Tag Archives: Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Tissot’s Tiger Skin: A Prominent Prop

Since today is April Fool’s Day – and my birthday – let’s have a lighthearted look at a prop that James Tissot often used, a tiger skin.  

In 1877, Tissot draped a tiger skin over a wide upholstered armchair to underscore the masculinity and dynamism of his sometime art dealer, Algernon Moses Marsden (1847 – 1920).  [Marsden actually deserved to be portrayed with a rat skin, as he was a gambler, bankrupt and rogue who foisted his debts on his father and abandoned his wife and ten children.  See Who was Algernon Moses Marsden?]

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

Other Victorian artists, notably Tissot’s friend Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912) as well as Alma-Tadema’s protégé John William Godward (1861 – 1922), featured tiger skins as an exotic element in sensual paintings of lovely women.

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Cherries (1873), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Private Collection. (Image: Wikimedia.org)

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The Priestess of Bacchus (1885-89), by John Maler Collier (1850-1934). (Image: Wikimedia.org)

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The Sweet Siesta of a Summer Day (1891), by John William Godward. (Image: Wikimedia.org)

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Dolce Far Niente (1897), by John William Godward. (Image: Wikimedia.org)

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Eighty and Eighteen (1898), by John William Godward. (Image: Wikimedia.org)

James Tissot, so technically skilled and refined, almost never presented open sensuality in his work, especially during the years he painted in England (1871–1882).  He used the tiger skin in his paintings for textural complexity and to illustrate the lushness of the Victorian leisured life.  After Tissot’s mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854–1882), moved into his home, he added a leopard skin rug to his prop collection.

In Hide and Seek (c. 1877), Tissot featured both the leopard skin and the tiger skin, among many textures including the Oriental porcelain, the two mirrors, the leather-armed chaise, the polished wooden occasional table, and the round enameled table in the foreground.

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Hide and Seek (c. 1877), by James Tissot. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 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

In Reading a Story (c. 1878-79), the leopard skin is tossed over a bench in Tissot’s garden:

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Reading a Story (c. 1878-79), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Image: Wikiart.org)

In 1880, it lines Mrs. Newton’s chair in A Type of Beauty.

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A Type of Beauty (Portrait of Kathleen Newton, 1880), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Image: Wikipedia.org).

The leopard skin is draped neatly over the garden bench in pictures from 1881 to 1882:

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Quiet (c. 1881), by James Tissot. Private Collection. (Image: Wikiart.org)

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

Tissot also shows the leopard skin used as the family picnic rug, c. 1881.

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In Full Sunlight (En plein soleil, c. 1881), by James Tissot.  Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Open Access.

How prim Tissot, the Frenchman, seems compared to the Dutch-born Alma-Tadema!

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The Tepidarium (1881), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. (Image: Wikimedia.org)

By 1882, enjoying his domestic life with Kathleen Newton and her two children, Tissot’s tiger skin is emblematic of the exuberance of their days – which would end with Kathleen’s death of tuberculosis in November.

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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: Wikipaintings.org)

But while James Tissot did not use his tiger skin in erotic images, he did use it to create one with an improving moral message.

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Triumph of Will: The Challenge (1877), by James Tissot. (Image: Wikiart.org)

Even in La femme préhistorique (The Prehistoric Woman), Tissot shuns the opportunity to paint an erotic semi-nude primitive; he veers off with his own idiosyncratic approach.

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La femme prehistorique, by James Tissot. (Image: Wikimedia.org)

But, then, at least Tissot never inflicted this type of image upon posterity:

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Autumn Flowers, by Jehan Georges Vibert (1840 – 1902). (Image: Wikiart.org)

Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me, and please enjoy other posts on my blog as well as my novel about James Tissot, The Hammock!

Previous April Fool’s Day posts:

The Missing Tissot Nudes

Was James Tissot a Plagiarist?

Tissot and his Friends Clown Around

Happy Hour with James Tissot

©  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.

The Stars of Victorian Painting: Auction Prices

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.] 

What is the current value of paintings by the most popular artists of the mid- to late Victorian era?  Can you guess whose work brings the top price to date?  Where do James Tissot and your favorite artist rank?  Here is a list of the twenty-three most valuable pictures sold in the past twenty-one years, from bottom up:

 

23.  John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917), Ophelia (1894)

Phillips, London (2000):  $ 2,253,300/£ 1,500,000

Ophelia (1894), by John William Waterhouse. Oil on canvas, 49 by 29 in. (124.46 by 73.66 cm). (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

 

22.  Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912), Roses of Heliogabalus (1888)

Christie’s, London (1993):  $ 2,288,250/£ 1,500,000

Roses of Heliogabalus (1888), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Oil on canvas, 52 by 84 in. (132.08 by 213.36 cm). (Photo Wikimedia.org)

 

21 (tie).  James Tissot (1836 – 1902), Mavourneen, Portrait of Kathleen Newton (1877)

Christie’s, New York (1995):  $ 2,300,000/£ 1,433,915

Mavourneen, Portrait of Kathleen Newton (1877), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 36 by 20 in. (91.44 by 50.80 cm). (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

