East, this time to begin an illustrated Old Testament (which would be published in 1904, two years after his death).

Clément_Maurice_Paris_en_plein_air,_BUC,_1897,146_Boulevard_Bonne-Nouvelle._Devant_la_rue_de_la_Lune

Boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle, in front of rue de la Lune (1897), by Clément Maurice, PARIS, Paris en plein air, Le Beau Pays de France. (Wikimedia.org)

Clément_Maurice_Paris_en_plein_air,_BUC,_1897,072_L'Heure_des_fiacres

L’heure des fiacres (1897), by Clément Maurice, PARIS, Paris en plein air, Le Beau Pays de France. (Wikimedia.org)

About this time, Tissot began work in Paris on a colossal Christ Pantocrator for the high altar of the convent church of the Dominicans in the rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré.

In 1897, he exhibited his Life of Christ illustrations at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and The Life of Our Saviour Jesus Christ was published in London and New York. In December, there was a dedication ceremony for his completed Christ Pantocrator.

Eglise_du_couvent_de_l'Annonciation_06

The church of the convent of the Annunciation, built in 1860: No. 222 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore, Paris 8th. Christ Pantocrator painted by James Tissot and installed in 1897. (Wikimedia.org)

Eglise_du_couvent_de_l'Annonciation_02

Interior of the church of the convent of the Annunciation. (Wikimedia.org)

Paris, in preparation for the 1900 Exposition Universelle, was growing: the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais were under construction as exhibition halls, and the Alexandre III bridge and the Gare d’Orsay were being built to facilitate the movement of the influx of visitors.

But James Tissot was busy arranging the North American tour of his Life of Christ illustrations. In February, 1898, he visited New York, and in October, he traveled to Chicago, then returned to New York for the opening of his exhibition. His New Testament watercolors toured New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston, St. Louis, Omaha, and other cities through 1899, to adoring crowds.

Camille_Pissarro_003, rain

Place du Théâtre Français, Paris: Rain (1898), by Camille Pissarro. Minneapolis Museum of Art. Minneapolis Museum of Art. (Wikimedia.org)

Exposition_univ_1900The Exposition Universelle was held in Paris from April 14 to November 12, 1900, and nearly fifty million people visited it.

James Tissot, now 64 years old, did not display any of his work.

In 1900, at the end of the North American tour, Tissot’s Life of Christ water-colors and pen-and-ink drawings were purchased by the rapidly expanding Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, now the Brooklyn Museum; the museum’s trustees wanted to attract the crowds that flocked to Tissot’s exhibitions. Tissot set the price at $60,000, an enormous sum that was raised by public donations.

Gare-d'Orsay-BaS

Gare d’Orsay, Paris, Paris-Orléans railway, c. 1900 (Wikipedia.org)

Pont_Alexandre_III

Pont Alexandre III, Paris, c. 1900.  (Wikipedia.org)

Le_Petit_Palais_3,_Exposition_Universelle_1900

Le Petit Palais, c 1900 (Wikimedia.org)

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View of the Champ-de-Mars towards the Château d’eau, Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1900.  (Wikimedia.org)

Vue_panoramique_de_l'exposition_universelle_de_1900

Panoramic view of the Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1900. (Wikipedia.org)

Joaquín_Pallarés_Allustante_Porte_Dauphine_Bois_de_Boulogne_1872

Porte Dauphine at the Bois de Boulogne, by Joaquín Pallarés Allustante (Wiki)

Beginning in 1898, the Paris Métro was under construction. Hector Guimard (1867 – 1942) designed roofed Art Nouveau entrances to the various métro stations. One, the Porte Dauphine station, was built adjacent to Tissot’s villa in the avenue du Bois de Boulogne. Opened in 1900, it is the only original (not reconstructed) Guimard Métro station entrance still on its original site. It was restored in 1999.

James Tissot died in 1902. It is believed that his Paris villa, once visited by “all the princes and princesses,” was demolished in 1906.

Porte_Dauphine_photo_gallery_no.1

Art Nouveau entrance to the Porte Dauphine Métro station in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, designed by Hector Guimard and opened in 1900. (Wikipedia.org)

© 2019 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. 

Related posts:

Belle Époque Portraits in Pastel by James Tissot

Paris, June 1871

The high life, 1868: Tissot, his villa & The Circle of the Rue Royale

Paris c. 1865: The Giddy Life of Second Empire France

The James Tissot Tour of Paris

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

James Tissot, the painter art critics love to hate

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

CH377762

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/B009P5RYVE.

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.

Portrait of the Pilgrim: “not necessary or advisable to start a controversy” (1896-1898)

james_tissot_-_photo_005-old-man-in-chair

James Tissot, 1898

In 1896, James Tissot embarked on his third and final voyage to the Middle East to begin an illustrated Old Testament [published in 1904]. He was sixty, making yet another long working journey, this time for a new project. On the ship, English painter and illustrator George Percy Jacomb-Hood (1857 – 1929) encountered Tissot and found him “a very neatly dressed, elegant figure, with a grey military moustache and beard…gloved and groomed as if for the boulevard.”

Tissot arranged with the firm Mame et fils, of Tours, to publish his Life of Christ illustrations in France in 1896-97.

