Tag Archives: Kathleen Newton

James Tissot’s Models à la Mode

James Tissot often reused models, both male and female, in his paintings.  While he varied their poses to capture different angles of their faces, several of his models are recognizable from picture to picture within a few years’ time.  In some cases, subsequent paintings seem based on sketches for earlier works.

The brunette with the languid eyelids in The Two Sisters (1863, figure a) also appears in Portrait of Mademoiselle L.L., (1864, figure b) and Spring (1865, figure c).  Tissot painted these pictures in Paris, in the waning years of the Second Empire.

a Image -- James_Tissot_-_Two_Sisters, cropped face    b portrait-of-mlle-l-l-young-lady-in-a-red-jacket-1864, cropped face     c  Spring, the-athenaeum, cropped faceA

After Tissot moved to London, following the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune, he painted another model, a pale woman with strawberry-blonde hair, in Les Adieux (The Farewells, 1871, figure a), the woman on the left in Bad News (The Parting, 1872, figure b), and a variant of that painting, Tea (1872, figure c).

a bag-4346-les-adieux-bridgeman-art-8-7-12, cropped face      b 925px-James_Tissot_-_Bad_News, cropped face      c tea-time, wiki art, cropped face

By 1873, Tissot befriended a ship’s captain, John Freebody, and his young wife, Margaret Freebody (née Kennedy), as well as her brother, Captain Lumley Kennedy.  All three modeled for him that year in The Last Evening, The Captain and the Mate, and Boarding the Yacht (see James Tissot, ed. Krystyna Matyjaszkiewicz, 1985).

In these delightful paintings, the cast of characters includes an old man with eccentric white whiskers, and a young girl who also appears in A Visit to the Yacht (c. 1873).  [See For sale: A Visit to the Yacht, c. 1873, by James Tissot.]

James_Tissot_-_The_Last_Evening, wiki

The Last Evening (1873), by James Tissot.  Margaret (Kennedy) Freebody and her brother, Captain Lumley Kennedy, posed for the figures in the chairs on the right.  Margaret’s husband, Captain Freebody, is the man with the red beard.

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Boarding the Yacht (1873), by James Tissot.  Margaret (Kennedy) Freebody modeled for the woman on the right, and her sister for the woman on the left.

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The Captain and the Mate (1873), by James Tissot.  Margaret (Kennedy) Freebody sits on the left with her husband, Captain John Freebody, and her brother, Captain Lumley Kennedy is in the center.

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The Captain’s Daughter (1873), by James Tissot.  The woman is portrayed by Margaret (Kennedy) Freebody.

Tissot relied on a new model for Waiting for the Ferry at the Falcon Tavern (1874, figure a) and London Visitors (c. 1874, figure b).

a Waiting for the Ferry, Speed Museum version, the-athenaeum, cropped woman face             b london-visitors, wikiart, cropped woman face

Tissot featured another lovely model, with an exquisite pointed nose, in Reading the News (1874, figure a), Chrysanthemums (c. 1874-76, figure b) and Still on Top (c. 1874, figure c).

a  612px-James_Tissot_-_Reading_the_News, cropped woman      b James_Tissot_-_Chrysanthemums, cropped      c James_Tissot_-_Still_on_Top_-_Google_Art_Project, cropped

A model with a soft fringe appears in Tissot’s A Passing Storm (c. 1876, figure a) and A Convalescent (c. 1876, figure b).

a  912px-James_Tissot_-_A_Passing_Storm, cropped        b  sag-65029-a-convalescent-bridgeman-art-8-7-12, cropped girl face

The blonde woman in Autumn on the Thames, Nuneham Courtney (c. 1871-72, figure a) reappears years later, in Quarreling (c. 1874-76, figure b).  Tissot also featured her in The Bunch of Lilacs (c. 1875, figure c).

I believe the model for these pictures was Alice, British painter Louise Jopling’s lovely blonde sister, who had attracted Tissot’s interest.  Louise (1843–1933) wrote of Tissot in her 1925 autobiography, “He admired my sister Alice very much, and he asked her to sit to him, in the pretty house in St. John’s Wood.”  In this photograph of Louise and her sisters, look at the blonde on the left, in the back, and compare for yourself!

a  autumn-on-the-thames, cropped face         b quarrelling, cropped face         c The Bunch of Lilacs, the-athenaeum, cropped face

That does make me wonder if Louise Jopling [at that time, the recently widowed Mrs. Frank Romer] modeled for Tissot.  She wrote in her autobiography, “James Tissot was a charming man, very handsome, extraordinarily like the Duke [then, Prince] of Teck. He was always well groomed, and had nothing of artistic carelessness either in his dress or demeanor.”  She thought Tissot was “extraordinarily clever,” and wrote that one day, before she was married (in 1874, to J.E. Millais’ friend, Joe Jopling), Tissot had begged his friend Ferdinand Heilbuth (1826 – 1889) to go to Louise’s studio “and try to induce us both – my sister Alice and I – to come and spend the day at Greenwich, where he was painting his charming pictures of scenes by the river Thames.  I was to bring my sketching materials.  It happened that I had promised Joe to give him a sitting for my portrait, but it was much too delightful a project not to be accepted with fervor.  I wired to Joe:  ‘Called out of town on business.’  I might have, with more truth, wired:  ‘Called out of town on pleasure,’ but sketching with two such good artists was indeed good business for me, so I salved my conscience.  But I was found out:  Joe heard of our day’s outing, probably at that mart of gossip, a man’s Club.”  [Louise Jopling is a character in my book, The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot – see my short (2:42 min.) video, “Louise Jopling and James Tissot”.]

Here is the model in Tissot’s Return from the Boating Party (1873, figure a), and Louise Jopling as Millais painted her in 1879 at age 36 (figure b).  It does seem, however, that Louise would have mentioned in her autobiography that Tissot had painted her.

a the-return-from-the-boating-trip, wikiart, cropped woman face               b 1200px-Louise_Jane_Jopling_(née_Goode,_later_Rowe)_by_Sir_John_Everett_Millais,_1st_Bt, wikimedia, cropped face

Tissot used an older, white-haired woman as a model in Hush! (The Concert, 1875, figure a), A Convalescent (c. 1876, figure b), and also at the far left in Holyday (c 1876, figure c).

a  Hush, The Concert, the-athenaeum, cropped matron        b sag-65029-a-convalescent-bridgeman-art-8-7-12, cropped matron face         c Holyday, the-athenaeum, cropped matron

Tissot painted a striking model with dark hair and strong eyebrows in A Portrait (1876, figure a), and again in a blue gown in The Gallery of the H.M.S. Calcutta (Portsmouth, c. 1876, figure b).  She reappears in Portsmouth Dockyard (c. 1877, figure c).

