Tag Archives: Eugène Coppens de Fontenay

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

James Tissot, the son of a draper and a hat manufacturer, was so skilled a painter of women’s fashions that he receives little notice for his depictions of men’s fashions.

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

In The Marquis and the Marchioness of Miramon and their children, René de Cassagne de Beaufort, marquis de Miramon (1835 – 1882) and his wife, née Thérèse Feuillant (1836 – 1912), pose with their first two children, Geneviève (1863 – 1924) and Léon (1861 – 1884) on the terrace of the château de Paulhac in Auvergne.

IMG_2606 Marquis de MiramonThe Marquis is elegant and at his ease in loosely-cut sack coat with sloping shoulders and balloon sleeves (cut very wide at the elbows and narrowing at the shoulder and cuff) that were influenced by the Oriental vogue.  His left lapel is accented with the ultimate sartorial touch — a rose, this one in a delicate pink.

The fact that his riding breeches are cut from the same grey fabric as the coat was a novelty, considered appropriate only in domestic settings – amounting to a sporty lounge suit.  His tall leather riding boots, with their marvelous row of spherical buttons, echo the spherical cuff link on his left wrist.

His white linen or cotton shirt has a turnover collar, and his deep blue patterned silk necktie is tied in a loose knot and appears to be fastened with a pearl stickpin.  His light-colored, collarless waistcoat is cut high at the top and straight across the bottom, adorned with a gold watch chain.  The informal dress and poses of his subjects, along with the outdoor setting, gave Tissot’s family portrait a British flair that was quite modern at the time.

At the same time, the Marquis de Miramon epitomizes Baudelaire’s 1863 theory of true dandyism as representing “perfection in dress” and “the best way to appear distinguished.”  The accomplished gentleman was always dressed correctly for any occasion, public or private.

IMG_2603, LéonThe Marquis’ son, Léon, at four, also is perfectly turned out, though more flamboyant.  He wears a lace-trimmed white shirt, and his buff-colored coat and matching waistcoat are adorned with black scrollwork (soutache) embroidery, fashionable in the mid-1860s (and similar to that worn by the central figure in Monet’s monumental 1866 painting, Women in the Garden).  He would be out of skirts, and wearing a jacket and trousers, by the time he reached age 5 or 6.  Léon’s black leather shoes, paired with black and grey diced Scottish kilt hose, sport silver buckles.  On his chair, his low-crowned straw helmet, its color an exact match with his coat and waistcoat, is made splendid by a black velvet ribbon band and rosette with a bejeweled silver ornament.

Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1867), by James Tissot. 27 by 15 in. (68.58 by 38.10 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Lucy Paquette.

Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1867), by James Tissot. 27 by 15 in. (68.58 by 38.10 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Lucy Paquette.

In 1867, Tissot painted 43-year-old Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1824 –1896), the president of the exclusive Jockey Club in Paris.  Married in 1853, Eugène Aimé Nicolas Coppens de Fontenay had three children.

In this distinctive portrait, he is wearing wearing a white shirt with a turnover collar and a bright blue necktie.  His black sack coat has sloping shoulders and is paired with a high-cut, collarless waistcoat in pristine white.

Fontenay carries a top hat, tan kid gloves, and a walking stick, proper accouterments for day wear.  His trousers, in a brown fabric contrasting with his coat, are slim-fitting and have a substantial break.  He wears black leather ankle boots (probably with elastic sides) and, like the Marquis de Miramon, sports a dapper waxed mustache.

The Jockey Club began as a meeting place for members of the Society for the Encouragement of Horse Racing in France, founded in November 1833 by fourteen Anglophiles under the age of 30, who were aristocrats or the scions of financiers and horse breeders.  The Jockey Club was founded in June 1834, in luxurious, wood-paneled quarters on the corner of rue Grange-Batelière, just north of the intersection between Boulevard Haussmann, Boulevard des Italiens, and Boulevard Poissonnière.  All fashionable men aspired to belong to this bastion of male extravagance.  By 1864, it had 650 titled and wealthy members, who voted with white or black balls; six white balls were required for admission.