He received a million francs for the reproduction rights of their two editions – a regular one, and a deluxe version printed on handmade paper with silk bindings, enclosed in wooden boxes – printed in Paris by Lemercier, with Tissot’s close supervision of the color plates. The first twenty copies of the deluxe edition were sold for 5,000 francs each, and advance subscriptions were sold to such luminaries as the Czar of Russia, the Queen of Spain, Tolstoy, and Sarah Bernhardt. Mame presented a copy to Félix Faure, the president of France.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Our_Lord_Jesus_Christ_(Notre-Seigneur_Jésus-Christ)_-_James_Tissot

Our Lord Jesus Christ (Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

To promote sales, Tissot’s illustrations were exhibited at the Lemercier Gallery in London in 1896, and Mame exhibited reproductions alongside the original watercolors in Paris in May, 1897. That exhibition was extended into June when 20,000 visitors packed the gallery in the first two weeks.

The Life of Christ was published in New York in 1896-97 and in an autograph edition in 1898.

Tissot corresponded with William Gladstone in 1897, in reference to his Bible illustrations, a year before the former British Prime Minister’s death. Gladstone wrote to him that his New Testament was “a remarkable work by a remarkable man.” The Life of Christ was published in London in 1897-98, with a dedication to Gladstone; a new edition was published there in 1898-99.

In February, 1898, Tissot traveled to New York to arrange the tour of his Life of Christ illustrations. He made a second trip to the United States in October, first visiting Chicago to arrange the tour of the Life of Christ illustrations, then returning to New York for the exhibition opening.

A female reporter for the Chicago Post met Tissot strolling around the Art Institute where his watercolors soon would be exhibited, and she described him as a man with “a gray mustache as fine as General Miller’s own, [in] an eminently easy, up-to-date English business suit.”

He took the reporter off guard by telling her he planned to tour Chicago’s famous stockyards during his stay. She had heard the rumor that Tissot was about to retire to a Trappist monastery; this idea seemed based on the fact that the Château de Buillon near Besançon in eastern France, which he had inherited from his father in 1888, had been built on the site of a twelfth-century Cistercian monastery.

Buillon,_le_château

The Château de Buillon, along the Loue River (Wikimedia.org)

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Antonio de la Gándara, self-portrait c. 1895 (Wiki)

During one of Tissot’s two 1898 trips to New York, he met with Parisian Society portraitist Antonio de la Gándara (1861-1917) at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, opened in 1893 on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street. The two painters, who both socialized with the eccentric dandy and snob Robert, Comte de Montesquiou at his opulent home in Versailles, shared the Comte’s interest in japonisme as well as in spiritualism and séances, or “turn-table exercises,” such as those pursued at painter Madeleine Lemaire’s salon. Built by millionaire developer William Waldorf Astor, the Waldorf Hotel catered to the upper crust of New York Society and to distinguished foreign visitors.

Waldorf_Hotel_1893

Waldorf Hotel, New York, 1893 (Wikimedia)

Tissot was worldly enough to have been aware of the decadent, Versailles-themed Gilded Age costume ball given at the Waldorf Hotel by Bradley Martin, a New York lawyer, and his wife Cornelia on February 10, 1897 – outraging the nation with its extravagance after two decades of economic depression and high unemployment.

On that night, police guarded the entrances, protecting the guests arriving in their fine carriages from the public gawkers, and once inside, liveried attendants guided them upstairs and through the corridors to rose-filled dressing rooms.

The sight of the guests descending the stairs to the ballroom “recalled some old picture of a stately court function in one of the capitals of Europe,” and in the ballroom, it seemed as if “some fairy god-mother, in a dream, had revived the glories of the past.” The women, fifty of whom were dressed as Marie Antoinette, were festooned with “thousand millions of dollars in precious stones,” according to The New York Times, some of which had been purchased from the sale of the French crown jewels in May, 1887.

The ball, with its 28-course supper of caviar-stuffed oysters, lobster à la Newburg, roast English suckling pig, terrapin, and canvasback duck stuffed with truffles, included four thousand bottles of 1884 Moët et Chandon, at a cost of $369,000 (over £ 7 million today).

Though the play-acting by New York’s wealthy at being Old World aristocrats was galling to the American public, James Tissot recently had participated in the real thing: his friend the Comte de Montesquiou’s extravagant garden party at his eighteenth-century pavilion in Versailles, in the spring of 1894, which Marcel Proust likened to a dream, “where, for a few hours, we believed we were living in the days of Louis XIV!”

Bradley-Martin Ball, Harpers

Bradley-Martin Ball of 1897 from the Harper’s Weekly Illustrated Newspaper (Wiki)

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Madison Square looking north, Manhattan, New York City, in 1893 (Wikipedia.org)

On November 15, 1898, the day after the Life of Christ exhibition opened at the American Art Galleries at Madison Square South, The New York Times ran a rather lukewarm review on Tissot’s Bible illustrations: “It is claimed for M. Tissot by his friends and admirers that he is one of the few artists of modern times who has attempted an artistic rendition of episodes in the life of Christ in a  truly devotional spirit and without thought of gain, and as proof of this they point to his piety and to his intense religious convictions. It is not necessary or advisable to start a controversy on this question.” The reviewer continued, “As to how individual transcriptions of this or that episode will impress the visitor it is of course impossible to say,” and while admitting that Tissot’s pictures “are worthy of reverent study,” and “certainly original,” added, “but one person will be impressed here and there, where another will see only what is bizarre or curious.”

Three days later, after calling on Archbishop Corrigan, Tissot was dragged nearly a block when trying to board a Madison Avenue line trolley car, leaving him bruised and unnerved. He was 62 years old.

A long article, “A Believer’s Pictures of Christ,” by Charles De Kay, appeared in The New York Times on December 11, 1898, stating, “Tissot is a straightforward, honest believer in the existence and Godhead of the Saviour.” Illustrated with six of Tissot’s pen and ink drawings, the article concluded, “Tissot’s scenes and glimpses from the life of Christ cannot fail to charm all serious souls.”

