A Closer Look at Tissot’s “The Fan”

James Tissot painted The Fan about 1875 in London, where he had been living in the four years after the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune.

Following the bloody end to the Commune, Tissot arrived in London in May or June, 1871, with only a hundred francs.  By 1873, he was living in a comfortable suburban home at 17 (now 44) Grove End Road in St. John’s Wood, where he built an extension with a studio and conservatory in 1875 that doubled the size of the house.

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The Fan (c. 1875), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 15 by 19 in. (38.10 by 48.26 cm). Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

In his new conservatory, Tissot painted some of his loveliest images, including The Fan, which celebrates the continuing fascination with japonisme during this era.  An auburn-haired beauty wearing a loose, pale yellow dressing gown leans against an elegant length of embroidered silk draped over the back of a large upholstered armchair as she fans herself in a conservatory.  Behind her is an exuberant russet-colored plant in a cloisonné jardinière, perched on an Oriental table of carved rosewood, and the breezy fronds of a potted palm.  Her gown is trimmed in white pleated ruffles, and she wears the black velvet ribbon around her neck that was de rigueur for fashionable women in 1875.  A yellow flower dangles from her thick, coiled braids, echoing the golden motifs in the Japanese cloth.  The aqua-colored fan painted with Oriental images is crisp and cool, while that bright red edge on the embroidery accents the entire picture as if underscoring the heat.  The painting is sheer beauty; there is no narrative nor, as in most of Tissot’s paintings, any psychological tension.  Yet it is an arresting image.

The Fan was sold at Sotheby’s, London in 1982 for $ 73,974/£ 42,000 to Charles Jerdein (1916 – 1999).  Jerdein was the trainer who officially received the credit when thoroughbred Gilles de Retz landed the 2,000 Guineas in 1956; the Jockey Club did not recognize the female trainer, Helen Johnson-Houghton.  Jerdein left Mrs. Johnson-Houghton’s operation that year, trained on his own for a short time, then concentrated on his business as an art dealer in London, though he occasionally had a horse in training in Newmarket.  By the early 1960s, Jerdein had pioneered the market for paintings by James Tissot’s friend, the Dutch-born Victorian painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912), before Alma-Tadema’s name became associated with the American television personality who collected his work, Allen Funt of “Candid Camera.”

Jerdein sold The Fan to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut.

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The Wadsworth, Hartford, Connecticut. Photo by Lucy Paquette © 2016.

The Wadsworth Atheneum was founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth (1771–1848), an artistic member of an old and wealthy family.

Now comprising five connected buildings, the Wadsworth began in the distinctive Gothic Revival building of 1844, designed by Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis.

It is the largest art museum in the state and is noted for its collections of European Baroque art, French and American Impressionist paintings, Hudson River School landscapes and much more – including Tissot’s wonderful study for his elegant The Marquis and the Marquise de Miramon and their Children, a masterpiece purchased from the family by the Musée d’Orsay in 2006.

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Photo by R. Zuercher, © 2016

I’ve tried to see The Fan for the past few years, but the museum was undergoing renovations.  In 2013, The Fan was in the Mississippi Museum of Art’s “Old Masters to Monet” exhibition, one of fifty master works of French art spanning three centuries from the Wadsworth’s collection.  After that and through the first two months of 2014, The Fan was on display at the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition, “Court to Café: Three Centuries of French Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum.”

Finally, I was able to see this painting, and it is lush and lovely.  See it if you can, but if you can’t manage the trip, here are some close-up photos for you to enjoy.

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The Fan (c. 1875), by James Tissot (detail). Photo by Lucy Paquette © 2016.

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The Fan (c. 1875), by James Tissot (detail). Photo by Lucy Paquette © 2016.

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The Fan (c. 1875), by James Tissot (detail). Photo by Lucy Paquette © 2016.

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The Fan (c. 1875), by James Tissot (detail). Photo by Lucy Paquette © 2016.

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The Fan (c. 1875), by James Tissot (detail). Photo by Lucy Paquette © 2016.

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The Fan (c. 1875), by James Tissot. Photo by Lucy Paquette © 2016.

Related posts:

“The three wonders of the world”: Tissot’s japonisme,1864-67

James Tissot’s brilliant marketing tool, 1869

Tissot in the Conservatory

Tissot in the U.S.:  New England

© 2016 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

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.

James Tissot’s Fashion Plates (1864-1878): A Guest Post for Mimi Matthews by Lucy Paquette

www-jamestissot-org-in-the-conservatory-rivals-2-1875-78The popular and informative 19th century romance, literature, and history blogger, author Mimi Matthews, features a guest post from me this week, James Tissot’s Fashion Plates (1864-1878):  A Guest Post by Lucy Paquette.

