Tag Archives: Andrew Lloyd Webber

Tissot in the new millenium: Museum Exhibitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image -- James_Tissot_-_Portrait_of_the_Marquis_and_Marchioness_of_Miramon_and_their_children_-_Google_Art_Project

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

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

On the Thames (1876), by James Tissot

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

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

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

©  2015 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

Related posts:

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

Kathleen Newton by James Tissot: eight auctioned oil paintings

James Tissot in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection

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

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

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

 

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Celebrities & Millionaires Vie for Tissot’s Paintings in the 1990s

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

Despite the exploding art prices for James Tissot’s oil paintings in the 1980s, there still were some bargains to be had in the early 1990s.

Going to business (Going to the City), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 17 by 7 in. (43.18 by 17.78 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

In Dobbs Ferry, New York, Suzanne McCormick (born 1936) and her husband, Edmund J. McCormick (1912 – 1988), a business executive, management consultant and philanthropist, collected American paintings before they began to buy 19th century British/Victorian paintings in 1976.  Their collection was widely exhibited.  After her husband’s death in 1988, Mrs. McCormick, a former pianist, sold a portion of the collection through Sotheby’s, New York in 1990.  Tissot’s diminutive Going to Business (c. 1879), estimated at $250,000 to $300,000, sold for $ 180,000/£ 106,559.

In 1991, the most colorful celebrity ever to own an oil painting by James Tissot purchased A Type of Beauty (1880).  This portrait of Tissot’s young mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854 – 1882), had sold at Sotheby’s, New York in early 1989 for $ 675,000/£ 385,560, but on October 25, 1991, it was purchased at Christie’s, London for only $ 273,760/£ 160,000 by rock star Freddie Mercury, of the band Queen.  [A big thanks to @stefan_buc on Twitter, who brought this fact to my attention, along with documentation.]  The painting was displayed in Mercury’s London home, Garden Lodge, a twenty-eight room Georgian mansion in Kensington amid a large garden surrounded by a high brick wall.  Freddie Mercury died at 45 on November 24, 1991.  In his will, he left Garden Lodge, worth £10 million, to his friend Mary Austin (b. 1951).

A Type of Beauty – Portrait of Kathleen Newton (1880), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 23 by 18 in. (58.42 by 45.72 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

Tissot’s title can be explained by a painting by another painting of the era.  For an exhibition called “Female Beauty,” The Graphic magazine commissioned paintings in 1880 by twelve artists including James Tissot, Frederic Leighton, Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Marcus Stone.  Alma-Tadema’s picture was titled Interrupted – A Type of Feminine Beauty.  It was a portrait of his second wife, Laura Theresa Epps (1852 – 1909), seated in the sitting room of their London home, Townshend House, holding a copy of The Graphic.

Interestingly, The Graphic tried to sell Tissot’s A Type of Beauty in February, 1882 at Christie’s, London, but no one wanted it at the minimum bid of £ 67 4s!

In early 1993, Victorian art expert Christopher Wood (1941 – 2009) commented on the popularity of James Tissot’s oil paintings among Manhattan Society hostesses:  “I can think of ten to twenty Tissots within a few blocks of each other in New York.”

So there was great excitement in New York that year on Wednesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 18, when Sotheby’s offered three major Tissot paintings, and Christie’s two.

The three paintings at Sotheby’s, from Tissot’s series of fifteen large-scale pictures called La Femme à Paris (The Parisian Woman) painted between 1883 and 1885, were being sold by Toronto collectors Joey and Toby Tanenbaum.

Joey Tanenbaum (born 1932), the son of Polish immigrants who made their fortune in steel fabrication, is Chairman and CEO of Jay-M Enterprises Ltd. and Jay-M Holdings and has built his fortune through real estate and hydroelectric power.  He and his wife, Toby, bought Tissot oil paintings in the 1970s, when appreciation for Victorian painting was just beginning to grow.  The Tanenbaums made a hobby of collecting rediscovered masterpieces of English and French academic painting, and it became nearly a full-time effort.  By 1993, as their interest shifted to Old Master paintings, especially Spanish and Italian works of the 17th century, and antiquities, they were running out of ready cash to develop their collection.  They put their three Tissot oil paintings up for sale through Sotheby’s, New York and hoped to beat the record price for a Tissot, $1,250,000/£ 797,295, set in 1989 at the same auction house for Reading the News (1874).