The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 68 7/8 by 110 5/8 in. (175 by 281 cm). Musée d’Orsay, Paris. (Photo credit: Wikimedia.org)

In 1868, Tissot painted a dozen of the most fashionable men in Paris in a group portrait, The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868).  Members of this exclusive club, founded in 1852, each paid Tissot a sitting fee of 1,000 francs.  He portrayed them on a balcony of the Hôtel de Coislin overlooking the Place de la Concorde (if you look closely at the original painting, you can see the horse traffic through the balustrade).  From left to right: Count Alfred de la Tour Maubourg (1834-1891), Marquis Alfred du Lau d’Allemans (1833-1919), Count Étienne de Ganay (1833-1903), Captain Coleraine Vansittart (1833-1886), Marquis René de Miramon (1835-1882), Count Julien de Rochechouart (1828-1897), Baron Rodolphe Hottinguer (1835-1920; he kept the painting according to the agreed-upon drawing of lots), Marquis Charles-Alexandre de Ganay *(1803-1881), Baron Gaston de Saint-Maurice (1831-1905), Prince Edmond de Polignac (1834-1901), Marquis Gaston de Galliffet (1830-1909) and Charles Haas (1833-1902).

IMG_2655, Count Alfred de La Tour MaubourgSeated on the balustrade, Count Alfred de La Tour Maubourg, at age 34, wears a black sack coat with only the top button fastened, in what was called “English” or “Richmond-style” buttoning.  He wears it over loose, light-grey trousers, a white waistcoat over a white shirt with a turnover collar, and a blue cravat.

 

IMG_2654, Marquis Alfred du Lau d’AllemansLounging next to him, the Marquis Alfred du Lau d’Allemans, age 35, wears a black sack coat over loose, dark-grey trousers, a white shirt with a turnover collar, and a black patterned cravat, while showing off his high-cut golden silk waistcoat.

 

IMG_2651, Count Étienne de GanayCount Étienne de Ganay, in the black silk top hat, is more formally dressed in a morning suit with a high stand-up shirt collar under his tan overcoat.  His low-cut, shawl-collared waistcoat displays his pristine white shirt, with its tight-fitting, stand-up collar.  At 35, he wears a golden watch chain, and he carries a cane, as if soon to depart on business.  He has an extraordinary combination of a blonde handlebar mustache and prodigious brown whiskers.

IMG_2647, Count Julien de RochechouartCount Julien de Rochechouart, age 40, is seated, with a cigarette in his right hand.  His stylish black and white hounds tooth trousers echo the colors of the Dalmatian at his feet, while the solid black of his buttoned frock coat is relieved by his casually fluffed white pocket square – and his massive ginger beard.  His black leather ankle boots have a high polish.

IMG_2649, Captain Coleraine VansittartCaptain Coleraine Vansittart, standing behind him with slicked-down hair, was British.  He sports a brown sack coat buttoned Richmond-style and cut sharply away from the top button to show a considerable amount of the matching waistcoat.  At 35, he pairs these items with grey trousers and a white shirt with a high, starched, stand-up collar.  He seems to be wearing a white necktie.  His pose, with his left hand tucked into his pocket, exposes the black-and-white gingham lining of the coat.

IMG_2646, Marquis René de MiramonMarquis René de Miramon, age 33, is seated on the sofa, wearing a black silk top hat and holding tan gloves and an umbrella.  Dressed more formally than in his 1865 family portrait, he wears his black morning coat with light-grey trousers and black leather ankle boots.  Peeking out under his white turnover collar is a bright blue necktie.