Mimi’s posts, always so well-researched and entertaining, discuss numerous subjects relevant to the fashions that James Tissot painted in such stunning detail.  You can find them at 19th Century Fashion & Beauty, and they include:

Japonism: The Japanese Influence on Victorian Fashion

The 1860s in Fashionable Gowns: A Visual Guide to the Decade

The 1870s in Fashionable Gowns: A Visual Guide to the Decade

The 1880s in Fashionable Gowns: A Visual Guide to the Decade

The Trouble with Bustles: Victorian Fashion in the 19th Century News

The 19th Century Wire Cage Crinoline

My guest post on Mimi’s blog is just one way to celebrate James Tissot’s 180th birthday on October 15, 2016.  I also will have the opportunity to visit two more of Tissot’s oil paintings that I have never seen close up.

I hope you will celebrate James Tissot’s life and work by reading my novel, THE HAMMOCK:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot.*

THE HAMMOCK is the story of ten remarkable years in the life of James Tissot (1836 – 1902), who rebuilt – and then lost – his reputation in London.

By 1870, at age 34, he had become a multi-millionaire celebrity with an opulent new Parisian villa and studio among aristocratic neighbors near the Arc de Triomphe.  Handsome and charming, his friends included the painters James McNeill Whistler, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and John Everett Millais.  When the Prussians attacked Paris that year, Tissot became a sharpshooter in the artists’ brigade defending the besieged capital.  After a bloody Communist rebellion, fought virtually at the doorstep of his mansion, he fled to London.

CH377762Amid suspicions that he was a Communist, he quickly rebuilt his brilliant career among the Industrial Age’s nouveaux riches.  In 1876, Tissot took a young Irish divorcée as his mistress and muse.  He referred to her only as “La Mystérieuse” and withdrew from Society to paint her in his garden paradise in the suburbs.  Within three years, his pictures had pushed the boundaries of Victorian morality, and the British art establishment turned against him.  In a debacle of friendship, fame and loss, his artistic heyday of painting a decade of glamour and leisure in London came to an end.  Celebrated during his lifetime, Tissot has been nearly forgotten by all but art historians.

THE HAMMOCK is a psychological portrait, exploring the forces that unwound the career of this complex man.  Based on contemporary sources, the novel brings Tissot’s world 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  

ISBN:  978-0-615-68267-9 (ePub)

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

View Lucy Paquette’s videos:

“The Strange Career of James Tissot”  (2:33 min.)

“Louise Jopling and James Tissot”  (2:42 min.)

Take Lucy Paquette’s BuzzFeed Personality Quiz,

Which Female Victorian Artist Are You?

*Don’t own a Kindle?  Amazon.com has free Kindle reading apps!

Download free Kindle reading apps for:

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James Tissot’s Cloisonné

James Tissot’s meticulous technical skills extended beyond oil painting, watercolor, pastels, and engraving to cloisonné.

Cloisonné is an enameling technique in which delicate metal strips or wires are soldered to a metal surface to outline intricate designs, and the spaces (cloisons in French) are filled with pastes made of ground colored glass.  The object is fired in a kiln, the paste becomes enamel, and the piece is ground smooth and polished until glossy.

Cloisonné rings exist from 13th century BC Mycenaean Greece, and cloisonné enameling was widespread in the Byzantine Empire from the 10th to the 12th century.

The earliest Chinese cloisonné pieces were made during the Xuande period (1426–1436), but the cloisonné enamel technique was likely introduced into China during the late Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279–1368).  From that time through the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), cloisonné enamel pieces were primarily intended for ritual use in Buddhist temples.  During the second half of the eighteenth century, imperial workshops were established within the Forbidden City, and there were numerous commissions of cloisonné enamels for the imperial palaces and private residences.

Meanwhile, with the signing of the first commercial treaty between Japan and America in 1854, more than 200 years of Japanese seclusion came to an end.  In Paris, a host of import shops cropped up.  J.G. Houssaye’s À la porte chinoise (At the Chinese Gate) was established on rue Vivienne by 1855, and by 1856, M. Decelle had opened L’Empire Céleste (The Celestial Empire) there.  Houssaye later opened Au Céleste Empire on rue Saint-Marc.

During the Second Opium War in 1860, the dazzling Summer Palace in Beijing – the Emperor’s favorite residence, built between 1750 and 1764 – was looted and burned to the ground by British and French troops.  Treasures from the palace arrived in Britain and France along with all manner of exotic porcelains, engravings, lacquer ware, silks, scrolls, screens, fans and trinkets from the Far East.

In 1862, Madame Desoye, who with her husband had lived for many years in Japan, opened an import shop, La Jonque Chinoise (The Chinese Junk) at 220 rue de Rivoli, near the Louvre.  Among her customers were Tissot, Manet, Degas, Whistler, and Sarah Bernhardt.  So novel was the art of East Asia that the distinction between Japanese and Chinese traditions was blurred into the catch-all term, Oriental.

Cloisonné became popular throughout Europe, especially in France, sparking Chinese production during the reign of the Guangxu emperor (1875–1909).  In Japan, cloisonné was popular during the Tokugawa (1603–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods.