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Suffer_the_Little_Children_to_Come_unto_Me_(Laisser_venir_à_moi_les_petits_enfants)_-_James_Tissot (1)

Suffer the Little Children to Come unto Me (Laisser venir à moi les petits enfants, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Ascension_(L'Ascension)_-_James_Tissot

The Ascension (L’Ascension, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

Tissot’s New Testament watercolors toured New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston, St. Louis, Omaha, and other cities through 1899, to adoring crowds who by the end of the decade brought Tissot the huge sum of $100,000 in entrance fees. The astonishing financial success of Biblical works put him a bit on the defensive: he seemed to feel the need to emphasize his personal piety amid the profits.

Tissot’s “friends and admirers” certainly would have included the late, acclaimed French artist Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier (1815 – 1891), whom Tissot used to entertain in his Paris villa during his heyday under the Second Empire. In 1897, Meissonier’s biographer noted that he was very proud of Tissot, one of his protégés, whose career he followed closely, and who fulfilled the hopes he entertained of his future. According to Meissonier, “Tissot has noble visions. He is in love with the ideal. He devotes himself entirely to religious subjects now. He wanders in Palestine, among the scenes of the great events of the Gospels…”

© 2019 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. 

Related posts:

Portrait of the Pilgrim: James Tissot’s Reinvention (1885-1895)

Belle Époque Portraits in Pastel by James Tissot

The Company He Kept: James Tissot’s Friends

 

CH377762

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/B009P5RYVE.

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.

 

Portrait of the Pilgrim: James Tissot’s Reinvention (1885-1895)

In 1885, when James Tissot could have retired a wealthy man, he reinvented himself. He had earned a total of 1,200,000 francs during his years painting in London (1871 to 1882), largely for the newly-wealthy industrialists of the capital and cities in the north. His stylish images of fashionable women and the leisured life in Victorian England sold for high prices as “modern” art for those who wished to establish themselves as men of taste.

The Most Beautiful Woman in Paris

La Plus Jolie Femme de Paris (The Most Beautiful Woman in Paris, or The Fashionable Beauty, from La Femme à Paris, 1883-85), by James Tissot.  Oil on canvas. Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva, Switzerland.

But Tissot had returned to Paris immediately after the death of Kathleen Newton, his beautiful young mistress and muse, from tuberculosis in November, 1882. His brilliant early career in the French capital was in the past, and he had tried, and failed, to reclaim his place in the French art world as a painter of modern life with his La Femme à Paris (The Parisian Woman) series, exhibited at the Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris, from April 19 to June 15, 1885, as “Quinze Tableaux sur la Femme à Paris.”

William_Eglinton

William Eglinton (c. 1886) (Wiki)

Tissot tried to contact Kathleen Newton through a series of séances, fashionable at the time.

On May 20, 1885, at a séance in London conducted by English medium William Eglington (1857–1933) [who had been exposed as a fraud as early as 1876 but nevertheless enjoyed a successful career], Tissot recognized the female of two spirits who appeared as Kathleen, and he asked her to kiss him.

The spirit is said to have done so, several times, with “lips of fire.” Then she shook hands with Tissot and disappeared.

He made this image of the vision, L’apparition médiunimique, to commemorate their reunion.

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L’Apparition médiunimique (The Apparition, 1885), by James Tissot. Mezzotint, Private Collection.  (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

That year, James Tissot had another vision, “a strange and thrilling picture” of Christ. In 1885, while in the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris looking for inspiration for his final painting of the La Femme à Paris series, Musique sacrée (Sacred Music), which depicted a fashionable woman singing a duet with a nun in the organ loft of a church, Tissot experienced a religious revelation. He portrayed it in The Ruins (Inner Voices) and decided he would dedicate the rest of his life to illustrating of the Bible.

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The Ruins (Inner Voices), 1885, by James Tissot.  Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.  (Wikiart)

Tissot traveled to the Middle East to research his illustrated Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ between October 1886 and March 1887, visiting sites in Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. To make his work as authentic and realistic as possible, he made drawings, notes and photographs of the architecture, topography, and historical costumes, and he sought local models for the main figures.

While Tissot (and his surrogates) created the myth that he devoted the remainder of his life solely to this ambitious religious project, he was able to publicize it, and his spiritual goals, while quietly leading a life among the upper echelon of Parisian Society. He executed about forty portraits of aristocratic French women and other beautiful, wealthy women in sumptuous Belle Époque settings from the mid-1880s to the early 1890s, most often using pastels, as in Portrait of Clotilde Briatte, Comtesse Pillet-Will (c. 1883 – 1885); the wife of an immensely wealthy banker, she would go on to write several books on the occult under the pseudonym Charles d’Orino.

Clotilde Briatte, Comtesse Pillet-Will, James-Jacques-Joseph Tis

Portrait of Clotilde Briatte, Comtesse Pillet-Will (c. 1883 – 1885), by James Tissot. Pastel on linen. Private collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Château_de_Buillon,_vu_de_la_route_d'accès

A view of the Château de Buillon (Wikimedia)

And Tissot saw to it that his career was progressing in other areas. In 1886, he exhibited his Women of Paris series at Arthur Tooth and Sons, London as Pictures of Parisian Life by J.J. Tissot, and he exhibited with the Société d’aquarellistes français in Paris; in 1887, he exhibited at least one painting, Waiting for the Ferry at the Falcon Tavern (1874), at Nottingham Castle and at Newcastle-on-Tyne; and in 1888, he exhibited three works at the International Exhibition, Glasgow.