a portrait-of-miss-lloyd, cropped face        b The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (Portsmouth) c.1876 by James Tissot 1836-1902         c Portsmouth Dockyard circa 1877 by James Tissot 1836-1902

One of Tissot’s most often-reused models is the old gentleman with the white whiskers.  He appears in Reading the News (1874, figure a), in the center of The Ball on Shipboard (c. 1874, figure b), and at the left in Hush! (The Concert, 1875, figure c), as well as in The Warrior’s Daughter (A Convalescent, c. 1878, figure d).

a 612px-James_Tissot_-_Reading_the_News, cropped man    b Ball on Shipboard, the-athenaeum, cropped old man face    c Hush, The Concert, the-athenaeum, cropped old man face  d the-warrior-s-daughter-or-the-convalescent, cropped

Another distinctive male model who reappears in Tissot’s paintings is the man with a long ginger beard in London Visitors (c. 1874, figure a) and at the far left in Holyday (c. 1876, figure b).  He also is featured in The Widower (1876, figure c).

a London Visitors, the-athenaeum, cropped man face         b Holyday, the-athenaeum, cropped man face          c James_Tissot_-_The_Widower_-_Google_Art_Project, cropped

Of course, after she moved into his home in St. John’s Wood about 1876, Tissot’s main model until her premature death was young mother and divorcée, Kathleen Irene Ashburnham Kelly Newton (1854 – 1882).

Kathleen, at 22, had a four-year-old daughter and a son born on March 21, 1876.  [See Was Cecil Newton James Tissot’s son?]  Being Roman Catholic, Kathleen could not remarry, but she lived with Tissot in his house in St. John’s Wood, until her death from tuberculosis in 1882.

Kathleen appeared in dozens of Tissot’s major works, including Portsmouth Dockyard (c. 1877, figure a), The Warrior’s Daughter (A Convalescent, c. 1878, figure b), and Orphans (c. 1879, figure c).

a  Portsmouth Dockyard circa 1877 by James Tissot 1836-1902         b the-warrior-s-daughter-or-the-convalescent, cropped Kathleen Newton        c  orphan, cropped Kathleen face

912px-James_Tissot_-_A_Passing_Storm, cropped

A Passing Storm (detail)

Incidentally, Tissot scholar Michael Wentworth (1938 – 2002), in his comprehensive biography James Tissot (1984), identified the model in A Passing Storm (c. 1876) as Kathleen Newton, but if you compare the features of this model to Kathleen’s, it is obvious that the two women are different.

Based on my research and this study of the faces of Tissot’s various models, I believe Kathleen Newton’s first appearance in his work was in Portsmouth Dockyard (c. 1877).

Portsmouth Dockyard circa 1877 by James Tissot 1836-1902

Which means that the shadowy face in the center of The Thames (1876), would have been Kathleen’s as well.

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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.

Here she is in The Warrior’s Daughter (A Convalescent, c. 1878).

the-warrior-s-daughter-or-the-convalescent

And here is Kathleen in Orphans (c. 1879).  Her face and slender figure would grace his work for only a few more years.

orphan

©  2017 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.

James Tissot in Mourning

An aspect of the fashionable clothing of his day that James Tissot did not fail to capture in paint was mourning.  Several of his pictures show mourning attire of the 1860s to the 1880s in great detail.

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The five daughters of Queen Victoria in mourning for Prince Albert. March 1862. (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

Wearing appropriate mourning attire was one of the many rituals surrounding death in Tissot’s era, particularly in Great Britain when Queen Victoria wore mourning for forty years following the death of her consort, Prince Albert.

Numerous etiquette manuals and popular journals laid out the strict and complicated etiquette of dress that demonstrated respect for the deceased, earned sympathy for the grieving, and often displayed wealth and social status.  Different rules applied depending on the bereaved person’s relationship to the deceased person, from grandparents to cousins to servants.

The most stringent, and the most codified, rules governed the attire of widows.  As sexually experienced women who were now single, it was crucial that they observe all proprieties. (1)

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Advertising for Victorian mourning garb

Large wardrobes were necessary to outfit women for bereavements of up to two and a half years, and this was a lucrative niche for those in the trade, such as Jay’s of Regent Street, opened in 1841 as an establishment for mourning. (2)  Peter Robertson founded a mourning warehouse in Regent Street in 1865, maintaining a wide inventory, executing special orders in a day, and even traveling to the countryside for fittings at no extra charge.  In 1876, the firm introduced a style catalog from which customers could order ready-to-wear garments to be sent by mail-order. (3)

A widow’s first, or deepest mourning, was worn for a year and a day.  Custom dictated every detail of clothing, and types of fabric to be worn, during this and the following period.  For example, the bonnet for first mourning must have a veil hanging at the back, and a shorter veil worn over the face, and cambric handkerchiefs must have black borders.  Second mourning was worn for twelve months, with complex instructions as to the gradual introduction of additional freedoms, such as wearing hats again.  At the end of the second year, mourning could be put off entirely, but it was considered in better taste to wear half mourning for at least six months longer. (4)

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A Widow (Une veuve, 1868), by James Tissot.  Oil on canvas, 27 by 19.5 in. (68.5 by 49.5 cm).  (Photo:  Wikimedia.org)

In 1869, James Tissot exhibited A Widow (Une veuve, 1868) at the Salon in Paris.  The low-cut, square neckline of this stylish young widow’s full-skirted black gown is filled in with a blouse of filmy black silk, trimmed at the round neckline, center front, shoulders and wrists with frothy ruffles in the same fabric.  The set-in sleeves and long and full.  The trained skirt’s high waist is tied with a wide sash and accented with a black rosette.  The pleated flounce at the hem reveals her white, lace-edged petticoat, a black silk stocking, and a squared-toed high heel with its silk bow.  Her brown hair is parted in the center, and braids behind each ear crown her head.  Wearing black lace mitts as she dreamily pursues her sewing – while showing that glimpse of ankle so tantalizing to Victorian men – it is likely she can be induced to leave off her last months of mourning.  The elderly chaperone is in mourning, while the little girl is not.

limperatrice_eugenie_et_son_fils_-_1878_-_james_tissot

The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst (c. 1874), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 50 by 60 in. (106.6 by 152.4 cm). Musee Nationale du Chateau de Compiegne, France. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

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Empress Eugénie in mourning for her son, 1880.  (Photo:  Wikipedia.org)

Tissot’s double portrait The Empress Eugénie and the Prince Impérial in the Grounds at Camden Place, Chislehurst (c. 1874) depicts the exiled French Empress (1826 – 1920), living outside London after the collapse of the Second Empire, and her son, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, who would be killed in 1879, at age 23, in the Zulu War.  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.  The Empress is in her first year of mourning following the death of her husband in January, 1873.