Lucien Falize (1839 – 1897) a French goldsmith, visited the International Exhibition in London in 1862 and saw the first display of Oriental works of art at the Japanese Pavilion – the collection of exotic treasures owned by the retired first British Minister to Japan, Sir Rutherford Alcock (1809-1897).  In 1867, Falize saw the display of cloisonné enameled objects by the celebrated French jeweler and silversmith firm, Christofle, at the Expositon Universelle in Paris.  Falize’s firm began to produce cloisonné jewelry.

Firm of Lucien Falize

Firm of Lucien Falize

House of Christofle

Christofle & Cie

Le rendez-vous (c. 1867), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 20 by 14 in. (50.80 by 35.56 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

Le rendez-vous (c. 1867), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 20 by 14 in. (50.80 by 35.56 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

Tissot exhibited Le rendez-vous at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867.  Notice the cloisonné  vases and pots clustered at the bottom right.

By about 1869, James Tissot’s new studio, on the most prestigious new thoroughfare in Paris, the avenue de l’Impératrice (Empress Avenue, now avenue Foch), had become a showcase for his renowned collection of Japanese art, and a landmark to see when touring Paris.  Tissot’s villa provided the lavish interiors filled with Oriental carpets, furniture, fabrics, carvings, vases and wall hangings that he used in his paintings.

Jeunes femmes regardant des objects japonais, by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 24 by 19 in. (60.96 by 48.26 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

Jeunes femmes regardant des objects japonais (Young Women Looking at Japanese Objects, 1869), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 24 by 19 in. (60.96 by 48.26 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

But Tissot fled Paris in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War and the bloody Commune in 1871, and he established himself in the competitive London art market.  By 1876, Tissot had earned great wealth and lived in relative seclusion with his mistress and muse, young divorcée Kathleen Newton.

In 1878, Lucien Falize won a Grand Prize and received the Legion of Honor for the work he exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.  Other illustrious artists, such as the celebrated bronze founder Ferdinand Barbédienne (1810 – 1892) produced cloisonné enamels as well.

In the late 1870s, Tissot began to produce cloisonné enamels.  La Fortune (Fortune, c. 1878-1882), on display at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, is his largest piece.  A design for a fountain or a monument, it comprises patinated bronze, silver bronze, gilt bronze, cloisonné enamel, silver, and glass, on a walnut base.

La Fortune, by James Tissot

La Fortune (Fortune, c. 1878-1882), by James Tissot. Height: 127 cm, Diameter: 65 cm

La Fortune, by James Tissot

La Fortune (Fortune, c. 1878-1882), by James Tissot. Patinated bronze, silver bronze, gilt bronze, cloisonné enamel, silver, and glass, on a walnut base. Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.

Around 1880 or 1882, Tissot produced an oval jardinière (a planter), Lake and Sea, composed of copper panels decorated in cloisonné enamel with a bronze frame and gilt-bronze mounts.  It was based on a rare Ming gilt and enamel jardinière that Tissot acquired for his collection around 1870.  The Chinese piece, a basin with pastoral and mountain landscapes on its sides, was among the treasures looted from the Summer Palace in 1860.  It inspired Tissot to create the jardinière with Art Nouveau-like nude women seated on dragon heads, in place of the pair of lion-shaped handles on the original.

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Lake and Sea, (c. 1880-1882), by James Tissot. Coisonné enamel, bronze frame with gilt-bronze mounts. 240 by 620 by 310 mm. Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton, UK

Tissot exhibited this jardinière with over twenty pieces of cloisonné enamel including a large sculpture, vases, jardinières, trays, teapots, plaques and trial pieces at the Dudley Gallery, in London in 1882.  They did not receive much acclaim, and none sold.

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Children in a Garden (c. 1882), by James Tissot. Cloisonné enamel on copper (25 by 10 cm). Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.

Mrs. Newton with a Parasol (1879), by James Tissot. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

Mrs. Newton with a Parasol (1879), by James Tissot. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

Note the similarity of the shape of Tissot’s vase, Children in a Garden, compared to the vase he showcased on the table in Jeunes femmes regardant des objects japonais (Young Women Looking at Japanese Objects, 1869), above.  The images he used to decorate his modernized vase were based on his paintings of the period, such as Mrs. Newton with a Parasol (1879).

When Kathleen Newton died of tuberculosis on November 9, 1882, Tissot was distraught.  Immediately after the funeral on November 14, at the Church of Our Lady in Lisson Grove, St. John’s Wood, he returned to Paris.

He took his paintings and the entire cloisonné collection he had exhibited at the Dudley Gallery, but he left all his paints and art supplies in trays in the studio, and the pots containing the materials for his cloisonné work were left in the basement.

Tissot exhibited his cloisonné collection twice in Paris:  in March, 1883 at the Palais de l’Industrie, and again from April to June, 1885 at the Galerie Sedelmeyer.  He continued to produce more pieces, but all of them remained in his possession.  After his death, some  of his cloisonné enamels were sold and some were kept by family members.

Related posts:

“The three wonders of the world”: Tissot’s japonisme,1864-67

On top of the world: Tissot, Millais & Alma-Tadema in 1867

“Chi-so”: Tissot teaches a brother of Japan’s last Shogun, 1868

James Tissot’s brilliant marketing tool, 1869

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

© 2016 Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

 

CH377762The 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.