His father died in 1888, leaving him the Château de Buillon, near Besançon in eastern France, that he had purchased in 1845. During Tissot’s remaining years, he lived partly in his eclectically-furnished villa in Paris and partly at the imposing Château, enlarging it and embellishing the extensive grounds.

Portrait_of_the_Pilgrim_(Portrait_du_pèlerin)_-_James_Tissot

Portrait of the Pilgrim (1894), by James Tissot.  (Wiki)

In 1889, Tissot made a second trip to the Middle East to conduct further research for his Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

He continued to show his work widely; in 1889, he exhibited his Prodigal Son series, for which he won a gold medal, and an oil portrait at the Exhibition Universelle, Paris. In 1893, he exhibited his Prodigal Son series again, along with a pastel portrait, in the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Then, at the Paris Salon of 1894, Tissot exhibited 270 of the ultimate total of 365 drawings for La Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (The Life of Christ). The pictures were given a gallery and a special catalogue. The public reaction was astonishing: one headline read, “THE CHAMP DE MARS SALON; JAMES TISSOT’S LIFE OF CHRIST A MARVELOUS SERIES. Women Weep as They Pass from Picture to Picture.”

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The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ (La nativité de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

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Jesus Teaches the People by the Sea (Jésus enseigne le peuple près de la mer, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Nail_for_the_Feet_(Le_clou_des_pieds)_-_James_Tissot

The Nail for the Feet (Le clou des pieds, 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Jesus_Ministered_to_by_Angels_(Jésus_assisté_par_les_anges)_-_James_Tissot_-_overall

Jesus Ministered to by Angels (Jésus assisté par les anges), 1886-1894), by James Tissot. Watercolor. Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia.org)

Edmond_de_Goncourt_by_Felix_Bracquemond

Edmond de Goncourt (1882), by Felix Bracquemond (Wiki)

Tissot’s achievement was the talk of Paris; at a dinner party on May 6, 1894 given by Tissot’s longtime friends Alphonse and Julia Daudet, celebrated writer Émile Zola said he was “captivated” by Tissot’s Bible illustrations, but Daudet had to vociferously defend them to realist painter Jean-François Raffaëlli, who thought them “revolting.”

French writer and art and literary critic Edmond de Goncourt recorded it all, simultaneously impressed by Tissot’s success and critical of what he saw as a “medicore” effort to depict the supernatural.

[Goncourt seemed always ambivalent about Tissot, disparaging his successful career in England in an 1874 journal entry terming Tissot an “ingenious exploiter of English idiocy,” but nevertheless had Tissot illustrate the novel he wrote with his brother, Renée Mauperin, published in 1884, with the main character modeled by Kathleen Newton.]

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Portrait of Marie Joseph Robert Anatole, Comte de Montesquiou-Fezensac. Arrangement in Black and Gold (1891/92), by James McNeill Whistler. (Wiki)

And my new research finds that on May 30, 1894 Tissot was among the guests at the extravagant garden party given by poet, bibliophile and Society taste-maker Robert, Comte de Montesquiou. The highbrow “fête littéraire” was in celebration of his 458 million franc restoration of an eighteenth-century pavilion in Versailles, half a mile from the palace. The event featured an entire orchestra playing from a garden grove, and Sarah Bernhardt was one of the three stars of the Parisian stage who performed for the aristocrats and luminaries under the canvas roof of a rococo theater built in the center of the garden, surrounded by blue hydrangeas. During a brief intermission, guests could amble into Montesquiou’s Japanese greenhouse, filled with chrysanthemums, potted bonsai, and rare plants and birds.

Princes and princesses, counts and countesses – almost all of the gratin, or upper crust, turned out, including a few of the club members who commissioned Tissot to portray them in his 1868 group portrait, The Circle of the Rue Royale, Comte Étienne de Ganay (1833-1903) and Marquis Alfred du Lau d’Allemans (1833-1919). Tissot was socializing among the most exclusive Belle Époque Society.

Other illustrious guests included the glamorous 33-year-old, Worth-gowned Élisabeth, the Comtesse Greffulhe, who helped establish the art of American-born painter James Whistler and actively promoted artists including French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau, sculptor Auguste Rodin, and Parisian Society portraitist Antonio de la Gándara.

Élisabeth_de_Caraman-Chimay_(1860-1952)_A

La comtesse Greffulhe, 1895, by Paul Nadar. (Wiki)

The Comtesse Greffulhe and the host, her uncle, were among the eccentrics who served as inspiration for characters in Marcel Proust’s seven-volume novel, In Search of Lost Time (1913–1927). Proust, then an unknown university student invited only to write about the party, described it all in detail in Le Gaulois the next day, using the pseudonym “Tout-Paris.” He likened it to a dream, “where, for a few hours, we believed we were living in the days of Louis XIV!”

Tissot knew and was on friendly terms with many of the famous guests, including Gándara, Paris-based Italian painter Giovanni Boldini, and painter Paul Helleu, who was introduced to Tissot in London by Jacques-Emile Blanche in 1885.

Tissot’s good friend, writer Julia Daudet, was there. At some time during 1885, she had arranged a match between Tissot and Louise Riesener, (1860 – 1944), the granddaughter of portrait painter Henri Riesener (1767 – 1828), and a daughter of the painter Léon Riesener (1808-1878). The 25-year-old Louise, whom Tissot depicted as The Sphinx (Woman in an Interior) in his La Femme à Paris series, broke the engagement to the 49-year-old Tissot after seeing him at an unflattering angle in a foyer.

james_tissot_-_photo_005-old-man-in-chair

James Tissot, 1898

Also present at the party was author and journalist Aurélien Scholl (1833 – 1902), who in the months either before or after this engagement was pursuing, along with Tissot, a curvaceous circus performer depicted in a form-fitting costume and pink tights in another painting from La Femme à Paris, L’Acrobate (The Tightrope Dancer, 1883-85).