Her black gown consists of a high-necked, button-up bodice with long, tight-fitting, set-in sleeves over a white blouse, and a straight, trained skirt with a black draped tablier (apron) overskirt.  Her round black cap, so like her son’s, is trimmed in white, and a long black veil trails from its back.

 

james_tissot_-_the_widower_-_google_art_project

The Widower (Le veuf, 1876), by James Tissot.  Oil on canvas, 116.3 by 75.5 cm.  Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia.  (Photo:  Wikimedia.org)

Tissot exhibited The Widower (1876) at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877.  He portrays this widower with a lumpy, crushed hat of soft felt, wearing a sack coat.  The bereaved man appears so much sadder than if he were dressed in a dapper frock coat and top hat.

orphan

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

Orphans (L’Orpheline, 1879), features Tissot’s mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854 – 1882) and was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1879.  Mrs. Newton’s form-fitting mourning gown was the very latest style – the new cuirasse bodice and Princess line seaming created by couturier Charles Worth.  Fitted over a white blouse with lace showing at the wrists under the long, slim, set-in sleeves, it is a different style of gown altogether from previous Victorian dresses.  It has no waist seam:  the seams run continuously from the shoulder to the hem, and the shape is created by sewing long, fitted fabric pieces together.  Note the center front of her gown, a vertical section of pleated bands.  The Princess seam created a tall, slender look.  It depended on the curaisse bodice, a tightly-laced, boned corset that encased the torso, waist, hips and thighs.  The result was a dramatic narrowing of the silhouette of women’s fashion in the late 1870s.

Mrs. Newton wears black lace mitts, a peaked bonnet embellished with black feathers, and a heavy black scarf around her neck.  She wears a corsage of lavender and white chrysanthemums, but no jewelry except for the wedding band visible on the third finger of her left hand.  It is likely that she is being represented as a widow in her secondary mourning, as lavender was considered a color appropriate for that stage.

The little girl [modeled by Kathleen Newton’s niece, Lilian Hervey (1875 – 1952)] also wears mourning – though, oddly, she seems dressed for different weather entirely in her short-sleeved, button-down black dress over a white chemise.  She has bare arms and legs and wears white socks with black strapped shoes.

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The Rivals (I rivali, 1878-79), by James Tissot.  Private Collection.

Tissot’s The Rivals (I rivali, 1878–79) is set in the conservatory of his home at 17 (now 44), Grove End Road in St. John’s Wood, London.  It casts his mistress, young divorcée Kathleen Newton, as a young widow, crocheting while taking tea with two suitors, one middle-aged and one old.  Mrs. Newton is wearing the same black gown she did in L’Orpheline (Orphans, 1879).  In this picture, Tissot paints her so close to the end of her mourning that she is entertaining men – and so nonchalant about it that she slouches in her fur-lined, wicker armchair while focusing on her needlework!

Tissot exhibited this painting at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1879.  Kathleen Newton died of tuberculosis on November 9, 1882, at age 28, at Tissot’s house with her sister, Polly Hervey, at her side (according to the death register).  Tissot draped the coffin in purple velvet and prayed beside it for hours.  Immediately after the funeral on November 14, at the Church of Our Lady in Lisson Grove, St. John’s Wood, Tissot abandoned his home and returned to Paris.

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Sans dot (Without Dowry, 1883-85), by James Tissot.  Oil on canvas, 58 by 41 in. (147.32 by 104.14 cm).  Private Collection.  (Photo:  Wikimedia.org)

Tissot exerted himself to re-establish his reputation in Paris, which he had fled following the bloody aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, with a series of fifteen large-scale pictures called La Femme à Paris (The Parisian Woman).  Painted between 1883 and 1885, they portrayed the fashionable parisienne in various incarnations using brighter, modern colors than he had in his previous work.

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Women’s mourning bonnet in hard crape, c. 1880.  Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  (Photo:  Wikipedia.org)

The elegant young widow in Sans dot (Without Dowry, 1883-85) takes the air in the gardens in Versailles wearing a buttoned-up, high-necked black bodice with three-quarter, eighteenth-century-style Sabot sleeves that fit tightly before flaring into a deep ruffle below the elbow.  Black gloves cover her hands and forearms.  She wears a black draped tablier (apron) overskirt over a straight, pleated underskirt in sable-colored silk.  Her high-crowned, black straw bonnet features a large black bow over her fringe, echoed by a soft bow tied neatly under her chin.  Because her bonnet is so elaborately beribboned and has no veil, we know she is past her first year of mourning (when the appropriate bonnet was simple, like the one shown at the right) and is now in secondary mourning.  The widow maintains a wistful expression and a demure posture before her work basket and a book while her elderly chaperone, who is wearing mourning and a bonnet with a veil, is absorbed in the newspaper.  She appears completely aware of her charms – and of the fact that her lack of a dowry seems unlikely to affect her ability to attract another husband.

Related posts:

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

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

A visit to James Tissot’s house & Kathleen Newton’s grave

Tissot’s La Femme à Paris series

REFERENCE WORKS:

(1)  Sidell, Misty White, “A time when the wrong outfit could lead to disgrace and scandal: New Costume Institute exhibit to explore the strict world of Victorian mourning fashions,” Daily Mail, (July 1, 2014); http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2677118/A-time-wrong-outfit-lead-disgrace-scandal-New-Costume-Institute-exhibit-explore-strict-world-Victorian-mourning-fashions.html (Accessed: 1/19/2017)

(2)  “Victorian Mourning Etiquette,” http://www.tchevalier.com/fallingangels/bckgrnd/mourning/ (Accessed: 1/19/2017)

(3)  Hansen, Viveka, “Jet & Dressed in Black – the Victorian Period (B 20),” TEXTILIS (October 12, 2016); https://textilis.net/ (Accessed: 1/19/2017)

(4)  Robinson, Nugent. Collier’s Cyclopedia of Social and Commercial Information.  New York:  F. Collier, 1882.  (Accessed: 1/19/2017)

© Copyright Lucy Paquette 2017.  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.

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

Happy Hour with James Tissot

photo 3Since today is April Fool’s Day – and my birthday – pour a glass of something cheerful, and let’s celebrate together by admiring James Tissot’s most joyful images. 

Tissot’s paintings are notable for their psychological ambiguity or tension – moodiness, quarrels, shady situations, vulgarity, frustration, even anger.

But a handful portray sheer happiness, and we all need a dose of that, especially in the uneven weather of spring!