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Gentlemen & Rogues (1865 – 1879)

James Tissot, often described as a dandy, seems to have dressed flamboyantly as a young art student in Paris and early in his career.

Self portrait, c.1865 (oil on panel), by James Tissot. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA, USA. 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.

Self portrait (c. 1865), by James Tissot.  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA, USA. 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.

After Tissot found success (in the early 1860s), he began to present himself as a gentleman of business:  he wore a frock coat, and there is no indication that he tried to compete with the stylish aristocrats he painted, even as he earned great wealth in his career.  In this image, he wears a heavy, tan overcoat with his black frock coat, a cream-colored, high-cut waistcoat, a white shirt with a stand-up collar and notched cuffs, black cuff links, and a plain black tie.

James Tissot (c. 1867-68), by Edgar Degas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Here is Tissot a few years later, in a portrait by Edgar Degas, and while he is well-dressed, he is not wearing anything flashy or trendy.  He wears a black frock coat over a dark grey waistcoat and white shirt, with a black cravat, full-cut light grey trousers and black leather half-boots.  His black top hat and satin-lined cape are on the table behind him, as if he might be prepared for an evening at the Opera or the theater.

Whether James Tissot was a gentleman or a rogue is debatable.  He seems to have fought, however briefly, for the radical Paris Commune in the spring of 1871, before he relocated to London and soon took a young divorcée as his mistress.  Though he seems to have tried to help his struggling painter friends, he accumulated great wealth and ended up being considered a rogue by Degas as well as James Whistler and, at times, Berthe Morisot.

Chichester Parkinson-Fortescue, 1st Baron Carlingford (1823-1898), 1871, by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia.org)

By all accounts, Chichester Parkinson-Fortescue, 1st Baron Carlingford (1823-1898) was a thorough gentleman.  He was a politically ambitious Irishman and Liberal MP for County Louth from 1847 to 1868.  He became a junior lord of the treasury in 1854, and in 1863, he married the beautiful, virtuous and politically influential Society hostess Frances, Countess Waldegrave (1821 – 1879).  Fortescue held minor offices in the Liberal administrations until he was made Chief Secretary for Ireland under Lord Russell from 1865 through 1866, and again under Gladstone from 1868 to 1870. From 1871 to 1874, Chichester Fortescue was President of the Board of Trade.

He was described as pedantic but with a fine intellect.  In 1853-54, when Fortescue was a bachelor, John Ruskin often left him alone with his young wife Effie, whom he admired and who apparently confided in him.  Fortescue would spend a decade in love with Lady Waldegrave before her elderly husband died; she chose him out of the three or four men who wished to marry her.  They were very happy together, as he helped her become more educated, and she used her fortune, charm, and hospitality to further his career.  Queen Victoria invited the couple to dine with her at Windsor; she enjoyed Lady Waldegrave’s vivacity and appreciated Fortescue’s pleasant and agreeable manner and gentle voice.  He was a diffident man who detested all card games and could only relax in the company of Bohemian types like Edward Lear.

In 1871 Tissot painted Fortescue wearing a black frock coat and full-cut fawn-colored trousers with an elegant white shawl-colored waistcoat, a white shirt with a stand-up collar, and a black tie folded over in a single, loose knot accented with a pearl tie tack.  His black leather half-boots shine.

Gentleman in a Railway Carriage (1872), by James Tissot. The Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

This elegant man of business, with his neatly trimmed mustache and beard, spares us a glance as he checks his pocket watch.  He is dressed in the latest fashion – a lounge suit:  his sack coat, waistcoat, and trousers all are cut from the same fabric.  This style was introduced in the 1860s for comfort in the domestic sphere; Tissot’s painting shows that by this date, it was appropriate to wear it in public.  The light brown wool is a confident choice that would have set this gentleman apart from the sea of colleagues in black frock coats and also makes the top-stitched edging stand out.  His crimson tie and commodious fur-trimmed black overcoat are further evidence that he is a flashy and very successful, individual.  Imagine what a figure he’ll cut when he alights from the carriage, wearing the black top hat now at his side, and those white kid gloves, perhaps with the boiled wool blanket folded over his arm as he continues to his destination.

On the Thames (1876), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas; 28.5 by 46.5 in. (72.5 by 118 cm). Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery, Wakefield, UK. 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.

On the Thames (1876), by James Tissot. Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery, Wakefield, UK. 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.

The Victorians immediately decided this image of a handsome man on an outing with two beautiful women was “More French, shall we say, than English?”  Unless the women are the sisters of this junior officer, we might be right to guess that carting them off with a picnic hamper and three bottles of champagne makes him a rogue.  He is not in uniform, but wears his black-and-gold naval cap with a loose, thigh-length, single-breasted black wool coat that has wide lapels and upper sleeves, and side vents.  He sports off-white trousers with loosely turned-up cuffs, blue socks, and laced, tan-and-white leather spectator shoes with a low heel.  Incidentally, Tissot featured the exact same shoes in The Return from the Boating Trip (1873), The Ball on Shipboard (c. 1874), Quarreling (c. 1874-75), and Holyday (c. 1876).  Perhaps they were studio props, and certainly they are of more visual interest than the plain black half-boots popular with men at that time.