But these romances were long over. In 1895, Tissot exhibited the complete series of 365 Life of Christ illustrations in Paris, making arrangements for their publication. At about the same time, he was busy working as a Society portraitist. Tissot’s pastel portrait, Portrait of a Young Woman in a Conservatory, was completed in 1895, and two other pastels, Comtesse d’Yanville and Her Four Children and The Princesse de Broglie, date from about that year.

the-princesse-de-broglie

The Princesse de Broglie (c. 1895), by James Tissot. Pastel on linen. Private collection. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

The Princess de Broglie, née Louise Marie Madeleine Leboeuf de Montgermont (1869-1929), was the daughter of a diplomat and the granddaughter of the owner of the Creil-Montereau faience factory and regent of the Banque de France. In 1886, she bought the Hôtel de Castries, a Paris mansion built in the late seventeenth century, and in 1890, she married Prince Louis Antoine de Broglie-Revel (1862-1958) at the neo-Gothic Basilica of Saint Clotilde in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In Tissot’s portrait, she was still in her twenties, mother to two of the five children she would bear. The Princesse de Broglie, and perhaps Tissot’s other sitters, attended the Comte de Montesquiou’s garden party in 1894, certainly an excellent business opportunity for Tissot.

Montesquiou,_Robert_de_-_Boldini

Robert de Montesquiou (1896), by Giovanni Boldini (Wiki)

Montesquiou was a snob with a venomous tongue, but he and Tissot were friends and fellow collectors, sharing an interest in japonisme and the fashion for spiritualism and séances.

On December 15, 1895, a glowing, even fawning, nine-page review on Tissot’s Life of Christ illustrations appeared in the glossy magazine Revue Illustré – written by the Comte de Montesquiou, a contributor to numerous periodicals from June 1894 to February 1900.

Montesquiou noted, “We owe it to the kindness of MM. Mame, the publishers of the marvelous work, La Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ, the good fortune of reproducing here some of the most beautiful of Tissot’s compositions.” In fact, the good fortune was Tissot’s – after ten years of labor, albeit amid the splendid distractions of the Belle Époque, he had arranged with the firm Mame et fils, of Tours, to publish the pictures in 1896-97, and the reproduction rights of their two editions would make him far wealthier than he had ever been.

Related posts:

Belle Époque Portraits in Pastel by James Tissot

Tissot’s Romances

The Company He Kept: James Tissot’s Friends

James Tissot’s garden idyll & Kathleen Newton’s death

Tissot’s La Femme à Paris series

© 2019 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. 

CH377762

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/B009P5RYVE.

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.

James Tissot’s Animals

Did James Tissot paint animals because they appealed to Victorian sensibilities, because they were part of the life around him that he recorded so faithfully, or because they enhanced his subjects with symbolic meaning?

Numerous artists of Tissot’s time achieved great success as animaliers – animal painters – including Sir Edwin Henry Landseer RA (1802 – 1873), Rosa Bonheur (1822 – 1899), Briton Rivière RA (1840 – 1920), and Charles Burton Barber (1845–1894). Landseer, also a notable sculptor who created the lions at Trafalgar Square, was popular with the aristocracy as well as the middle class, whose homes often featured reproductions of his works, which often sentimentalized dogs. Bonheur, a French artist popular in England, was known for her realistic depiction of animals, especially cattle. Rivière focused on animal subjects from the mid-1860s, and he grew famous as his animal paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy often were engraved. Barber, famous for his sentimental paintings of children and their pets, especially dogs, received commissions from Queen Victoria to paint her grandchildren and dogs.

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Around 1868, Tissot’s Un déjeuner (A Luncheon), set in the French Directoire period (1795 to 1799), featured a small, furry white lap dog with floppy ears – perhaps a flirtatious companion in this scene of seduction.

queen victoria with pug, 172544_originalWhen the British invaded and looted the Chinese Imperial Palace in 1860 during the Second Opium War, they brought pug dogs back to England, where they were first exhibited in 1861.

The ancient breed treasured by Chinese emperors was highly fashionable in Europe up through the eighteenth century; now Queen Victoria owned and bred pugs. The dogs became popular and often were depicted in paintings, greeting cards, and postcards of the time.

The Queen’s pugs were painted by Scottish artist Gourlay Steell RSA (1819 – 1894) around 1867.

Anglophilia was fashionable in France at the time, and Tissot, painting in Paris while well aware of trends in England, began to include pugs in a series of paintings set in the Directoire: Fig. a, La Cheminée (By the Fireside, c. 1869); Fig. b, Unaccepted (1869); Fig. c, Jeune femme en bateau (Young Woman in a Boat, 1870); Fig. d, La partie carrée (The Foursome, 1870); and Fig. e, Un souper sous le Directoire (c. 1870). [See James Tissot’s Directoire series, 1868-71.]

a tissot_james_jacques_the_fireplace (2)     b unaccepted (2)     c james_tissot_-_young_lady_in_a_boat (2)

d 940px-james_tissot_-_la_partie_carrée (2)     e un souper sous le directoire (2)

Since Tissot’s compositions featuring pugs were painted shortly after the breed was rediscovered, and since they became the only dog breed he featured in this series, it is likely he included them to boost sales as well as to add a lively detail.