La partie carrée (The Foursome, 1870), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 47 by 57 in. (119.5 by 144.5 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: http://www.the-athenaeum.org)

In Partie Carée – exhibited at the 1870 Salon, the cautious, business-minded Tissot was at his most devil-may-care.  These convivial friends are certainly delighted to spend time together at their leisurely, riverside Happy Hour!

A Bunch of Lilacs (c. 1875), 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," by Lucy Paquette, © 2012

The Bunch of Lilacs (c. 1875), James TIssot. Image: 21 by 15 in. (53.34 by 38.10 cm). 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

One of the most lovely images Tissot ever created, The Bunch of Lilacs (c. 1875) is set in the new conservatory in Tissot’s St. John’s Wood house at 17 (now 44) Grove End Road.  The peace, profusion and prosperity in this painting just make me smile: this woman doesn’t seem to have a care in the world as she waltzes over the gleaming floor.  Can’t you just hear her humming some pretty tune?

A Fête Day at Brighton (c. 1875-1878), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 34 by 21 in. (86.36 by 53.34 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

You can’t help but feel part of A Fête Day at Brighton:  it’s a street party at a seaside resort, and you can feel the uneven pavement under your feet, the sun on your face, and the exhilarating breeze in your hair.

Holyday (c. 1876), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 30 by 39 1/8 in. (76.5 by 99.5 cm.). Tate Britain. (Photo: http://www.the-athenaeum.org)

Tissot painted members of the famous I Zingari cricket club (which still exists, and is one of the oldest amateur cricket clubs) in their distinctive black, red and gold caps in his garden at 17 Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood, which was only a few hundred yards from Lord’s cricket ground.  Holyday was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in London from May to June, 1877.  Oscar Wilde, then a 23-year-old student at Magdalen College, Oxford, reviewed the Grosvenor’s exhibition in Dublin University Magazine that summer, skewering the subject matter of Holyday as “Mr. Tissot’s over-dressed, common-looking people, and ugly, painfully accurate representation of modern soda water bottles.”   No doubt Oscar would find me quite common, since I find this image entirely merry!  I want to join this lively group for a cup of tea and a slice of cake.  Holyday is on display at Tate Britain in room 1840; click here for an interactive look at it.

October (1877), by James Tissot. 85 by 42.8 in. (216 by 108.7 cm). Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. (Photo: http://www.the-athenaeum.org)

October (1877) depicts Tissot’s mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854–1882) in the full bloom of beauty at age 23, glowing amid the fall foliage.  I saw this when I was in Montreal, and you can almost hear Mrs. Newton’s petticoats rustling over her kitten heels.  Tissot presents her youthful charm in such a surprisingly intimate close-up composition for a monumental painting – over 7 feet tall and 3 ½ feet wide – that it overwhelms the viewer with a sense of vitality.

In an English Garden, by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Photo: http://www.the-athenaeum.org)

Tissot’s garden, the setting for In an English Garden, was designed with a blend of English-style flower beds as well as plantings familiar to him from French parks.  Gravel paths led to kitchen gardens and greenhouses for flowers, fruit and vegetables.  This painting shows Tissot’s ornamental pond from a different viewpoint than Holyday.  It portrays a gorgeous day in a gorgeous garden, the figures enjoying blissful privacy and serenity.

Le Petit Nemrod (A Little Nimrod), c. 1882, by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 34 ½ by 55 3/5 in. (110.5 by 141.3 cm). Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’archéologie, Besançon, France. (Photo: http://www.the-athenaeum.org)

Le Petit Nemrod (A Little Nimrod, c. 1882) depicts cousins, the children of Mrs. Newton and her sister Polly Hervey, playing together in a London park.  (Nimrod, according to the Book of Genesis, was a great-grandson of Noah, and he is depicted in the Hebrew Bible as a mighty hunter.)  Can’t you hear these kids giggling and shrieking?

Sur La Tamise/On the Thames (The Return from Henley, c. 1884-85). Oil on canvas, 57.48 by 40.04 in. (146 by 101.7 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: http://www.the-athenaeum.org)

Sur La Tamise/On the Thames (The Return from Henley, c. 1884-85) is a flight of fancy radiating girlish euphoria.  That this tightly-swaddled creature managed to seat herself in this skiff, and to stand upright again, is explicable only by one word:  magic.

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

Le banc de jardin/The Garden Bench (c. 1882) was a favorite image of Tissot’s; he kept it all his life.  Pictured are Kathleen Newton, her daughter Violet, her son Cecil George, and a second girl who could be her niece Lilian Hervey or her niece Belle (behind the bench).  Sheer maternal joy.

IMG_5303 (2)So – a toast to lovers of James Tissot around the world:  Cheers, my dears!

Previous April Fool’s Day posts:

The Missing Tissot Nudes

Was James Tissot a Plagiarist?

Tissot and his Friends Clown Around

© 2016 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.

 

Tissot vs. Bouguereau: La sœur aînée (The Elder Sister)

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905) and James Tissot 1836 – 1902), French academic painters and realists whose work earned high prices, each painted the subject of an elder sister holding a younger sibling several times during his career. 

Bouguereau was born into a family of wine and olive oil merchants.  From the age of 21, he studied art at the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, where he won first prize in figure painting.  Bouguereau then went to Paris and became a student at the École des Beaux-Arts, and he won the coveted Prix de Rome at age 26 in 1850, enabling him to study for a year in Rome.  He was particularly impressed by Raphael’s work.  After his return to Paris, he exhibited at the Paris Salon for the rest of his career.  He married in 1856, had five children, and became famous and wealthy from his paintings of Classical, religious and mythological subjects, featuring images of idealized women and girls.

The Elder Sister, reduction (La soeur aînée, réduction), (c. 1864), by William Bouguereau. Brooklyn Museum in New York. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

A réduction [reduction] called The Elder Sister (c. 1864) is in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum in New York.  It is one of at least two known versions that Bouguereau painted after a larger subject displayed in the Paris Salon of 1867.  The influence of Bouguereau’s Classical training is evident in the pose of the Madonna and Child and the idealized, even monumental, figures.

The Elder Sister (1869), by William Bouguereau. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

For another painting called The Elder Sister (1869), in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Bouguereau used his daughter, Henriette, and his son, Paul, as models.  His children are rendered as beautifully idealized types against a nearly Classical background.

The Elder Sister [La soeur ainée] (1886), by William Bouguereau. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

Bouguereau painted yet another The Elder Sister [La soeur ainée] in 1886, and he painted two pictures called The Big Sister [La grande soeur] in 1865 and 1877; these versions and another, smaller The Big Sister all are in private collections.