Algernon Moses Marsden (1877), by James Tissot. Private collection. (Photo credit: Wikimedia.org)

Algernon Moses Marsden (1847 – 1920) was no gentleman.

His father, Isaac Moses (1809 – 1884), owned the Ready-Made Clothing Emporium at Aldgate, and by the time Algernon was 10 years old, the family lived in a grand new house at 23 Kensington Palace Gardens with a bow-fronted ballroom at the back.  At 24, Algernon married, but rather than join the family business, he established himself as a picture dealer in St. James’s.  In an 1872 trade directory, his residence is listed as Bayswater, a suburb west of London.  He may have sold Tissot’s In the Conservatory (Rivals, c. 1875) [see For sale: In the Conservatory (Rivals), c. 1875, by James Tissot], and Marguerite in Church (c. 1860) around 1876, the year he sold William Holman Hunt’s 1866 Il Dolce far Niente through Christie’s, London.

Algernon Marsden lived high and went bankrupt by the age of 34; his debts were settled by his father.  Algernon and his wife now resided in Kensington with five young daughters, plus Algernon’s 23-year-old niece, and five servants.  When his father died in 1884, he disinherited Algernon in his Will but provided legacies for his wife and children.

In bankruptcy court again in 1887, at 40, Algernon said that when money came in, he “got rid of it” by gambling, particularly at the racetrack, but also at Eastbourne, a fashionable resort.  By age 44, he, his wife, nine daughters and one son had moved to South Kensington.  Bankrupt for at least the third time, Algernon, at age 54, abandoned his wife and ten children and fled to the United States with another woman in 1901.  In 1912, The Times of London reported that Algernon Moses Marsden was bankrupt, but he was living in New York, where he died at the age of 72 on January 23, 1920.

Tissot captured this consummate rogue at age 30, wearing an embellished smoking jacket, a crisp, wing-collared white shirt, and a shining gold ring on his left hand.

The Rivals (I rivali, 1878–79), by James Tissot. Private collection.

There’s no telling if these gentlemen are rogues.  Tissot’s The Rivals (I rivali, 1878–79) is set in the conservatory of his home in St. John’s Wood, London.  It casts his mistress, Kathleen Newton, as a young widow, crocheting while taking tea with two suitors, one middle-aged and one old.  The haughty-looking younger man wears a black sack coat over a white shirt with a stand-up collar, a dark tie, and fawn-colored trousers.  The older man, still wearing his gloves, leans forward earnestly in his fully-buttoned, double-breasted black sack coat.  Perhaps due his girth, his white waistcoat lines the coat rather awkwardly.  His dark blue tie is quite wide, and he wears dark grey trousers and an oddly dainty white boutonnière.  Incidentally, while most men of this era simply folded their ties over in a single, loose knot, this man has fastened his with a four-in-hand knot.

The Terrace of the Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich, London, by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

We can’t suppose these two men are rogues, just because they seem ungentlemanly enough not to interact with the two women in their party.  As usual, Tissot depicts an enigmatic situation:  these individuals all are waiting for something.  The man with the white whiskers and extraordinary matching eyebrows wears a tall grey top hat with a wide black band, which is echoed by his black cravat.  He pairs his black frock coat with tan trousers and brown kid gloves.  The other man appears to be wearing a black sack coat over his tan trousers.  He wears neither hat nor gloves, and shows a bit of an attitude, the way he sits astride the carved chair.  Perhaps the two young women are content, not having to converse with the stuffy gentleman nor the unconventional one!  Note that Tissot painted this image in 1878, and the lounge suit is not yet so common that either of his male subjects wears it.

Going to Business (c. 1879), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

In this painting, the elderly, wealthy businessman is dressed conservatively in a black frock coat with a starched white shirt front, black cravat, and a black top hat.  Victorian viewers snickered that he was off to visit his mistress.  Gentleman or rogue?

Related posts:

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Aristocrats (1865 – 1868)

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Officers, soldiers & sailors (1868 – 1883/85)

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: The Casual Male (1871 – 1878)

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Sportsmen & Servants (1874 – 1885)

©  2016 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

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/B009P5RYVE.

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Sportsmen & Servants (1874 – 1885)

Not every man that Tissot painted was an exemplar of high style; he depicted a whole cast of supporting players to his aristocrats, military figures, and fashionable males.