The Tanenbaums also said they sold the works rather than donate them to a museum because of recent decisions by Canada’s Cultural Properties Review Board.

The Tanenbaums’ three Femme à Paris paintings, each valued by Sotheby’s at $ 1.2-2 USD (£ 800,000-1.3 million), were:

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)

‘La Mondaine’ – Woman of Fashion, sold for $ 1,800,000/£ 1,246,105.

Study for "Le Sphinx," by James Tissot. Courtesy www.jamestissot.org

Study for “Le Sphinx,” by James Tissot. Private Collection. Courtesy http://www.jamestissot.org

Study for ‘Le Sphinx’ – Woman in Interior, sold for $ 800,000/£ 553,824.

Sans Dot (Without Dowry), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 58 by 41 in. (147.32 by 104.14 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

‘Sans Dot’ – Without Dowry, sold for $ 800,000/£ 553,824.

The next day, at Christie’s, Tissot’s Jeune femme chantant à l’orgue (Young Woman Singing at the Organ), sold for $ 100,000/£ 69,180.  L’Orpheline (Orphans), the better of Christie’s two Tissots, was expected to bring $ 600,000- 800,000 (£ 400,000- 530,000).  It set a new record for a Tissot oil when sold for $ 2,700,000/£ 1,867,865 to art dealer David Mason, with MacConnal-Mason, a fourth generation gallery in St. James established in 1893.  Mason buys for musical composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948), who in the next decade would collect some of Tissot’s best work – at very high prices.

Beginning in 1993, American oil millionaire Fred Koch (b. 1933) sold his collection of Victorian paintings over several months.  “Very few of the great paintings in that collection got past Andrew,” said one dealer.  Lloyd Webber’s purchases from the Koch Collection include James Tissot’s Le banc de jardin (The Garden Bench), which he purchased in 1994 for $ 4,800,000/£ 3,035,093, a new record for the artist.  [See James Tissot in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection.]  

Quiet (c. 1881), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 13 by 9 in. (33.02 by 22.86 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

In early November, 1993, a small painting by Tissot appeared on the market.  Quiet (c. 1881) originally was purchased by Richard Donkin, M.P. (1836 – 1919), an English shipowner who was elected Member of Parliament for the newly created constituency of Tynemouth in the 1885 general election.  The small painting of Kathleen Newton and her niece, Lilian Hervey in the garden of Tissot’s house at 17 Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood, in north London, remained in the family, in perfect condition, until it was sold for $ 416,220/£ 280,000.

Chrysanthemums (c. 1874-76), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 46 by 30 in. (116.84 by 76.20 cm). Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

Chrysanthemums (c. 1874-76) was another Tissot oil sold from a long-held private collection as prices for the artist’s work surged in the 1990s.  It originally was purchased by British cotton magnate, MP and contemporary art collector Edward Hermon (1822 – 1881) by 1877, the year his only daughter was married.  In 1882, Hermon’s estate sold it through Christie’s, London to the prominent art dealership Arthur Tooth and Son.  The painting next belonged to Surgeon-Major (the ranking surgeon of a regiment in the British Army) John Ewart Martin, South Africa and remained in a private collection of his descendants in South Africa until sold through Phillips, London, in December, 1993, to the Christopher Wood Gallery, London, for $ 372,125/£ 250,000.  The painting was sold by that gallery to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute at Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1994.