James Tissot, eleven years younger than Bouguereau, was born to parents who were self-made, prosperous merchants and traders in the textile and fashion industry in Nantes, a bustling seaport on the banks of the Loire River, 35 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  He left for Paris at 19, in 1856 (i.e before he turned 20 that October), and enrolled at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1857.  He began exhibiting his work in the Salon in 1859.  By the late 1860s, he was a successful painter living in an elegant new mansion.  However, he fled Paris in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War and the bloody Commune in mid-1871, and established himself in the competitive London art market.  By early 1873, he bought the lease on a two-storey Queen Anne-style villa at 17 (now 44), Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood.  In 1875, he built an extension with a studio and huge conservatory that doubled the size of his house.  In the conservatory, he grew exotic plants, while his garden was designed with a blend of English-style flower beds and plantings familiar to him from French parks.  The bay window of Tissot’s new studio overlooked this idyllic landscape, which he painted repeatedly, especially after he began sharing his home with his mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854 – 1882) in 1876.

Among his other paintings at this time, Tissot used the same subject matter as Bouguereau – an elder sister holding a younger sibling.  Unlike Bouguereau, Tissot relied on the same models, Kathleen Newton and her niece, Lilian Hervey (1875–1952), in slightly different poses, with slightly different backgrounds, to create his series of paintings, all c. 1881.  Compared to Bouguereau’s images, Tissot’s are warm, spontaneous and contemporary – suited to his patrons collecting modern art.

By the late 1870s, James Tissot began to use photographs as the basis of some of his paintings.  He used a photograph of Kathleen Newton, sitting with Lilian Hervey on the steps from his conservatory into the garden, to create three oil paintings and a print, each titled La soeur ainée.  He displayed one of these paintings at the Dudley Gallery in London in 1882, in a one-man show he called “An Exhibition of Modern Art.”

display_image, Soeur

La sœur aînée (The Elder Sister), c. 1881, by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 17.5 by 8 in. (44.45 by 20.32 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: http://www.the-athenaeum.org/)

The version of La sœur aînée pictured was exhibited with “James Tissot: 1836-1902,” at the Barbican Art Gallery, London; the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and the Musée du Petit Palais, Paris, from November 1984 through June 1985.  Now in a private collection, it last was sold at Sotheby’s, New York in 2011 for $ 194,500 USD/£ 121,350 GBP [including Premium].

In another, particularly gorgeous version of La sœur aînée (c. 1881, oil on panel, 15.98 by 7.01 in/40.6 by 17.8 cm), the stairs are covered by a straw mat.  The top half of this image shows the shining, highly reflective glass doors into Tissot’s conservatory.  [To see it, click here and scroll more than halfway down, looking to the right.]  This painting, which hangs in the palatial Nashville, Tennessee home of Marlene and Spencer Hays, was shown at the Musée Orsay in 2013 along with selections from the couple’s extensive collection of French art.  The Hays began collecting in the 1970s; this version of Tissot’s La soeur aînée was last sold at Sotheby’s, New York in 1987 for $ 135,000 USD/£ 87,690 GBP [Hammer price].  Mr. Hays is the Chief Executive Officer and President at publisher Athlon Sports Communications, Inc. and Executive Chairman of the Board at Southwestern, a company that recruits and trains college students to sell educational books, software, and website subscriptions door-to-door.

A third version of Tissot’s La soeur aînée (c. 1881) was bequeathed to the French nation by a private collector in 1919 and is now assigned to the Musée Orsay.  An oil on canvas, it is a more close-up view of Kathleen Newton and, at her knee, Lilian Hervey.  It also features the straw mat covering the steps from the conservatory to the garden, and is now known as Mère et enfant assis sur le perron d’une maison de champagne [Mother and child sitting on the porch of a country house].

NOTE:  Tissot painted a charming watercolor version of this image (the one featuring the straw mat) as well.  La Soeur Ainée (The Elder Sister, watercolour and bodycolour on paper, 19 5/8 by 12 5/8 in./49.8 by 32 cm) was with Stoppenbach & Delestre, London, then  Transkunst Etablissement in Geveva, Switzerland, until January 1993.  On July 13, 2016, it was offered for sale at Christie’s, London from a “distinguished private collection.”  It had been expected to bring £100,000 – £150,000 ($132,800 – $199,200), but was withdrawn from the sale.

The Elder Sister (c. 1881), by James Tissot. Etching and dry point. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

The image of happy domesticity was popular enough that Tissot made an etching of it; his prints were immensely popular through 1886.  Notice the straw mat on the steps; the print is based on the version of Tissot’s oil painting now in the French national collection.

So, did James Tissot, referred to by a prominent acquaintance as “that plagiarist painter” in 1874, take the idea for paintings of The Elder Sister from Bouguereau, who painted the subject with success many years before he did?

Who can say?  But then, did Bouguereau take his inspiration for another, related, subject from one of James Tissot’s first successes?

The Two Sisters (1863), by James Tissot. Musée d’Orsay. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

The Two Sisters (1877), by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

Related posts:

Was James Tissot a Plagiarist?

More “Plagiarists”: Tissot’s friends Manet, Degas, Whistler & Others

© 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.

 

 

Victorians on the Move, by James Tissot

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

 

James Tissot, a Realist painter of consummate skill, is known for capturing the fashions of his time in great detail.  But he also painted one of the most defining realities of the modern age:  new modes of transportation, along with the phenomenon of the lone female traveler.

Gentleman in a Railway Carriage (1872), by James Tissot. 24 15/16 by 16 15/16 in. (63.30 by 43.00 cm). The Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

In late May or early June, 1871, James Tissot fled Paris in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War and the bloody Commune.  He established himself in the competitive London art market, and by March 1872 (and until 1873), he lived at 73 Springfield Road in St. John’s Wood, conveniently near the new Underground Railway station there.  His 1872 image of the modern commuter, Gentleman in a Railway Carriage, was purchased for The Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts by the Alexander and Caroline Murdock de Witt Fund nearly one hundred years later, in 1965, and is currently on view.

Waiting for the Train (Willesden Junction) (c. 1871-73) was purchased in 1921, with £89 5s from the Thomas Brown Fund, for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in New Zealand.

Waiting for the Train (Willesden Junction, c. 1871-73), by James Tissot. Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand.

Willesden Junction is in northwest London, and was brand-new when Tissot painted it, complete with its rubbish bin.  The West Coast Main Line station was opened at Willesden Junction by the London & North Western Railway in 1866, with trains traveling to Birmingham and Scotland.  The upper level station on the North London Line was opened in 1869 by the North London Railway, which ran trains east-west across Northern London.