Still on Top (c. 1874), by James Tissot. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The elderly male servant in Still on Top (c. 1874) wears a red liberty cap, a revolutionary symbol in France.  Tissot painted this scene only three years after he had fled Paris – under some suspicion – during the French government’s suppression of the radical Paris Commune.  It was a daring picture for an apparent French political refugee of the time, remaking his career in England.  One has to wonder if many English servants of the day wore this style cap – or if its appearance in this work is a painterly conceit of Tissot’s.  The man’s ensemble seems contrived to blend with the flags before him – his red shirt, blue long-sleeved sweater, and white canvas coveralls.  And yet, because Tissot’s habit was faithfully to record the fashions of the time, we can infer the essential accuracy of the type of clothes this man would wear – i.e. the coveralls and the black leather boots with a medium heel.

Sur la Tamise, (Return from Henley, also known as On the Thames, c. 1874), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

These hardy men wear what we now call Henley shirts – a collarless, pullover shirt with a placket, the traditional uniform of rowers in the town of Henley-on-Thames.  Their caps have black, blue and white stripes.  Both the shirts and the trousers would have been cotton at this time.

Holyday (c. 1876), by James Tissot. Tate Britain, London.. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The cricketers in Holyday (c. 1876), in their black, red, and gold caps, are members of the famous I Zingari cricket club (which still exists, and is one of the oldest amateur cricket clubs), which played at Lord’s Cricket Ground near Tissot’s house at 17 Grove End Road, St John’s Wood, London.  Incidentally, the cap colors are based on the motto, “Out of darkness, through fire, into light,” and the gold is always at the top.  The men wear buff-colored lounge suits – sack coats paired with trousers cut from the same fabric, considered a casual look.  The young man reclining by the ornamental pool has a red carnation boutonnière, and a large ivory-colored scarf loosely knotted at the neck of his white shirt.  He wears tan and white laced spectator shoes with a low heel, just like the ones worn by the men Tissot painted in The Return from the Boating Trip (1873) and Quarreling (c. 1874-75) [see Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: The Casual Male (1871 – 1878)].

The Warrior’s Daughter (A Convalescent, c. 1878), by James Tissot. Manchester Art Gallery, U.K. (Photo: Wikiart.org).

In The Warrior’s Daughter (A Convalescent, c. 1878, the servant pushing the wealthy, ailing gent in the bath chair is, in classic supporting player fashion, dressed to recede behind the painting’s stars.  The servant’s rumpled brown coat, waistcoat, and trousers are relieved only by a white-spotted black scarf at his throat, and his unusually high-crowned brown hat with its wide maroon band halfway up.  Also somewhat incongruous is the high polish on his black leather shoes.

The Letter (c. 1878), by James Tissot. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The elegant manservant in the background of The Letter (c. 1878) wears livery of a black morning coat over a white shirt with a high, stand-up collar and a white tie.  His tight black knee breeches blend into his black stockings and black leather shoes, which have no heels – surely allowing discreet attendance.

The Ferry (c. 1879), by James TIssot. Private Collection.

In The Ferry (. 1879), Tissot contrasts the middle-class gentleman with the ferryman.  The passenger is hunched under an umbrella in his black bowler hat, black sack coat, pristine white shirt with a stand-up collar, and a tie, kid gloves and trousers in a matching light brown hue, along with black leather shoes and white spats.  The supremely capable ferryman steers with glove-less hands and stays warm in his heavy black wool pea coat and dark woolen trousers.  He has a natty white-and-black checked scarf at his throat and a Russian fur ushanka hat with the flaps tied up.  Incidentally, Tissot’s subversive streak is evident in this painting, as few painters of the time depicted members of the middle-class as less competent than an individual below them on the social scale.

Women of Paris: The Circus Lover (also known as Amateur Circus, 1885), by James Tissot. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

The setting for Women of Paris: The Circus Lover (also known as Les femmes de sport, 1885) is the Molier Circus in Paris, a “high-life circus” in which the amateur performers were members of the aristocracy.  The man on the trapeze wearing red is the Duc de la Rochefoucauld, one of the oldest titles of the French nobility; he was said to have “the biceps of Hercules.”  Both the Duc and the man on the other trapeze wear flesh-colored leotards covering their chests, arms and legs, with brightly-colored athletic costumes, black leather belts, and colorful, laced leather athletic shoes without heels.

People of beauty and fashion attended the circus and mingled with the performers during the interval; note that the men in the audience wear gleaming silk top hats and morning coats over white shirts with stand-up collars.

Tissot’s work depicts the dress of a broad array of characters in the drama of his era, providing us with a window into his world.

Related posts:

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Aristocrats (1865 – 1868)

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Officers, soldiers & sailors (1868 – 1883/85)

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: The Casual Male (1871 – 1878)

©  2016 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

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/B009P5RYVE.

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: The Casual Male (1871 – 1878)

By the 1870s, fashions for Victorian men were transitioning toward styles familiar to us today.  The ubiquitous, long and skirted black frock coat, and the morning coat (cut away to feature tails only), while still very much de rigueur for business, gradually were being supplanted by trendy styles.  The sack coat (a loosely-cut, thigh-length coat with no waist seam) and the lounge suit (in which the sack coat and trousers were cut from the same fabric), would become the men’s business suit of our modern age.   Ankle boots and laced shoes had been replacing full boots since 1850.  And in this decade, the straw boater hat was adopted by rowing enthusiasts for summer – as depicted by Impressionist painters in France.