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Tama the Japanese Dog (c. 1875), by Edouard Manet. (www.the-athenaeum.org)

Shortly after the fad for pugs began in England, the retired first British Minister to Japan, Sir Rutherford Alcock (1809 – 1897) made a sensation showing his collection of exotic treasures at his Japanese Pavilion at the 1862 London International Exhibition, beginning another trend that turned Tissot’s artistic (and business) inspiration away from pugs. After the signing of the first commercial treaty between Japan and America in 1854, more than 200 years of Japanese seclusion had come to an end. In the French capitol, a host of import shops cropped up to cater to the new craze for “japonisme,” and by November, 1864, when the famed Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti tried to buy Japanese items in Paris, he “found all the costumes were being snapped up by a French artist, Tissot, who it seems is doing three Japanese pictures.” These were three similar paintings featuring elegant young women looking at Japanese objects; French painter Berthe Morisot, after visiting the Paris Salon in 1869, wrote to her sister, “The Tissots seem to have become quite Chinese this year.” Tissot brilliantly used the chic “Oriental” studio in his new English-style villa in the rue de l’Impératrice (now avenue Foch) as a showcase to display his impressive collection of Japanese and Chinese art and artifacts, attracting princes and princesses – and commissions.

Focused on this new trend, Tissot ceased attracting buyers by adding the pug dog to his compositions, with the exception of Waiting (c. 1873, also known as In the Shallows), painted within two years of his emigration to England in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune. A few years later, Tissot’s friend Edouard Manet combined the interest in dogs and japonisme in Tama the Japanese Dog (c. 1875), above, one of a few dog portraits he produced.

in the shallows

Waiting (In the Shallows, c. 1873), by James Tissot.  Private Collection.  (Photo: Wiki)

In a different vein, Tissot painted companion dogs in portraits of their aristocratic owners in France and England, and he rendered them with great skill and sensitivity.

james_tissot_-_portrait_of_the_marquis_and_marchioness_of_miramon_and_their_children_-_google_art_project

richard_peers_symons,_m.p._(later_baronet)_by_joshua_reynolds,_1770-71

Richard Peers Symons, MP (1770-71), by Joshua Reynolds (Photo:  Wiki)

By 1865, Tissot had found an entrée to patrons in the French aristocracy and 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 in the English-style elegance of a Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788) or a Joshua Reynolds portrait (1723 – 1792). In this painting, which served as Tissot’s calling card to the lucrative market for Society portraiture, he prominently features the Miramon’s large and regal black dog, a retriever or perhaps pointer mix that may have been the Marquis’ favorite hunting dog as well as a beloved family pet. An oil study for the painting shows that Tissot relocated the dog from what initially was conceived as a central position with Léon to a more natural pose at Léon’s feet; Tissot used the dog, in the end, to enliven the central spot at the bottom of the canvas. In a decision that finally unifies the subjects in a pleasing composition, Tissot changed the Marquis’ pose so that his crossed legs lead the eye down his long black boots to the strong black diagonal of the reclining dog. Tissot put as much thought into the dog’s placement in the painting as the human subjects, indicating its importance in the commission.

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Three years later, in a group portrait of the members of The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868), Tissot featured a Dalmatian that clearly was important to at least one of the aristocrats who contributed toward the commission. Again, the dog is featured in the center of the composition, where its spotted coat enlivens the expanse of checkerboard marble tile and echos the colors of the stylish black and white hounds tooth trousers of Count Julien de Rochechouart, seated with a cigarette in his right hand. With its handsome profile and long body with outstretched paws, the Dalmatian has as much presence and poise as the twelve men in another composition emulating English-style portraiture of aristocrats and their dogs.

Oxford PortraitsAfter emigrating to England with less than one hundred francs but with numerous British friends, Tissot received considerable help in establishing his career anew in London. Frances, Countess Waldegrave (1821-1879), who shared Tissot’s interest in spiritualism, hosted fabulous salons in London and at Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. Frequent guests included Gladstone, Disraeli, and the Prince and Princess of Wales. In 1871 – shortly after Tissot had fled the Bloody Week in Paris – the charming and “irresistible” Countess Waldegrave pulled strings to get Tissot a lucrative commission to paint a full-length portrait of her fourth husband, Chichester Fortescue (right). It was funded by a group of eighty-one Irishmen including forty-nine MPs, five Roman Catholic bishops and twenty-seven peers to commemorate his term as Chief Secretary for Ireland under Gladstone – as a present to his wife. Fortescue, later Baron Carlingford (1823 – 1898) was a politically ambitious Irishman and Liberal MP for County Louth from 1847 to 1868. In 1863, he married the politically influential Countess Waldegrave, previously the wife of the 7th Earl Waldegrave, who had chosen him out of the three or more men who wished to marry her. Fortescue had been in love with her for a decade before her elderly third husband died. Tissot may have included the perky white terrier-type dog at his feet as a way of humanizing a quiet, bookish man described as “pedantic” but capable of great love.

(c) St Edmundsbury Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Tissot also received a commission from his great friend, Tommy Bowles (Thomas Gibson Bowles, 1841 – 1922), who lived at Cleeve Lodge in Hyde Park. [To read more about their friendship, click here and here.]  Tommy Bowles was the illegitimate son of Thomas Milner Gibson (1806 – 1884), a Liberal MP for Manchester and President of the Board of Trade from 1859 to 1866, and Susannah Bowles, a servant. Tommy was an adorable little boy, and his stepmother, Arethusa Susannah (1814 – 1885), a Society hostess who was the only child of Sir Thomas Gery Cullum (1777 –1855) of Hardwick House, Suffolk, insisted that he be raised with his father’s family of four sons and two daughters. Tommy’s favorite half-sister was Sydney Milner-Gibson, nearly eight years younger, and in 1871, when Sydney was 22, he commissioned Tissot to paint her portrait. Tissot captured the sweet, reticent personality and awkwardness of his friend’s beloved younger sister, who posed caressing her medium-sized black dog. The presence of her pet, which somewhat resembles a German Spitz, may have made her more comfortable, but it also fills the space created by the way she sits across the chair. Had she stood, with the dog at her feet, the composition would have been much less interesting.

f   fidelity-1869(1).jpg!large      g blonde and brunette, 1879

John Everett Millais: The Black Brunswicker.The Victorians set great store by animals, and dogs especially exemplified loyalty and the affection and comfort of domestic life. In J.E Millais’ The Black Brunswicker (1860), left, the dog sweetly joins the woman in begging the soldier not to depart for battle.