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

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

A Winter’s Walk (Promenade dans la neige) (c. 1878), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 31.10 by 14.57 in. (79.00 by 37 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The exquisite A Winter’s Walk (Promenade dans la neige) (c. 1878) has belonged to a number of private collectors over the decades, beginning with J.C. Haslam Esq., 32 Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square, London, whose executors sold it at Christie’s in 1900 to London-based art dealer Arthur Tooth.  By 1937, it was owned by Mrs. Bannister, and by 1956 by Henry (Harry) Talbot de Vere Clifton, Lytham Hall, Lancashire.  Christie’s sold it once again in 1965, to Leger Galleries, London.  It was in a private collection when it was sold by Sotheby’s, London in 1996, to another collector, for $619,160/£ 400,000.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Wall Street magnate John Langeloth Loeb (1902-1996) and his wife, Frances “Peter” Lehman Loeb (1907-1996), former New York City Commissioner to the United Nations, began to form what would become, over the next four decades, one of the greatest private art collections in the United States.  The Loebs bought paintings from well-known New York dealers, especially Knoedler and Company, and at auctions in New York and abroad.  They displayed them in their Park Avenue apartment, which they opened to curators as well as art historians and their students.

La cheminée/The Fireside (c. 1869), by James Tissot. 20 by 13 in. (50.80 by 33.02 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The Loebs acquired James Tissot’s La Cheminée/By the Fireside (c. 1869) from Knoedler and Company on January 31, 1955 and Dans la serre (In the Conservatory, 1867-69) from The Fine Arts Society, London on October 7, 1957.  Both paintings almost certainly depict the interior of Tissot’s sumptuous villa on the avenue de l’impératrice (now avenue Foch) in Paris, which he moved into in early 1868.

Dans la serre (In the Conservatory, by James Tissot. (1867-69), 28 x 16 in. (71.12 x 40.64 cm.). Courtesy www.jamestissot.org

Dans la serre (In the Conservatory, 1867-69, by James Tissot. 28 by 16 in. (71.12 by 40.64 cm). Private Collection. Courtesy http://www.jamestissot.org

When the Loeb Collection of twenty-nine French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, drawings and sculptures by twenty-one artists including Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Gauguin, van Gogh and Picasso was sold at Christie’s, New York in 1997, it brought $92.7 million.

Dans la serre sold for $ 440,000/£ 270,986.  American stockbroker Jerome Davis purchased La cheminée for $ 1,700,000/£ 1,046,991.

Tea (1872), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 26 by 18 7/8 in. (66 by 47.9 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

Tea (1872) was one of Tissot’s eighteenth-century paintings calculated to appeal to British collectors once he had moved to London in mid-1871, following the Franco-Prussian War and its bloody aftermath, the Paris Commune.  Tea was in a private collection in Rome, Italy in 1968.  It was with Somerville & Simpson, Ltd., London, by 1979-81, when it was consigned to Mathiessen Fine Art Ltd., London.  It was purchased from Mathiessen by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, New York.  Upon Mr. Wrightsman’s death in 1986, Mrs. Wrightsman (b. 1919) owned it until 1998, when she gifted it to the Met.  Tea recently was put on display at the Met, in Gallery 815.

As of 1998, there were only seventy-four oil paintings by James Tissot in public art collections worldwide:  twenty-three in the U.K., two in the Republic of Ireland, sixteen in France, twenty-one in the U.S. and one in Puerto Rico, six in Canada, one in India, two in Australia, and two in New Zealand.

Still on Top (c. 1874), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 88 by 54 cm. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Tissot’s Still on Top (c. 1874), is in the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki  in New Zealand, the gift of British industrialist and politician Viscount Leverhulme (1851 – 1925) in 1921, when it was worth approximately £ 500.  Still on Top depicts two women and an elderly male servant wearing a red liberty cap, a revolutionary symbol in France.  It had only been three years since Tissot had fled Paris – under some suspicion – during the French government’s suppression of the radical Paris Commune.  It’s really rather daring for an apparent French political refugee of the time, remaking his career in England:  as the three figures raise the flags, which is on top?

Painted in Tissot’s extensive garden at his home in St. John’s Wood, London, the picture is similar to his Preparing for the gala, which came up for auction at Sotheby’s, New York in May, 1996.  Preparing for the Gala sold for $1,650,000/£ 1,090,188.

On the morning of Sunday, August 9, 1998, the slightly larger Still on Top, worth $3.5 million USD, was stolen from the Auckland Art Gallery by a 48-year-old man with a shotgun who then asked $260,000 ransom from the Auckland Art Gallery.  The painting was recovered under a bed at the home the man rented in Waikaretu, south of Port Waikato, on August 17.  Restoration of the picture, which had been terribly damaged, began in February 1999.  [For the full story of the robbery –  including surveillance video – and the repairs to Still on Top, click here.]