 

21 (tie).  Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912).  Baths of Caracalia – Thermae Antoniniane (1899)

Sotheby’s, New York (1993):  $ 2,300,000/£ 1,488,191

Baths of Caracalia – Thermae Antoniniane (1899), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Oil on canvas, 60 by 37 in. (152.40 by 93.98 cm). (Photo: Wikiart.org)

 

20.  James Tissot (1836 – 1902), La cheminée (The Fireplace, c. 1869)

Christie’s, London (2003):  $ 2,334,780/£ 1,400,000

La cheminée, (c. 1869), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 20 by 13 in. (50.80 by 33.02 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

19.  James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903), Harmony in grey, Chelsea in ice (1864)

Christie’s, New York (2000):  $ 2,600,000/£ 1,768,106

 

18.  John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917), Ophelia (1889)

Sotheby’s, London (2001):  $ 2,633,290/£ 1,850,000

Ophelia (1889), by John William Waterhouse. Oil on canvas, 39 by 62 in. (99.06 by 157.48 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

17.  James Tissot (1836 – 1902), L’Orpheline (Orphans, 1879)

Christie’s, New York (1993):  $ 2,700,000/£ 1,867,865

L’Orpheline (Orphans, 1879), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 85 by 43 in. (215.90 by 109.22 cm). (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

 

16.  James Tissot (1836 – 1902), Preparing for the gala (c. 1874-76)

Christie’s, London (2006):  $ 2,763,150/£ 1,500,000

 

15.  William Holman Hunt (1827 – 1910), The Shadow of Death (1873)

Sotheby’s, London (1994):  $ 2,778,650/£ 1,700,000

The Shadow of Death (1873), by William Holman Hunt. Oil on panel, 41 by 32 in. (104.14 by 81.28 cm). (Photo: wikipaintings.org)

 

14.  James Tissot (1836 – 1902), October (1878)

Sotheby’s, New York (1995):  $ 2,800,000/£ 1,775,185

October (1878), by James Tissot. Oil on canvas, 46 by 21 in. (116.84 by 53.34 cm). (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

 

13.  Sir John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896), Sleeping (1865)

Christie’s, London (1999):  $ 3,041,520/£ 1,900,000

Sleeping (1865), by John Everett Millais. Oil on canvas, 35 by 27 in. (88.90 by 68.58 cm). (Photo: Wikipaintings.org)

 

12.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882), The Salutation of Beatrice (1869)

Christie’s, London (2012):  $ 3,334,788/£ 2,169,250 (Premium)

The Salutation of Beatrice (1869), by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Oil on canvas, 22.48 by 18.50 in. (57.10 by 47.00 cm). (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

 

11.  Albert Joseph Moore (1841 – 1893), Jasmine (c. 1880)

Christie’s, London (2008):  $ 3,476,301/£ 1,777,250 (Premium)

Jasmine (c. 1880), by Albert Moore. Oil on canvas, 26.22 by 19.72 in. (66.60 by 50.10 cm). (Photo: Wikiart.org)

 

10.  Sir John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896), Sisters (1868)

Christie’s, London (2013):  $ 3,492,865/£ 2,301,875 (Premium)

Sisters (1868), by John Everett Millais. Oil on canvas, 42.52 by 42.52 in. (108.00 by 108.00 cm) (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

9.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882), Pandora (1869)

Christie’s, London (2000):  $ 3,605,280/£ 2,400,000

In 2004, Pandora sold for $ 2,378,480/£ 1,300,000 (Hammer) at Christie’s, London.

Pandora (1869), by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Pastel on paper, 37 by 26 in. (93.98 by 66.04 cm). (Photo: Wikiart.org)

 

8.  James Tissot (1836 – 1902), Le banc de jardin (The Garden Bench, 1880)

Sotheby’s, New York (1994):  $ 4,800,000/£ 3,035,093

Le banc de jardin (The Garden Bench, 1880). Oil on canvas, 39 by 56 in. (99.06 by 142.24 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

7.  William Holman Hunt (1827 – 1910), Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1867)

Christie’s, London (2014):  $ 4,890,161/£ 2,882,500 (Premium)

Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1867), by William Holman Hunt. Oil on canvas, 23.86 by 15.24 in. (60.60 by 38.70 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

6.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882), Proserpine (1880)

Sotheby’s, London (2013):  $ 5,279,476/£ 3,274,500 (Premium)

Proserpine (1880), by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Colored chalks, 47.24 by 22.05 in. (120.00 by 56.00 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

5.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882), A Christmas Carol (1867)

Sotheby’s, London (2013):  $ 7,463,337/£ 4,562,500 (Premium)

A Christmas Carol, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Oil on panel, 17.91 by 14.96 in. (45.50 by 38.00 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

4.  John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917), St. Cecilia (1895)

Christie’s, London (2000):  $ 9,013,200/£ 6,000,000

St. Cecilia (1895), by John William Waterhouse. Oil on canvas, 48 by 79 in. (121.92 by 200.66 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