 

IMG_2643, Baron Rodolphe HottinguerBaron Rodolphe Hottinguer, a banking heir who at 33 won the right to keep the painting of the group, sits on the other side of the sofa.  In contrast to his notable ginger-colored hair and impressive mutton-chop sideburns, he is quietly dressed in a black frock coat paired with a collared, high-cut black vest and light-grey trousers.  He has neatly folded and tied a dark-colored square scarf over his stand-up white shirt collar

IMG_2639, Marquis Charles-Alexandre de GanayMarquis Charles-Alexandre de Ganay * sits in profile in a beautifully-carved chair, showing off the brown spats buttoned over his black ankle boots.  Elegantly at his ease, he wears a black morning coat and blue, red and black plaid trousers with a white turnover collar and a light-grey patterned necktie.

[Note:  The Musée d’Orsay identifies this figure simply as Marquis de Ganay, though other sources identify him as Marquis Charles-Alexandre de Ganay (18031881), who was the father of the third sitter from the left, Count Étienne de Ganay (1833-1903).  It is not possible that the young blonde man seated in the center of Tissot’s portrait is 65 years old.]

IMG_2642, Baron Gaston de Saint-MauriceBaron Gaston de Saint-Maurice, age 37, is seated on the arm of the sofa, wearing a black silk top hat.  His black frock coat is buttoned over his high-cut white waistcoat, and the white slashes are echoed in the tidy white silk square folded into his breast pocket.  His bright blue necktie is fastened with a pearl stickpin, and he wears dark grey trousers.

IMG_2636, Prince Edmond de PolignacPrince Edmond de Polignac, at 34, lounges dreamily in the upholstered armchair, his left forefinger holding a place in his book about Louis XVII.  His flamboyant, black-and-white patterned trousers are in high style.  He wears a black morning coat, a high-cut white waistcoat with a shawl collar, and a blue necktie which may be fastened with a pearl stickpin.  He also appears to have white or grey pearl cuff links.  His grey top hat, grey gloves, and cane are stowed beneath him.

IMG_2638, Marquis Gaston de GalliffetMarquis Gaston de Galliffet, greying at the temples at 38, wears a black sack coat over slim-fitting black trousers cut from the same fabric – a sporty, fashion-forward lounge suit.  He pairs a blue-patterned necktie with his turnover shirt collar.  Is that his extinguished cigar, crushed on the floor to the left of his black leather ankle boots?  In three years, Galliffet would become known as “le marquis aux talons rouges” [Marquis Red Heels] for his brutal executions of Communards in Paris.  This was a clever reference to both his brutality in glorying in the blood of his victims as well as Galliffet’s dandyism – perhaps outré – since showy red heels had been a male fashion trend from at least 1697 to 1785, but not since.

Louis XIV (The Sun King, who ruled France from 1643 until his death in 1715) declared that only those in the royal favor were allowed the privilege of having red heels on their shoes, and by Marie Antoinette’s time, red heels had become a hated symbol of the monarchy.  British historian Philip Mansel observed that the bright heels indicated nobles did not dirty their shoes – but were “always ready to crush the enemies of the state at their feet.”  [See Louis XIV’s 1701 portrait by Hyacinthe Rigaud, which features the red-heeled shoes.]

IMG_2631, Charles HaasCharles Haas, age 35, stands, framed in the high doorway with his cane held jauntily over his right shoulder.  He wears a tan coat over his brown sack coat and matching brown, high-cut waistcoat, with finely-checked light-grey trousers.  He sports brown spats buttoned over his black leather ankle boots, and he is wearing tan kid gloves.  He has loosened the high, starched, winged stand-up collar on his white shirt, and he wears a bright blue necktie fastened with a pearl stickpin.  The fluffed pocket square in the breast pocket of his sack coat lends another white note.

Haas, a Jewish art collector and critic, was one of the models for Proust’s character, Charles Swann, in In Search of Lost Time (1913).  Haas had been blackballed from the Jockey Club four times until his heroism during the Franco-Prussian War earned his entry.  He was the lover, and later the friend, of Sarah Bernhardt.  Haas’ gleaming, flared, light-grey silk top hat was custom-made for him by Delion, who made it for only a half-dozen other elite clients.

Related posts:

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

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

©  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.