The elegant gentlemen of the 1870s incorporated the latest styles in dressing for leisure time, and Tissot captured these trends in his paintings.

Autumn on the Thames, Nuneham Courtney (c. 1871-72), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

In Autumn on the Thames, Nuneham Courtney (c. 1871-72), the gentleman’s suit coat is deep blue, and we can see from his cuffs that he wears a crisp white shirt under it, accented with a black tie.  His straw boater seems slightly crumpled, but his ginger whiskers are so immaculately groomed as to be impervious to the strong breeze.

The Return from the Boating Trip (1873), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

The dapper gentleman in The Return from the Boating Trip (1873), with his notable ginger whiskers and walrus mustache, is prepared for varying weather.  He wears a short, loosely fitted, double-breasted charcoal grey coat – really, a sailor’s pea coat – and carries a black overcoat on his arm.  Under the pea coat, the hem of a blue sack coat is apparent.  The man’s bright white trousers have a generous, loosely turned-up cuff, and they show off his summery laced-up spectator shoes of white and tan leather.  The white scarf neatly folded at his neck echoes his trousers, and under the scarf, his blue- and white-striped Breton shirt is visible.  His ivory-colored straw boater has a bright blue and red ribbon band.  He, like his companion, is dressed to perfection for this outing.

Quarreling (c. 1874-75), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

The unapologetic young man in Quarreling (c. 1874-75) wears a loosely-cut beige lounge suit that nicely sets off his flamboyant tan and white leather spectator shoes.  His white shirt collar is quite high, drawing the eye to his straw boater with its black band.  It was in the 1870s that it became acceptable to wear the lounge suit outside one’s domestic environment.

A Passing Storm (c. 1876), by James Tissot. Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The young man in A Passing Storm (c. 1876), also shown after a quarrel with a woman, seems troubled, with his straw boater pushed back off his forehead.  He looks elegant in his black lounge suit, under which he wears a white shirt with a stand-up collar paired with a dark brown tie, and a low cut, ivory-colored waistcoat with a shawl collar.

By the Thames at Richmond (c. 1878), by James Tissot. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

And, finally, in By the Thames at Richmond (c. 1878), a fashion “Don’t”:  hunched over in his misshapen brown hat, wrinkled brown suit, and over-sized white spats covering his dusty black leather shoes, this man hardly cuts a striking figure.

However, the smart gentleman reader will note that the woman he is with gazes at him in adoration nonetheless – as he writes “I love you” with his walking stick in the ground at her feet.

Clothes are not always the measure of a man!

 

 

 

 

Related posts:

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Aristocrats (1865 – 1868)

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Officers, soldiers & sailors (1868 – 1883/85)

©  2016 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

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/B009P5RYVE.

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Officers, soldiers & sailors (1868 – 1883/85)

“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.”

~ L’Artiste, 1869, in a review of Tissot’s painting, Young Ladies Looking at Japanese Objects, exhibited at the Paris Salon

It was not just women’s fashions that James Tissot painted with the precision of a photojournalist recording the sights around him; he also recorded military men in detail, giving us a glimpse of life in his time.

Beating the Retreat in the Tuileries Gardens (1867), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

This painting, which Tissot exhibited at the Salon in 1868, features four Imperial Guardsmen:  three Hussars and a Zouave.

In 1830, numerous members of the fierce Kabyli tribe of Zouaoua living in the rocky hills of Algeria and Morocco volunteered to fight with the French colonial army.  In 1852, Napoléon III, Emperor of the French, ordered the Zouaves – by that time native Frenchmen stationed in Algeria – restructured into three regiments of the regular French Army.  The Zouave regiments served in The Crimean War (1853 – 1856).  On December 23, 1854, the Emperor created a fourth regiment, the Zouaves of the Imperial Guard; detachments from the Zouave regiments serving in the Crimea were brought together on March 15, 1855 to form it.  They were based at Saint-Cloud until 1857, and subsequently at Versailles.  The Zouaves of the Imperial Guard served through all the campaigns of the Second Empire, including the Franco-Austrian War of 1859 and the Mexican Intervention (1864-66).

The Zouaves earned a reputation for reckless bravery, and they became famous for their distinctive uniforms, which included a short, collarless, open-fronted jacket, baggy trousers, sashes and Oriental head gear, modelled on Algerian native dress.  The Zouave drummer in Tissot’s painting wears a blue uniform with gold trim, leggings, a white turban with a golden tassel, and white spats over his black leather shoes.

The Hussars, in their smartly-tailored blue, red and gold uniforms, are possibly from the 9th Hussar Regiment, formed in 1852 as the régiment des guides.  In 1854, it became the régiment des guides de la Garde Impériale.

Frederick Burnaby (1870), by James Tissot. National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Tissot painted this portrait of Frederick Gustavus (“Gus”) Burnaby (1842-1885) sometime between the autumn of 1869 and the summer of 1870.  Burnaby, a captain in the Royal Horse Guards (3rd Household Cavalry, “the Blues”), was 27 or 28 years old and mingled with the Prince of Wales’ social set.