Later that year, from September 22 to November 28, 1999, the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, held the first Tissot retrospective in the U.S. since 1968:  “James Tissot: Victorian Life/Modern Love.”  The exhibition featured approximately 40 paintings, 40 prints and 20 watercolors selected from public and private collections in North America, Europe and Australia, including works from the Tate Gallery in London, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  On display for the first time in the U.S. was Tissot’s The Hammock (1879), reportedly owned at that time by American stockbroker Jerome Davis of Greenwich, Connecticut.

The exhibition traveled to the Musée du Québec, Québec City, from December 15, 1999 to March 12, 2000 and to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo from March 24 to July 2, 2000.

© 2014 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

Related posts:

James Tissot oils at auction: Seven favorites

Kathleen Newton by James Tissot: eight auctioned oil paintings

Tissot’s La Femme à Paris series

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

If only we’d bought James Tissot’s paintings in the 1970s!

James Tissot’s popularity boom in the 1980s

 

CH377762If you do not have a Kindle e-reader, you can 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 in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection

Award-winning musical theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948) became interested in Victorian art at the age of eight.  As he achieved success with his musicals, Evita (1976), Cats (1981), Phantom of the Opera (1986) and Sunset Boulevard (1993), he began to collect Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

His collection of Victorian art, assembled over a period of forty years and now one of the world’s largest in private hands, includes works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Edward Burne-Jones, John William Waterhouse, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Giovanni Boldini, and James Tissot.

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992, Lord Lloyd-Webber spent 10 million on paintings during three weeks in 1994, according to the London Telegraph.

All the Tissot paintings in his collection are from the artist’s London period, 1871-1882, and were purchased in the 1990s.

As of 1989, the highest auction price on record for an oil painting by James Tissot was Reading the News (1874) sold at Sotheby’s, New York that year for $ 1,250,000/£ 797,295.

L’Orpheline (Orphans) (1879), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 85 by 43 in./216 by 109.2 cm. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

On February 18, 1993, Christie’s, New York offered two major Tissot oil paintings at its sale of 19th Century European Paintings, Drawings & Watercolors.  One of them, L’Orpheline (Orphans, 1879), features Tissot’s mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854 – 1882) and was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1879.  L’Orpheline beat the 1989 record for a Tissot oil – bringing $2,700,000/£ 1,867,865 from Lloyd-Webber.  [The second painting was Jeune femme chantant a l’orgue/Young Woman Singing at the Organ.]

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

Quiet (c. 1881) was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1881.  It was purchased by Richard Donkin, M.P. (1836 – 1919), an English shipowner who was elected Member of Parliament for the newly created constituency of Tynemouth in the 1885 general election.  The small painting remained in the family and was a major discovery of a Tissot work when it appeared on the market in November, 1993, selling to Lloyd Webber at Christie’s, London for $ 416,220/£ 280,000.  In perfect condition, it shows Kathleen Newton and her niece, Lilian Hervey (1875 – 1952) in the garden of Tissot’s house at 17 (now 44) Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood, in north London.  It was Lilian Hervey who, in 1946, publicly identified “La Mystérieuse” – the Mystery Woman – as her aunt, Kathleen Newton.

Uncle Fred (Frederick Kelly with his niece Lilian Hervey, 1879-80), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 7 by 12 in./17.78 by 30.48 cm. Private Colletion. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

Uncle Fred (Kathleen Newton’s brother, Frederick Kelly, with his niece Lilian Hervey, 1879-80), previously had been in a private collection in Besançon, France.  Lloyd Webber purchased the painting at Sotheby’s, New York in February, 1994 for $ 320,000/£ 216,802.  It was Frederick Kelly, incidentally, who arranged Kathleen’s marriage to Isaac Newton, a surgeon in the Indian Civil Service on January 3, 1871, when she was seventeen.

The marriage ended in divorce within months, and Mrs. Newton returned to England.  She gave birth to a daughter at the end of the year, and a son in 1876, the year by which she began living with James Tissot in London.