 

From Princess to Plutocrat: Tissot’s Patrons

The story of James Tissot’s patrons is the story of social transition:  in the late nineteenth century, art collecting ceased to be the prerogative of the aristocracy and became a status symbol for the new class of wealthy industrialists

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 credit: Wikimedia.org)

Tissot moved to Paris from the seaport of Nantes in 1856 (before he turned 20 on October 15 of that year), to study art.  He lived in rented rooms in the crowded Latin Quarter and made his début at the Salon in 1859.  By 1865, Tissot was earning 70,000 francs a year, and had found his entrée to aristocratic patronage with The Marquis and the Marchioness of Miramon and their children [René de Cassagne de Beaufort, marquis de Miramon (1835 – 1882) and his wife, née Thérèse Feuillant (1836 – 1912), with their first two children, Geneviève (1863 – 1924) and Léon (1861 – 1884) on the terrace of the château de Paulhac in Auvergne].  The portrait of the Marquis and Marchioness of Miramon and their children remained in the family until 2006, when it was acquired by the Musée d’Orsay.  When exhibited in Paris in 1866, this painting served as Tissot’s calling card to the lucrative market for Society portraiture.

Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant (1866), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, unframed: 50 1/2 x 30 3/8 in. (128.3 x 77.2 cm.). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

By 1866, Tissot’s oil portraits included dapper, upper-class gentlemen, attractive and well-dressed ladies of leisure, and a wealthy-looking boy of 12 or so wearing knee breeches and red and white diced Scottish hose.  Most stunning was his Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née Thérèse Feuillant, in her sitting room at the château de Paulhac in Auvergne.  Tissot wrote to her husband, who had commissioned the portrait, asking permission to display her portrait at the 1867 Paris International Exhibition.  The J. Paul Getty Museum, in Los Angeles, California, acquired the picture from the family in 2007.

Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1867), by James Tissot. 27 x 15 in. (68.58 x 38.10 cm.) Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Lucy Paquette

Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1867), by James Tissot. 27 x 15 in. (68.58 x 38.10 cm.) Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Lucy Paquette

In 1866 – at age 30 – Tissot won the right to exhibit anything he wished at the Salons.

Busy with commissions from his aristocratic patrons, he bought property to build a mansion in the avenue de l’Impératrice (Empress Avenue, now avenue Foch), Baron Haussmann’s magnificent new boulevard linking the Place de l’Etoile and the park grounds at the Bois de Boulogne.

While his house was under construction, Tissot painted Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1824 –1896), the president of the exclusive Jockey Club in Paris.  Married in 1853, Eugène Aimé Nicolas Coppens de Fontenay had three children. 

Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay remained in the family until 1971, when it was sold by Christie’s, London for $ 4,352 USD/£1,800 GBP.  It was purchased by the City of Philadelphia in 1972 and is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 68 7/8 x 110 5/8 in. (175 x 281 cm.) Musée d’Orsay, Paris. (Photo credit: Wikimedia.org)

Tissot moved into his elegant new villa by 1868, and he furnished it in lavish Second Empire taste, forming a collection of Chinese and Japanese art for which he became renowned, and which he featured in many of his paintings.  That year, he painted a hearty slice of the French aristocracy in a group portrait, The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868).  Members of this exclusive club, founded in 1852, each paid Tissot a sitting fee of 1,000 francs.  He portrayed them on a balcony of the Hôtel de Coislin overlooking the Place de la Concorde (if you look closely at the original painting, you can see the horse traffic through the balustrade).  From left to right: Count Alfred de La Tour Maubourg (1834-1891), Marquis Alfred du Lau d’Allemans (1833-1919), Count Étienne de Ganay (1833-1903), Captain Coleraine Vansittart (1833-1886), Marquis René de Miramon (1835-1882), Count Julien de Rochechouart (1828-1897), Baron Rodolphe Hottinguer (1835-1920; he kept the painting according to the agreed-upon drawing of lots), Marquis Charles-Alexandre de Ganay (1803-1881), Baron Gaston de Saint-Maurice (1831-1905), Prince Edmond de Polignac (1834-1901), Marquis Gaston de Galliffet (1830-1909) and Charles Haas (1833-1902).  The Musée d’Orsay acquired The Circle of the Rue Royale in 2011 from Baron Hottinguer’s descendants.