The modern woman portrayed in this ultra-modern setting looks at us with a direct, confident gaze amid her baggage.  It’s a small but fascinating painting, suffused with a delightful ambiguity typical of Tissot.  Who is this woman, and where is she going?  She seems free-spirited, yet she is enclosed in a jumble of cramped spaces.  With his sly and original humor, Tissot signed one of her suitcases with his monogram, J.J.  Her purse clasp bears his monogram as well, but it’s hard to see in a reproduction.

The Emigrants (c. 1879), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 15.5 by 7 in. (39.4 by 17.8 cm). Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Crossing the Channel (c 1879), by James Tissot.

Crossing the Channel (c 1879), by James Tissot.

Tissot became successful quite quickly in London.  In 1873, he bought the lease on a medium-sized, two-storey Queen Anne-style villa at 17 (now 44), Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood.

By 1876, he was sharing his home with his mistress and muse, Kathleen Irene Ashburnham Kelly Newton (1854 – 1882).

Tissot exhibited Crossing the Channel and The Emigrants, among other pictures, at the the third Grosvenor Gallery exhibition in 1879, the final season in which he participated.

Kathleen Newton is the model for the woman in Crossing the Channel, the whereabouts of which are unknown.

The Emigrants was gifted to the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. W. Armin Willig in 1991.

The Ferry (c. 1879), by James TIssot. Oil on panel, 12 by 8 in. (30.48 by 20.32 cm). Private Collection.

Around 1879, Tissot painted The Ferry, using Kathleen as the model for the female figure.

The picture was owned by private collectors including Thomas B. Holmes, Hornsey, East Yorkshire; W.J. Brown, Northumberland (1914); and Captain R.S. de Q. Quincey.  In 1993, The Ferry was sold at Christie’s, London for $ 259,335/£ 170,000.

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

Award-winning musical theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948) 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.

The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool acquired a watercolor version of “Goodbye” – On the Mersey (measuring 16.75 by 12 in./42.5 by 30.5 cm) with an Art Fund grant in 2010.

By Water (Waiting at Dockside, c. 1881-82), by James Tissot.

In 1882, the Dudley Gallery in London held “An Exhibition of Modern Art by J. J. Tissot.”

Among the works shown were the companion pieces, By Water and By Land, both oil paintings measuring 25 by 11 in. (63.5 by 27.94 cm).

In the photograph albums that Tissot kept as a record of his work, the image known as By Water is labeled Un quai d’embarquement à  Londres, and the image next to it is labeled Departure Platform, Victoria Station.

Incidentally, By Water is signed J.J. Tissot at the bottom left and twice in monogram on the crates.

Click here to see A Study for “By Water”: Kathleen Kelly, Mrs.  Isaac Newton, c. 1880 (oil on panel, 12 ¼ by 10 in. /31.1 by 25.4 cm) on the wall in this virtual tour of Wimpole Hall, a National Trust property about 8½  miles (14 kilometres) southwest of Cambridge.  [You’ll also see a Tissot’s At the Rifle Range (1869).]

Also exhibited at the Dudley Gallery in 1882 was Tissot’s Leaving Old England (Gravesend), a painting that remains unlocated.

Departure Platform, Victoria Station (c. 1880), by James Tissot. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

In both By Water and Departure Platform, Victoria Station, Tissot relies on Kathleen Newton as his principal model.

Mrs. Newton, a divorcée with two children, died of tuberculosis on November 9, 1882, at age 28, at Tissot’s house.  Immediately after the funeral on November 14, at the Church of Our Lady in Lisson Grove, St. John’s Wood, Tissot returned to Paris.

His days painting Victorians were over, and he would soon begin a new series, La Femme à Paris (The Parisian Woman).

The Embarkation at Calais (also called The Traveller, c. 1883-85), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas 146.5 by 102 by 1.7 cm. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Painted between 1883 and 1885, Tissot’s La Femme à Paris pictures portrayed the fashionable parisienne in various incarnations using brighter, modern colors than he had in his previous work.  Of the seventeen paintings in this series, only The Embarkation at Calais (The Traveller) seems to portray an English woman, connected with his images of Kathleen Newton travelling.  In fact, if you look closely just behind the woman’s head, you’ll see a ghostly figure of a woman wearing Mrs. Newton’s familiar caped greatcoat and black bonnet.

The Cab Road, Victoria Station (also known as Departure Platform, Victoria Station, 1895), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 58.50 by 30.50 cm.

A decade later, Tissot again resurrected the image of Kathleen Newton traveling in The Cab Road, Victoria Station (1895).

Sold at Sotheby’s, London in 1964 as Departure Platform, Victoria Station for $ 2,379/£ 850, and sold again with that title in 1983, this picture later belonged to Sir James Hunter Blair (1926 – 2004).  Hunter Blair was the Lowland laird of Blairquhan Castle in South Ayrshire, Scotland, a 200-acre estate available as a venue for weddings and corporate events as well as a location for films such as The Queen (2006), starring Helen Mirren. 

As The Cab Road, Victoria Station, Tissot’s painting failed to find a buyer when it was offered at Christie’s, London in June 2010 and again in December 2010.

Update:  The Cab Road, Victoria Station (1895) was sold at Christie’s, London on July 13, 2016 for $86,187/£64,900 GBP (Hammer price with Buyer’s Premium).

Related posts:

Tissot’s La Femme à Paris series

James Tissot in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection

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

© Copyright Lucy Paquette 2016.  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.

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

The James Tissot Tour of Paris

photo 2

Enjoying a view of the Arc de Triomphe

One hundred seventy-nine years ago today, French painter James Tissot was born.  And three years ago, I published my book, The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot.

I’m just back from a two-week vacation in Paris, and it was Paradise.  I’d been there twice before — a long time ago, when I was in college studying art history — and after I’d studied French for a decade.  This was my first visit since then, and with my conversational French gradually returning, I played tour guide for my husband, who’s never seen Paris.  We went everywhere and did everything, and I’m still jet-lagged, but I made a point of going to numerous places associated with James Tissot, and I want to share some sights with you via my personal photos.

IMG_5237 (2)

At the Opéra Garnier, built 1861-75.

By 1865, Emperor Napoleon III’s majestic and “revolution-proof” vision to modernize Paris had been methodically implemented for twelve years by his préfet, Baron Haussmann.  James Tissot, an art student from the seaside port of Nantes, had lived in the Latin Quarter and painted in the capital since 1856 — coming of age during this transformation.  The economy was booming as overcrowded medieval buildings were demolished, hills were leveled, bridges were constructed, and narrow, winding streets were replaced with straight, broad, tree-lined avenues extending to the western suburbs where fields of cabbages once grew.