The central figure in Briton Rivière’s Fidelity (1869), Fig. f, is impoverished, incarcerated, injured and abandoned by all – except for his dog.

In Charles Burton Barber’s Blond and Brunette (1879), Fig. g, the affectionate pug and the pretty woman make an adorable duo.

During the latter half of the nineteenth century, innumerable such paintings were produced throughout the Western world playing to the emotional appeal of canine companions.

h 333px-james_tissot_-_croquet    i the-croquet-party

james_tissot_-_a_fete_day_at_brightonBut James Tissot’s depictions of dogs had more in common with those of his friends in Paris than with those in sentimental Victorian paintings.

For instance, Tissot’s use of the white dog in Croquet (c. 1878), Fig. h, is more comparable to Edouard Manet’s inclusion of two small dogs in The Croquet Party (1871), Fig. i: the dogs simply are present, though they add motion and visual interest to the scene of human leisure activity.

The same is true of Tissot’s Fête Day in Brighton (c. 1875-78), right, in which the dog trotting ahead of the woman and the flags waving behind her add a sense of movement to her otherwise still figure, and a sense of depth to the picture.

Tissot’s own border collie, which he painted in The Hammock (1879) (see below) and Quiet (c. 1881), Fig. j – reflect the artist’s realistic depiction of the scene. Akin to In Deep Thought (1881), Fig. k, by Alfred Stevens, Tissot’s friend in Paris, the dog mirrors the psychological state of the subject.

quiet, c. 1881    k in deep thought, alfred stevens

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going to the cityWhile dogs had symbolic meaning in art, James Tissot, a shrewd businessman, likely included dogs in many of his compositions because they appealed to Victorian sensibilities and because they were part of the life around him that he recorded so faithfully.

This is how Tissot painted other animals: not as fascinating creatures in their own right, as Edgar Degas painted racehorses, but in service to the people who were the subjects of his compositions: the horses in Les Adieux (The Farewells) 1871and The Shop Girl (c. 1883-85) merely wait while their owners go about their business, and the horse in Going to Business (Going to the City, c. 1879), like the donkeys in The Morning Ride (1872-1876), and even (despite its title) the heron in On the Thames, A Heron (c. 1871-72), is providing the action in the scene without being its subject.

Tissot’s animals exist only in relation to the human psychology and activity that were the focus of his work.

©  2019 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. 

Related post:

Tissot’s Tiger Skin: A Prominent Prop

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/B009P5RYV

 

 

 

James Tissot and Two Ladies of Leisure

All 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.

James Tissot characteristically painted beautiful, well-dressed women either in languorous poses or in scenes of psychological tension.  But just as often, he depicted contemporary women passing the day in leisure.  These women simply exist in loveliness.  And two art auctions, one this summer and one a half-dozen years ago, highlighted how two of Tissot’s women were perfectly matched with private collectors who themselves were ladies of leisure – a Vanderbilt of the Gilded Age, and a European aristocrat of our own time – living along New York’s exclusive Fifth Avenue.

At the Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art sale at Sotheby’s, London in July, 2018, James Tissot’s Le goûter (The Snack, 1869) sold to a private collector for £ 187,500 GBP.  Set in Tissot’s opulent Parisian villa in the rue de l’impératrice (Empress Avenue, now avenue Foch), it depicts an elegantly-dressed woman caught reviving herself with a sip of wine and a bit of fruit.  The model is wearing the same costume as the woman in In Church (1865-1869); as if she has just returned from a promenade, she has removed her bonnet and set it at the edge of the table.

Le Gouter

Le goûter (The Snack, 1869), by James Tissot.  Oil on canvas, 21.5 by 14.25 in. 
(54 by 36 cm).  Private collection. (Courtesy of the-atheneaum.org)

800px-660_5th_Avenue_New_York_CityThe 1874 catalogue records  for Goupil’s art gallery in Paris include this painting as Le goûter (Afternoon tea).  By 1883, Le goûter was in the collection of William H. Vanderbilt (1821 – 1885), who lived in a mansion at 660 Fifth Avenue, New York, that his wife, Alva, commissioned in 1878 from Richard Morris Hunt after William inherited the bulk of his father’s $100 million estate in 1877.  Built in a French Renaissance and Gothic style, the mansion was referred to as the Petit Château, and its grand interiors were furnished from trips to Europe, with items from antique shops and from “pillaging the ancient homes of impoverished nobility.”

Le goûter was passed to William’s youngest son, art collector George W. Vanderbilt (1862 – 1914), whose New York residence comprised two identical, five-story white marble mansions at 645 and 647 Fifth Avenue, between E. 51st and E. 52nd Streets, designed by Hunt & Hunt in 1905 as a “free interpretation of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century palazzi.”