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

Princess Mathilde Bonaparte. Photo: Wikimedia.org

At the 1868 Salon, Tissot exhibited two oil paintings, one of which, Beating the Retreat in the Tuileries Gardens, was purchased by Napoleon III’s influential cousin, Princess Mathilde.  Mathilde was an artist herself and had won a medal at the 1865 Paris Salon.

Meanwhile, the rising industrial class was beginning to invest in art.

Tissot exhibited Le confessional (Leaving the Confessional, 1865), an oil painting, at the 1866 Salon when he was 30, still living in student lodgings in the Latin Quarter while gaining recognition and success in Paris.  A watercolor version, which is smaller but otherwise virtually identical to the original oil, was commissioned in 1867 by American grain merchant and liquor wholesaler William Thompson Walters (1819 – 1894).  Upon his death, his son and fellow art collector Henry Walters (1848 – 1931), inherited his father’s collection and bequeathed it to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland at his death.  Tissot’s watercolor, The Confessional, is not on view.

The Confessional (c. 1867), by James Tissot. Watercolor, 10 3/8 by 5 11/16 in. (26.4 by 14.4 cm). Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Other collectors of James Tissot’s paintings in the United States included:  Massachusetts shipper and banker Alvin Adams (1804 – 1877); New York lawyer Robert Livingston Cutting (1836 – 1894); Pennsylvania dry goods merchant, woolens manufacturer and financier Thomas Dolan (1834 – 1914); Pennsylvania banker, real estate developer and distiller Henry C. Gibson (1830 – 1891); and New York lawyer and judge Henry Hilton (1824 – 1899).

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

On the Thames, A Heron (c. 1871-1872) is one of Tissot’s first paintings after his arrival in London – and it was the first on record to be sold at auction in England.  Calculated to appeal to Victorian tastes, this Japanese-influenced scene initially was owned by London banker José de Murrieta, a member of a prominent Spanish family.  Murrieta tried to sell the painting on May 24, 1873 as On the Thames:  the frightened heron; priced at 570 guineas, it did not find a buyer.  His brother, Antonio de Murrieta, attempted and failed to sell it on June 15, 1873 for 260 guineas.  As The Heron, the painting was sold by Sotheby’s, New York in 1973 for $ 32,000 USD/£ 12,886 GBP.  On the Thames, A Heron was the gift of collector Mrs. Patrick Butler, by exchange, to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and is on display.

In 1883, At the Rifle Range (1869) was offered for sale by one of the de Murrieta brothers at Christie’s, London as The Crack Shot, for £220.10s but failed to find a buyer at that price.  It was purchased by Captain Bambridge in 1937 at the Leicester Galleries in London.  Captain George Bambridge (1892 – 1943), a British diplomat, was married to Rudyard Kipling’s daughter, Elsie (1896 – 1976).  From 1938, the childless couple resided at Wimpole Hall, about 8½ miles (14 kilometres) southwest of Cambridge.  Since Elsie Bambridge’s death in 1976, the estate has been owned by the National Trust and is open to the public.

Les Adieux was reproduced as a steel engraving by John Ballin and published by Pilgeram and Lefèvre in 1873 – an indication of its popularity.  The picture was owned by wealthy international railway contractor Charles Waring (c. 1827 – 1887).  After his death, it was sold for 220 guineas at Christie’s, London to the father of Lt. Col. P.L.E. Walker, from whom it was purchased by the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery in 1955.