When the Arc de Triomphe was completed in 1836, five streets radiated from it; Haussmann added seven more and a traffic round-about, and it became known as Place de l’Etoile (Place of the Star).  In an effort to create a clean and progressive metropolis, rows of neo-classical apartment buildings were constructed with shops at street level, as well as a breathtakingly beautiful new opera house, the Opéra Garnier.

Opéra Garnier, Paris. (Photo: Wikimedia.org, because I couldn’t get a shot that was not obstructed by tour buses!)

IMG_5272

Rue Bonaparte [near Église de St-Germain-des-Prés], where Tissot rented an apartment from about 1860 to 1867 at no. 39. Writer Alphonse Daudet (1840 – 1897) lived in the room below him and recorded his own disappointment that the house later was demolished.

photo 1 (1)

The entrance to the private cul-de-sac [now Square de l’avenue Foch], where James Tissot’s opulent Paris villa once stood.

One of the twelve streets radiating from l’Etoile was the avenue de l’Impératrice [Empress Avenue – now avenue Foch].  It was extra-wide, with separate lanes for pedestrians, horseback riders and carriage traffic.  Exclusively residential, the avenue de l’Impératrice was flanked by broad, grassy slopes planted with colorful flowers.  The fashionable Parisians who promenaded or showed off their splendid horses there frequently glimpsed Imperial soldiers on their impressive grey mounts, Napoleon III’s carriage with his green-and-gold liveried footman, or the Empress Eugénie and her friends in an open barouche heading for the lush Bois de Boulogne to boat on the lakes, sip wine at the Swiss Chalet there, and enjoy picnics and galas.  The avenue de l’Impératrice was, like London’s Hyde Park, the place to see and be seen.  [The grassy verges in this still-prestigious neighborhood are rather scruffy today but serve as parks for local families with children and dogs.]

Between 1850 and 1870, the population of Paris nearly doubled as the provincial population flocked to the capital.  James Tissot was part of the rise of a wealthy urban class.

IMG_5179

The Musée d’Ennery at no. 59, avenue Foch.

By late 1867 or early 1868, he moved into the sumptuous mansion he had built in a cul-de-sac off the west end of this avenue, Square de l’avenue de l’Impératrice [now Square de l’avenue Foch, with a gated entrance].  When Tissot visited London in 1862, he had particularly admired English buildings and gardens.  He built his Paris home as “an English-style villa,” high on a basement ground floor, with a first floor and a second floor with a terrace above, a courtyard and small garden.

Tissot’s villa no longer stands, but just across avenue Foch at no. 59, the Musée d’Ennery operates in an 1875 townhouse that gives some idea of the grandeur of the era’s homes there.

photo E

Rue St. Julien-le-Pauvre, on the Left Bank, with the medieval church at the end.

As I walked the old narrow, crooked and crowded streets of the Left Bank where Tissot started his career in Paris and the wide, new, straight avenues of the Right Bank where he lived after he had “arrived,” I was struck by his journey from striving student to wealthy and established Second Empire painter living in luxury and privacy.

One of the most beautiful and serene places we visited in Paris was the Parc Monceau with its classical colonnade — which Tissot copied in cast iron in the garden of his home in London, upon his move there following the Franco-Prussian War and its bloody aftermath, the Commune.

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Parc Monceau, Paris.

Tissot used his graceful colonnade as a backdrop for paintings including Quarrelling (c. 1874), The Convalescent (c. 1876), Holyday (c. 1876), and The Hammock (1879).

Quarrelling (c. 1874), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

The Convalescent (c. 1876), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas; 30.2 by 39.06 in. (76.7 by 99.2 cm). Museums Sheffield. 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 Convalescent (c. 1876), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas. Museums Sheffield. 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.

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

The Hammock (1879), by James Tissot. 50 in./127 cm. by 30 in./76.20 cm. Image courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in "The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot," © 2012 by Lucy Paquette

The Hammock (1879), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas. Private Collection. Image courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library for use in “The Hammock: A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot,” © 2012 by Lucy Paquette

The handsome chestnut trees that Tissot painted from his London garden were evident throughout Paris, and their autumnal leaves are exactly as he portrayed them.

The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in July, 1870 brought an abrupt halt to this glamorous and leisured life.

photo A (2)

Memorial plaque at the Arc de Triomphe.

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The artillery encamped in the Tuileries garden in late September 1870 by Henri Brunner-Lacoste and Alfred Decaen. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

photo 3You can see James Tissot’s paintings in museums all over the world, but many of the most gorgeous works he produced in Second Empire Paris are showcased at the Musée d’Orsay, including The Two Sisters (1863), Portrait of the Marquis and Marchioness of Miramon and their children (1865), and The Circle of the Rue Royale (1868).

The collection also includes paintings that were not on display during my visit, such as The Meeting of Faust and Marguerite (1860) and Portrait of Miss L. L. (1864).  A rather sad portrait of Kathleen Newton, Tissot’s young mistress, The Dreamer (or, Summer Evening, c. 1876) was on display, as well as the shimmering, idealized portrait of Mrs. Newton that Tissot painted four years before her death of tuberculosis in 1882, Evening (Le Bal, c. 1878).

The Dreamer (or, Summer Evening, c. 1876), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay.

Le bal (Evening, 1878), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

I also was able to see the controversial new exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, “Splendor and Misery:  Pictures of Prostitution, 1850-1910.”  It is huge — all-encompassing, to put it mildly, as it explores the underside of Paris life during these decades.  Tissot’s The Shop Girl from his series, La Femme à Paris (Women of Paris) is included, and it was a rare chance to see it up close (though in a darkened room).  It is vibrant and beautifully detailed, with a lot going on — the idea being, the goods on display in the shop are not the only things for sale.

Note:  “Splendor and Misery” runs until January 17, 2016.  It will then move to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.

The Shop Girl (1883 – 1885), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

C’est tout!  Thanks for taking this little tour of Tissot’s Paris with me, and if you enjoy this blog, you’ll be captivated by The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot.  (Amazon offers free apps for your laptop, smartphone and tablet if you don’t have a Kindle — see the information below!)  Read reviews.

Related posts:

On his own: Tissot as a Paris art student, 1855 — 1858

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

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”

A visit to James Tissot’s house & Kathleen Newton’s grave

© 2015 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.

 

The Art of Waiting, by James Tissot

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

Many of James Tissot’s most memorable oil paintings feature images of women waiting.  Sometimes they are with men, but the focal point is the woman’s impassive face and languorous mien.  They are not waiting for anything, particularly.  Yet rather than being pleasant and relaxing, these scenes are oppressively still and sometimes claustrophobic.

A Visit to the Yacht (1873), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 34 by 21 in./87.6 by 56 cm. Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org).