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Cornelius “Neily” III Vanderbilt (Wiki)

George W. Vanderbilt left this residence to his nephew, Cornelius “Neily” III Vanderbilt (1873 – 1942), who had been disinherited by his father in 1896 for becoming engaged to Grace Graham Wilson (1870 – 1953), the daughter of a New York banker [upon his father’s death in 1899, he received only $500,000 in cash and the income from a $1 million trust fund].

Grace, a popular member of the smart international set of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), was considered an “adventuress.”  Less than thrilled to inherit an old mansion which she referred to as “The Black Hole of Calcutta,” Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt hired architect Horace Trombauer to make improvements, and she filled the house with 18th century French furniture and tapestries.  In 1917, ready to establish residence, she hired a staff of 30 including an English butler and six footman liveried in the Vanderbilt maroon.

Cornelius, who prior to his marriage had earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Yale, had joined the New York National Guard in 1901.  In 1916, he was mobilized and served in an engineering regiment that was shipped to France in mid-1918.  Shortly after his arrival there, he was promoted to brigadier general.

 

Grace_Graham_Wilson01

Grace Graham Wilson Vanderbilt

After the war, he preferred life on his yacht to life with his wife, who entertained endlessly and lavishly in their New York mansion.  But by 1940, with taxes almost $60,000 a year on the house, Neily Vanderbilt sold it to Lord John Jacob Astor V (later 1st Baron Astor of Hever, 1886 – 1971), with the provision that his wife could live there until three years after his death.  He died in 1942, and in 1944, Grace Vanderbilt moved up Fifth Avenue to a house at 86th Street which is now the Neue Galerie.  Le goûter was in her possession from 1945, when the marble mansion at 645 Fifth Avenue was demolished.  (Its twin mansion at 647 has been Versace’s flagship store since 1995.)

Later with Stair-Sainty Fine Art, New York, Tissot’s Le goûter offered for sale by an anonymous owner at Sotheby’s, New York, in 1982.  It was sold at the same auction house in 1987, again anonymously, to a private U.S. collector for $ 95,000 USD/£ 56,581 GBP (Hammer price).  In 2010, the painting was offered for sale at Christie’s, New York with an estimated price of $ 300,000 – 500,000 USD, but it did not find a buyer until eight years later.

Less familiar than other paintings by Tissot, Le goûter has been exhibited only twice:  when it was on loan to The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1902 to 1907, and when it was included in the exhibition James Tissot at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, in 1984.

Morning Ride

The Morning Ride (1872-1876), by James Tissot.  Oil on canvas, 26.26 by 38.35 in. (66.70 by 97.40 cm). Private collection. (the-athenaeum.org)

The Morning Ride (c. 1872-1876), another of James Tissot’s lesser-known paintings, was purchased at the 19th Century European Art sale at Sotheby’s, New York in 2012 for $1,874,500 USD/£ 1,160,681 GBP (Premium).  It depicts a pallid woman of means, a convalescent or perhaps an invalid, being drawn in a donkey cart through a path bordered by multi-colored banks of rhododendrons in full bloom.  Her ruddy-faced male companion, well dressed and sporting knee breeches, pauses in a casual and familiar manner to let her caress the blossoms.  Her maid rides side-saddle on a donkey behind them.  Tissot conveys the spring chill by the gloves they wear and the lady’s fur-trimmed coat and lap blanket.

Monique Uzielli, 500143_355557552f3b6v624h6q2s_original

Monique Uzielli

By about 1898, the painting was with the Thomas McLean gallery, London.  Decades later, it was owned by Hugo Hanak, a Czechoslovakian collector, who sold it at Parke Bernet, New York in 1944.  It was acquired there by art historian and antiques dealer Jacques Helft (1891 – 1980), brother-in-law of art dealer Paul Rosenberg (1881 – 1959).  Around 1955-56, The Morning Ride was with the Weitzner Gallery, New York, and about 1960, it was acquired by European aristocrat and noted collector Mrs. Monique Uzielli (née de Günzburg, 1913 – 2011), New York.  Mrs. Uzielli was the great-granddaughter of Joseph, Baron Günzburg (1812 – 1878), a Jewish philanthropist, banker, and financier who helped fund the development of Russia’s railroad network.

In 1959, Mrs. Uzielli had purchased a Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment at East 92nd Street, featuring fabulous, 360-degree views over the city and Central Park with 4,780 square feet of terrace space; originally it was the top floor of the 14-story home of cereal heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post.  Mrs. Uzielli’s tastes as a collector ranged from early Southeast Asian sculpture to European art to the 1960s couture gowns she gave to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mrs. Uzielli occasionally loaned The Morning Ride to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for exhibitions from 1975 to 1993.  She died in Montreux, Switzerland in October 2011, and by January, 2012, her 1925 penthouse was put on the market for $29,500,000 [and sold for $30.9 million in 2014].  Her Tissot painting was sold to a private collector at the beginning of May.

Will the new owners of Le goûter and The Morning Ride share them with the public now and then – especially with the James Tissot retrospective in Paris and San Francisco approaching in 2019-2020?

Related posts:

James Tissot’s brilliant marketing tool, 1869

James Tissot oils at auction: Seven favorites

Kathleen Newton by James Tissot: eight auctioned oil paintings

James Tissot’s Church Ladies

The Artist’s Closet: James Tissot’s Prop Costumes

 

© 2018 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. 

For further reading:

A guide to the gilded age mansions of 5th Avenue’s millionaire row, by Michelle Young, August 22, 2017.

The two Mrs. Vanderbilts, by David Patrick Columbia and Jeffrey Hirsch, December 31, 2007.

The Vanderbilts: How American Royalty Lost Their Crown Jewels, by Natalie Robehmed, July 14, 2014.

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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).

See http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009P5RYVE.

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.