Tissot’s The Last Evening was purchased from Agnew’s, a London art dealership that specialized in “high-class modern paintings,” by Charles Gassiot (1826 – 1902), a London wine merchant and art patron who lived in a mansion in Upper Tooting, Surrey.  Gassiot bought The Last Evening in February, 1873, before it was exhibited at the Royal Academy, for £1,000.  He and his wife Georgiana, a childless couple, donated a number of his paintings, including The Last Evening, to the Guildhall Art Gallery from 1895 to 1902.  This picture is currently on view.  Gassiot also purchased Tissot’s Too Early, from Agnew’s in March, 1873 (before its exhibition at the Royal Academy that year), for £1,155.  Gassiot bequeathed it to the Guildhall Art Gallery, where it is on view for visitors.

Tissot sold La Visite au Navire to Agnew’s, London, in mid-June 1873.  Less than five months later, at the beginning of November, Agnew’s, Liverpool sold the painting to art collector David Jardine (c.1826 – 1911) of Highlea, Beaconsfield Road, Woolton.  Jardine, a timber broker and ship owner, was the head of Farnworth & Jardine, world famous for their mahogany auctions; a man of considerable ability and courtesy, he was well liked for his “courtly bearing.”  Incidentally, this picture, purchased from the Leicester Galleries, London by William Hulme Lever, 2nd Lord Leverhulme, in 1933, was sold as A Visit to the Yacht following a sale at Sotheby’s, London on December 4, 2013.  A buyer in the United States purchased the picture for a price within the estimated £2 to 3 million GBP it was expected to bring at the auction.  [See For sale: A Visit to the Yacht, c. 1873, by James Tissot]

The Ball on Shipboard (c. 1874) was purchased from Tissot by London art dealer William Agnew (1825 – 1910), the year it was completed and sold to Hilton Philipson (1834 – 1904), a solicitor and colliery owner living at Tynemouth.  (Philipson also spent 620 guineas at Agnew’s for John Everett Millais’ 1874 painting, The Picture of Health, a portrait of Millais’ daughter, Alice (later Mrs. Charles Stuart Wortley).  The Ball on Shipboard, which has been in the collection of the Tate since 1937, is not on display.

In 1874, James Tissot sold paintings to two aristocrats: the exiled Empress of France, widow of Napoleon III, Eugénie de Montijo (1826 –1920), and Irish peer Mervyn Wingfield, 7th Viscount Powerscourt (1836 – 1904).  Lord Powerscourt, whose forebears had lived since 1300 on a magnificent estate outside Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, paid £1,000 for Avant le Départ (Private Collection), and by autumn, Tissot was commissioned to paint a double portrait, The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst (c. 1874, Musée Nationale du Château de Compiègne, France).  After this, Tissot’s paintings continued to be purchased primarily by industrialists [though in the late 1880s, he executed pastel portraits of some aristocratic women].

Chrysanthemums (c. 1874-76) was purchased by British cotton magnate, MP and contemporary art collector Edward Hermon (1822 – 1881) by 1877.  Hermon eventually owned over 70 paintings, including works by J.M.W. Turner, Sir Edwin Landseer, and John Everett Millais, which he displayed in the picture gallery of his magnificent French Gothic estate, Wyfold Court, built at Rotherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire between 1872 and 1878.  Chrysanthemums was purchased by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute at Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1994.

Portrait of Mrs Catherine Smith Gill and Two of her Children (1877), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas; 60.04 x 39.96 in. (152.5 x 101.5 cm.). Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. (Photo: wikimedia.org)

Mr. Chapple Gill (c.1833 – 1901/2), was the son of Robert Gill, a Liverpool cotton broker of Knotty Cross and R. & C. Gill; the son joined the business in 1857 and had risen to senior partner [by 1880, he became head of the firm].  In 1877, he commissioned French painter Tissot, then living in London, to paint a portrait of his wife, Catherine Smith Carey (1847-1916), whom he had married on June 10, 1868 at Childwall.  She was the only child of Thomas Carey (1809 – c. 1875), a wealthy, retired estate agent.  Tissot’s portrait of Catherine Smith Gill shows her – heiress at age 30 – sitting in the drawing-room window of her mother’s home at Lower Lee, at Woolton near Liverpool, which was built by Catherine’s father.  The portrait was purchased from Berkeley Chapple Gill, grandson of Mrs. Gill – the son of the little boy in the painting – in 1979, and it remains on view at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.  Click here for an interactive view of it, and compare this 1877 Victorian family portrait to Portrait of the Marquis and Marchioness of Miramon and their children, which was considered a very modern, informal family portrait in Paris in 1865.