In A Visit to the Yacht (1873), the two couples and the girl do not interact.  They are bored and tense, just waiting in the same small space.  Tissot sold this picture directly to Agnew’s, London for £650, as La Visite au Navire.  Shortly after, Agnew’s, Liverpool sold the picture to David Jardine (1827-1911), a Liverpool timber broker, ship owner and art collector.  Jardine was born in New Brunswick, to a family that had grown wealthy from the Canadian timber industry.  After moving to Liverpool, Jardine eventually became Chairman of the Cunard Steamship Company.

In 1922, the painting was purchased at Christie’s, London by Vicars Brothers, art dealers in London.

William Hulme Lever, 2nd Viscount Leverhulme (1888 – 1949), who co-founded Unilever in 1930, purchased Tissot’s A Visit to the Yacht from the Leicester Galleries in 1933.  Upon his death, Philip William Bryce Lever, 3rd Viscount Leverhulme (1915 – 2000), succeeded to the title; he became Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire a few months later and was appointed a Knight of the Garter in 1988.  Prior to his death in 2000, he lived and entertained at Thornton Manor in Cheshire, where his guests included Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, and Lord Snowdon, as well as members of other royal families, heads of state, and notable people from the worlds of industry, academia and the arts.  The last male descendant of the 1st Viscount Leverhulme, his titles became extinct.

Tissot’s A Visit to the Yacht was owned by the Estate of the 3rd Viscount Leverhulme, which sold The Leverhulme Collection from Thornton Manor at Sotheby’s in June, 2001.  However, several paintings including A Visit to the Yacht were exhibited at the Lady Lever Art Gallery by the 3rd Viscount’s Executors.

The Trustees of the 3rd Viscount Leverhulme Will Trust offered Tissot’s A Visit to the Yacht  for sale at Sotheby’s, London on December 4, 2013, but it did not find a buyer.  However, it was announced later that the painting was sold privately to a buyer in the United States for a price within the estimated £2 to 3 million GBP it was expected to bring at the auction.

Tissot painted three versions of Waiting for the Ferry, one in 1874 and two around 1878, at the dock beside the Falcon Tavern, Gravesend.  The women in these pictures don’t look preoccupied with their thoughts, or bored, as if they had something better to do:  they’re simply waiting.

Waiting for the ferry outside the Falcon Inn (1874), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 26 by 37 in. (66.04 by 93.98 cm). The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

In Tissot’s Waiting for the Ferry at the Falcon Tavern (1874), man is busy reading, the little girl is obviously bored, but the woman is calmly waiting.  This picture was exhibited at Nottingham Castle, and at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1887.  It then was in the collection of James Hall, Esq., a prominent collector of Pre-Raphaelite art and the grandfather of Mrs. Edward Reeves, who sold the painting at Christie’s, London in 1954 to the John Nicholson Gallery, New York for $ 4,339 (£ 1550).  In 1963, prominent collector Mrs. Blakemore Wheeler, who had owned the painting by 1957, gifted it to the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

Waiting for the Ferry (c. 1878), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 10 by 14 in. (26.7 by 35.6 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

In about 1876, Tissot’s young mistress and muse, Kathleen Irene Ashburnham Kelly Newton (1854 – 1882), moved into his home at 17 (now 44), Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood, London.  Tissot often painted her in his house or garden.  Since they did not marry, they could not socialize in Victorian Society, but they made excursions outside London to places including Greenwich.  The man in this picture, who may have been modeled by Kathleen’s brother, Frederick Kelly, is obviously bored, but the woman just waits.

This version of Waiting for the Ferry was with Leicester Galleries, London, by 1936, and again until about 1953.  It was purchased by by English actor Alec Guinness (1914 – 2000) around 1955, before he was knighted, and it was sold at Christie’s in 1977 as Waiting for the Boat at Greenwich.  It was purchased by the Owen Edgar Gallery, then by Roy Miles Fine Paintings and by 1984-85 belonged to Samuel A. McLean.

Waiting for the Ferry (c. 1878), by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 9 by 13¾ in. (22.5 by 32.5 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

This version of Waiting for the Ferry does show the woman, modeled by Kathleen Newton, looking as bored as the two children, while the man, who was modeled by the artist himself, appears to be talking or whispering to her.  This picture was owned by Mrs. Viva King by 1968.  In 1920s London, Viva King was a beautiful and vivacious free spirit called the “Queen of Bohemia” by English writer Osbert Sitwell.  Her husband, Willie King, was a curator at the British Museum, and in the 1940s, Viva was the hostess of a successful salon at Thurloe Square.   Her Waiting for the Ferry later belonged to Charles de Pauw.   It was sold at Christie’s, London in 1978 for $ 39,754/£ 22,000; Sotheby’s, London in 1986 for $ 73,568/£ 49,000; and Christie’s, London in 1993 for $ 148,650/£ 100,000.

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

Incidentally, while this version of Waiting for the Ferry is supposed to have been painted around 1878, Kathleen Newton’s son, Cecil, was born in March, 1876, and he clearly is older than two or two and a half here.  In fact, it must have been painted in 1882, when Tissot painted Cecil at about six in The Garden Bench, wearing the same knit cap and brown suit.  That would make the young girl in this Waiting for the Ferry Lilian Hervey, Kathleen Newton’s niece, who was seven in 1882 [Kathleen’s daughter, Muriel Violet Newton, was born in December, 1871 and would have been about ten at this time, too old to be the girl shown in this version of Waiting for the Ferry].

Tissot, Kathleen Newton, Cecil Newton, and Lilian Hervey posed for a photograph that gives some insight into how the artist composed this version of Waiting for the Ferry.

Kathleen Newton (center) and James Tissot (right) with her son, Cecil Newton. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Kathleen Newton (center) and James Tissot (right) with her son, Cecil Newton. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The Terrace of the Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich, London, by James Tissot. Oil on panel, 11 by 14 in. (27.94 by 35.56 cm). Private Collection. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

On the Terrace of Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich, London (c. 1878) depicts people in a situation that suggests social interaction, but they appear to merely wait for something, with only the smoker evincing boredom.  This painting is inscribed “No. 1 Trafalgar Tavern/(Greenwich)/oil painting/James Tissot/17 Grove End Road/St John’s Wood/London/N.W.” on an old label on the reverse.  It belonged to Sir Thomas Wilson, Bt., before it was sold at Sotheby’s, Belgravia in 1970 for $ 9,839/£ 4,100.  As “The Property of a Lady of Title,” it was sold at Christie’s, London in 1993 for $ 193,245/£ 130,000.

No other painter painted the act of waiting like Tissot, or as often as Tissot did.

Related posts:

For sale: A Visit to the Yacht, c. 1873, by James Tissot

James Tissot Domesticated

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

© 2015 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.