He is shown off duty, smoking and conversing in his “undress” uniform of a dark blue coat with a standing collar, scarlet and gold trimmings, a white cross-belt, and long blue trousers with red stripes sewn along the outer seams.  He wears highly polished black leather shoes, and his military cap is beside him.  Behind him, his full-dress uniform is laid out:  a plumed silver-gilt helmet, frogged cape, polished metal cuirass (breastplate), and thigh-high black riding boots.

The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst (c. 1874), by James Tissot. Musée Nationale du Château de Compiègne, France. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst (c. 1874) depicts the exiled French Empress, living outside London after the collapse of the Second Empire, and her son, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (1856-1879), the Prince Impérial.  The only child of Napoléon III of France, he was accepted to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, in 1872 and is pictured in the uniform of a Woolwich cadet.  He wears a jacket with a standing collar, trimmed in red and gold with a single row of brass buttons, long trousers, and a round cap with a gold band.

Upon his father’s death in January, 1873, Bonapartists proclaimed him Napoléon IV.  When the Prince turned 18 in 1874, thousands of French citizens traveled to fête him in Chislehurst:  the railway station flew the tricolour of France, while in the main waiting room an inscription, wreathed in laurels and violets, read, “Vive le Prince Impérial 16 mars, 1874.”  He made a speech to rapturous crowds.

The Prince Impérial proved himself an excellent student at Woolwich – seventh in a class of thirty-four – and graduated in early 1875.

In The Gentleman Cadet: His Career and Adventures at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich:  a Tale of the Past (1875), Alfred Wilks Drayson (I827-1901) recalled, “It was ten days after joining the Academy that I first obtained my uniform, and I can recall even now the secret pride with which I first put it on.  I felt now that I really had commenced the career of a soldier…There seemed to come upon me a feeling of responsibility as the coat came on me, and I made up my mind not to disgrace my cloth.”

Louis-Napoléon became friends with members of the British Royal Family, especially with the Prince of Wales.  He was advised not to join the regular service of the British Government, and therefore was not commissioned as an officer.  He was killed in 1879, at age 23, in the Zulu War.

Reading the News (c. 1874), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Reading the News (c. 1874) is an enigmatic painting featuring a lovely woman wearing a yachting costume, at a tea table with a Chelsea pensioner in his navy blue “undress,” or casual uniform.  What is a Chelsea pensioner?  He (or, since 2009 – she) is one of about 300 residents at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a retirement home and nursing home for former members of the British Army located on Royal Hospital Road in west London.  They surrender their army pension and live within the Royal Hospital, free of financial worries while enjoying comradeship, full medical care and catering services, and a wide range of activities including charitable causes.  Chelsea pensioners may come and go from the Royal Hospital as they please, and they are permitted to wear civilian clothing when they travel.  But within the Hospital, and in the surrounding area, they wear the blue uniform (the RH on the man’s hat is for Royal Hospital).  For ceremonial occasions, they wear distinctive scarlet coats and black tricorne hats.

The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (Portsmouth), c. 1876, by James Tissot. Tate, London. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Though the male in this painting is a minor character who could have been any man from a dandy in a lounge suit to an older figure in a frock coat, Tissot lends added interest to The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (Portsmouth) by depicting him as a low-ranking naval officer.  Looking rather off-duty here, the young ensign slouches over the rail with his cap pushed back – considering the company on this hot summer day, perhaps his brow is sweaty?

Sans dot (Without a Dowry, 1883-85), by James Tissot. [One of a series of fifteen large-scale pictures called La Femme à Paris (The Parisian Woman).] Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

In the top left corner of Sans dot (Without a Dowry), Tissot painted two handsome French officers – for interest, and as possible objects of a new romance for the beautiful young widow in the foreground.

Over a dozen years after the fall of the Second Empire, these officers wear finely-tailored uniforms reminiscent of Captain Burnaby’s from 1870.  The officer on the left wears a double-breasted blue coat with a red- and gold-trimmed standing collar, button-down shoulder straps, triple rows of brass buttons, and red cuffs with gold embroidery.  Under this, he wears a high-collared white shirt.  His long blue trousers have a red stripe down the outer seams, and his blue képi (cap) has a dark blue band and a black leather visor.  He wears pristine white gloves.

The officer on the right wears a blue coat with a high red collar and red cuffs with gold embroidery.  In the back, its double vent is embellished with brass buttons.  His high-collared white shirt peeks out as well.  His long red trousers have a blue stripe sewn down the outer seams.  His red képi has a blue band, and he also wears white gloves – along with pincenez.  The gold braid trim on the shoulders of his coat indicates his higher rank.

In these paintings, Tissot painted a brief survey of military men of his era, from a young cadet to a retired member of the British army, from snappy officers to slouching ensigns, and from the exotic to the everyday.

Related post:

Masculine Fashion, by James Tissot: Aristocrats (1865 – 1868)

©  2016 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

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/B009P5RYVE.