Kaye Knowles, Esq. (1835-1886), was a London banker whose vast wealth came from shares in his family’s Lancashire coal mining business, Andrew Knowles and Sons.  Knowles, a client of London art dealer Algernon Moses Marsden [1848-1920, see Who was Algernon Moses Marsden?], owned a large art collection, including works by Sir Edwin Landseer, John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Rosa Bonheur, Giuseppe De Nittis, Atkinson Grimshaw and Édouard Detaille.  He eventually owned four oil paintings by James Tissot, including The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst; On the Thames (1876, The Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery, Wakefield, West Yorkshire); and In the Conservatory (also known as Rivals, c. 1875-1876, Private Collection).  Incidentally, after Knowles’ sudden death, In the Conservatory (Rivals) was sold with his estate as Afternoon Tea by Christie’s, London, on May 14, 1887.  William Agnew (1825 – 1910), the most influential art dealer in London – who represented Tissot for a time during the 1870s – bought the painting at this sale for 50 guineas and passed it to one of Kaye’s executors, his brother, Andrew Knowles, on May 16, 1887.  It recently was deaccessioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  [See For sale: In the Conservatory (Rivals), c. 1875, by James Tissot]

Andrew Knowles also owned Tissot’s The Convalescent (1875/1876), which was exhibited at the 1876 Royal Academy exhibition.  In the collection of Museums Sheffield since 1949, it is not currently on view.

Portsmouth Dockyard (c. 1877) originally was owned by Henry Jump (1820 – 1893), a wealthy Justice of the Peace and corn merchant living at Gateacre, Lancashire.  It has been in the collection of the Tate since 1941 and is not currently on display.

Bad News (The Parting, 1872), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 68.6 x 91.4 cm. National Museum Cardiff. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

William Menelaus (1818 – 1882) was a Scottish-born engineer, iron and steel manufacturer, and inventor. Widowed after only ten weeks of marriage, he never remarried but raised two nephews (William Darling, who became a law lord, and Charles Darling, who became an MP and later a baron). Menelaus earned a fortune at the Dowlais Ironworks in South Wales, and his only extravagance was his art collection, which was said to fill his home in Merthyr. He donated pieces to the Cardiff Free Library, then upon his death, bequeathed to it the remaining thirty-six paintings, valued at £10,000. His bequest, which included James Tissot’s Bad News (The Parting), painted in 1872, is now in the collection of the National Museum Cardiff. Bad News (The Parting) is displayed in Gallery 6, Level 4.

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

Related blog posts:

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

James Tissot’s brilliant marketing tool, 1869

James Tissot’s house at St. John’s Wood, London

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

©  2014 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.

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.

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

Sleeping, by J.E. Millais (www.wikipaintings.org)

In London, the renowned John Everett Millais exhibited four paintings at the 1867 Royal Academy: Sleeping, Waking, and The Minuet (modeled respectively by his daughters, Carrie, Mary and Effie), as well as Jephthah and Master Cayley (a portrait of young Hugh Cayley of Wydale).

Master Cayley, by J.E. Millais (flickr.com)

Waking and Sleeping each fetched 1,000 guineas, but while these commissioned paintings of adorable children were lucrative, they were risky in their own way: his daughter Mary, left alone for a few minutes while modeling for Waking, grabbed a paint brush and slathered brown strokes across the bottom of her father’s canvas, telling him that she was helping him paint the floor. (Millais repaired the damage without chastising her.)  Tom Taylor, the British art critic and a good friend of Millais’, called Sleeping*  “the most beautiful picture the artist has ever painted,” and one of the chief works of art of British painting.