Le banc de jardin/The Garden Bench (1882), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 99.1 by 142.2 cm. Private collection. (Photo: Wikiart)

American millionaire Frederick Koch (b. 1933) began collecting Victorian paintings in the 1980s.  James Tissot’s Le banc de jardin (The Garden Bench, c. 1882) set an auction price record in 1983, when Fred Koch paid $ 803,660/£ 520,000 for it at Christie’s, London.  This was a favorite image of Tissot’s, depicting his happy half-dozen years with Kathleen Newton and her children in his garden; the artist kept it all his life.  Pictured are Mrs. Newton, her daughter Violet (1871 – 1933), her son Cecil George (1876 – 1941), and a second girl who could be her niece Lilian Hervey or her niece Belle (behind the bench).  [See Was Cecil Newton James Tissot’s son?]

Kathleen Newton died of tuberculosis on November 9, 1882.  [See James Tissot’s garden idyll & Kathleen Newton’s death.]

In October, 1994, Le Banc de jardin set another record for a Victorian picture – as well as a record to date for a Tissot painting – when Lloyd Webber purchased it from Fred Koch for $ 4,800,000/£ 3,035,093 at Sotheby’s, New York.

The Widower (c. 1877), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 14 by 9 in. (35.56 by 22.86 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Lloyd Webber purchased The Widower (c. 1887), which Tissot exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877, at Sotheby’s, London in November, 1994 for $ 122,587/£ 75,000.

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

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

The Captain and the Mate (1873) features Margaret Kennedy (1840-1930), the wife of Tissot’s friend, Captain John Freebody, (b. 1834).  Freebody was the master of the Arundel Castle from 1872-73, and his ship took emigrants to America.  Margaret’s older brother, red-bearded Captain Lumley Kennedy (b. 1819), and her sister posed as well.  Tissot exhibited The Captain’s Daughter, The Last Evening and Too Early [both at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London] at the Royal Academy in 1873.

Lloyd Webber acquired The Captain and the Mate in 1995.  It is one of two paintings featuring Margaret Kennedy in private collections [the other is Boarding the Yacht (1873)].

The Return from the Boating Trip (1873), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 24 by 17 in. (60.96 by 43.18 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

The Return from the Boating Trip (1873), one of dozens of Tissot oils that changed hands during the 1980s, was sold at Christie’s, London in 1982 for $ 31,852/£ 20,000.  It was acquired by Lloyd Webber in 1995.

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

Lloyd Webber acquired “Goodbye” – On the Mersey, which depicts well-wishers on a small local ferry waving at a Cunad steamer setting sail from the port of Liverpool, in 1997.  It is one of two known versions painted by Tissot, the other, larger of which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1881 and was sold from The Forbes Collection in 2003 to a private collector.

Of course, the Tissot paintings form just a fraction of Lloyd Webber’s collection of Victorian art, but he owns more Tissot oils than the Tate Gallery in London.

A 1995 plan for putting his collection on permanent public view, in a gallery on the South Bank within a new £50 million arts complex designed by Sir Richard Rogers and entirely funded by Lloyd Webber’s theater operating company, the Really Useful Group, was dropped.

But Lord Lloyd-Webber and his wife, Madeleine, lent about three-quarters of their collection – some 200 paintings – to London’s Royal Academy of Arts for “Pre-Raphaelite and other masters:  the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection,” from September  20 to December 12, 2003.  The collection is unlikely ever to be shown again, though Lloyd Webber has said, “I hope that after my death my family will be able to find a way to exhibit the best of my collection on a more permanent basis.”

In 2011, Lord Lloyd-Webber discussed his passion for the Pre-Raphaelites in a British television documentary, aired as part of the “Perspectives” series.  You can view this hour-long program, “A Passion for the Pre-Raphaelites,” in 15-minute increments by clicking the following links:

Part 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmO3ZO9TGgA

Part 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMcEhnON1ro

Part 3:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRBpNxdLotw

Part 4:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijxxbM-y4iQ

Related posts:

James Tissot oils at auction: Seven favorites

Kathleen Newton by James Tissot: eight auctioned oil paintings

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

If only we’d bought James Tissot’s paintings in the 1970s!

James Tissot’s popularity boom in the 1980s

©  2014 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.