Millais, now 38, had seven children, and fortunately, Effie’s parents were willing to watch them while they entertained friends and international celebrities. He was not much for foreign travel, but he made the trip to Paris for the World’s Fair, where his The Eve of St. Agnes (1863), illustrating the popular Keats poem, was on exhibit. When this painting first was exhibited in London in 1863, one prominent gentleman sniffed, “I cannot bear that woman with the gridiron,” and even Millais’ friend Tom Taylor, cried, “Where on earth did you get that scraggy model, Millais?” (It was Effie, who had posed in an unheated Jacobean mansion in Kent for three December nights in a row.)  But at the 1867 Paris Exposition and after, The Eve of St. Agnes was revered.  [This painting is now in The Royal Collection, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.]

Madeleine undressing, painting by John Everett...

The Eve of St. Agnes (1863), by John Everett Millais (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still living in Brussels, Tissot’s Dutch friend Lourens Tadema (later Lawrence Alma-Tadema) exhibited two oils at Ernest Gambart’s 14th Annual Exhibition of French and Flemish Schools which opened in London in April. One of the paintings, Tibullus at Delia’s (No. 77) fared well; the other, The honeymoon (reign of Augustus)(No. 83) did not. Gambart entered thirteen of Tadema’s pictures in the Paris International Exposition – from those that had been hanging, unsold, in Gambart’s London mansion. Tadema’s Pastimes in Ancient Egypt 3,000 years ago (No. 56, 1863), which had been awarded the gold medal in the 1864 Salon, won a second class medal at the Exposition.  Tadema had completed the 34 paintings that Gambart had commissioned from him in 1864; Gambart now commissioned another 48 at higher prices.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Tibullus at Delia's

Tibullus at Delia’s, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the Paris Exposition, James Tissot made the most of the opportunity for his work to be seen internationally and wrote to the Marquis de Miramon with the request – which was granted – of the loan of his wife’s elegant portrait for the occasion.  He also showed a slightly larger version of The Confidence on exhibit at the Salon.

Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1867), by James Tissot.  27 x 15 in. (68.58 x 38.10 cm.)  Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Photo by Lucy Paquette

Portrait of Eugène Coppens de Fontenay (1867), by James Tissot. 27 x 15 in. (68.58 x 38.10 cm.) Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Lucy Paquette

Tissot was busy with commissions for portraits of aristocrats, including the president of Paris’ exclusive Jockey Club, Eugène Coppens de Fontenay.  Tissot continued to paint elegant, uncontroversial images of contemporary life: The Wardrobe, The Races at Longchamp, The Terrace of the Jeu de Paume, and Beating the Retreat in the Tuileries Gardens.

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

In addition to Millais, another role model of artistic success strongly influenced Tissot’s work after this year. At the International Exposition, the Belgian artist Alfred Stevens (1823 – 1906) exhibited 18 paintings and won a gold medal. Stevens, who attended Princess Mathilde’s receptions and often received loans of her gowns for his pictures, was long established as an award-winning painter in the Paris art world and hosted frequent parties of his own. He was friends with Tissot as well as Whistler, Degas, Manet, and others who now met at the Café Guerbois.  His polished paintings of beautiful women wearing modern fashions in elegant interiors, like The Lady in Pink (1867), would provide a new source of inspiration for Tissot.

English: The Lady in Pink Français : La Dame e...

La Dame en rose/The Lady in Pink, by Alfred Stevens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sleeping eventually was owned by the model, Millais’ third daughter, Carrie – later Lady Stuart of Wortley (1862-1936), who became an accomplished pianist and second wife of the conservative MP for Sheffield.  The painting was sold by her descendents in 1969. Thirty years later, on June 10, 1999, an American collector bought it for a record £2,091,500 ($3,477,746) at Christie’s, but it was sold to meet debts and in 2003 brought only £1.2 million from a British art agent at Christie’s auction of “Important British and Irish Art.”

© 2012 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.

Click here to download free Kindle reading apps for PCs, Smartphones and tablets from amazon.com.