3.  Sir Edward Coley BurneJones (1833 – 1898), Love among the Ruins (1873)

Christie’s, London (2013):  $ 22,527,130/£ 14,845,875 (Premium)

Love Among the Ruins (1873), by Edward Burne-Jones. Watercolor, 37.99 by 60.00 in. (96.50 by 152.40 cm) (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

2.  Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912), The Meeting Of Antony And Cleopatra: 41 BC (1883)

Sotheby’s, New York (2011):  $ 29,202,500/£ 17,802,060 (Premium)

The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra: 41 BC (1883), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Oil on panel, 25 3/4 x 36 in. (65.5 by 91.4 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

1.  Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912), The Finding of Moses (1904)

Sotheby’s, New York (2010):  $ 35,922,500/£ 22,080,336 (Premium)

The finding of Moses sold for $ 2,500,000/£ 1,558,603 (Hammer) at Christie’s, New York in 1995.

The Finding of Moses (1904), Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Oil on canvas, 53.82 by 84.02 in. (136.70 by 213.40 cm). (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

 

This price list is not in perfect order because, as I noted at the outset, some prices are hammer price (the winning bid amount) and some include the premium (hammer price with an additional percentage charged by the auction house, plus taxes).  But I’ve compiled the list using the best information available, and I hope you enjoy it!

©  2014 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

Related posts:

Tissot vs. Whistler, Degas, Manet & Morisot oils at auction

James Tissot oils at auction: Seven favorites

Kathleen Newton by James Tissot: eight auctioned oil paintings

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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

On a sunny September afternoon, a black cab brought my husband and me to the gate at James Tissot’s former home in London, in Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood.  Built in 1825, the house was No. 17 when Tissot lived in it from early 1873 to late 1882; it now is No. 44.

IMG_5043, to use on blogBehind the glossy wooden gate is a graveled courtyard and parking area, and it was bustling with the household staff of a couple with four sons, who bought the house in 2006.

We were ushered through a covered, colonnaded access way to the front door, where we were met by the lady of the house.  Unpretentious and kind, she earned a degree from the University of Richmond – a 15-minute drive from my home in Virginia.  She offered us refreshments and graciously showed us through her home.  She once had lived nearby, had always admired the house, and was intrigued when it came on the market in 2006, for the first time since the mid-1950s.

The house had been renovated and returned to an imposing, single-family dwelling in 2003.  [See James Tissot’s house at St. John’s Wood, London.]

When the house went up for sale, The Sunday Times [London] reported:

“It is spread over four floors, relatively few for a property of this size, and the ground and first floors are a sprawling 5,000 square feet per floor.  There are seven bedroom suites (with space for en-suite bathrooms and dressing rooms); a three storey-high artist’s studio with enormous windows; five large reception rooms (the main one leading to a conservatory); billiard room; security room; staff living quarters; a kitchen; countless storage rooms and a lift.  All the main reception rooms are on the ground floor.  All up, it’s 16,000 square feet and, with the garden, measures 0.6 of an acre.”

Bathrooms and a kitchen needed to be installed, and a great number of other renovations were necessary.

When James Tissot moved into the house in early in 1873, it was a medium-sized, two-storey Queen Anne villa.  In 1875, Tissot built an extension with a studio and huge conservatory that doubled the size of his house.  Eight years later, after the funeral of his young mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton (1854 – 1882), Tissot moved to Paris.  See James Tissot’s garden idyll & Kathleen Newton’s death.

IMG_5040, shot to use on blogThrough an agent, the painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema purchased the house in 1883, moved into it in mid-1885, and began extensive remodeling to enlarge and modify it into an Italianate mansion appropriate for his popular paintings of ancient Rome.

He built a three-story studio, capped with a semi-circular dome covered in aluminum, which gave a silvery tone to his paintings.

Alma-Tadema died in 1912, and the house was converted to apartments in the 1920s.  It later fell into disrepair and ended up on English Heritage’s “at risk” register.  In 1975, the property was marked with a blue plaque in honor of Alma-Tadema’s residence.

The property has been a Grade II listed building since 1987:  Grade II listed buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest.  A listed building may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority.  The current owners followed strict guidelines in their remodeling and upgrades.  You can see some of the results at http://www.jenkins-design.co.uk/groveendroad/.

Now, elegant white walls are punctuated by wide Victorian doors of dark, polished wood, and here and there are built-in wooden cabinets and painted 19th-century cupboards.  The doors were found in the basement and reattached, and the cabinets and cupboards are protected by the property’s Grade II status.  The artistic mottoes that Alma-Tadema painted over a few thresholds remain, and the lady of the house has a soft spot for these sentiments about the joy of friends and conviviality.  Her home, decorated in a modern, minimalist style with contemporary art, perfectly marries Victorian touches with the owners’ taste:  one door is flanked by Alma-Tadema’s exotic, red-patterned ceramic tiles, and our hostess found a china pattern that echoes them.  Her husband initially was not keen on living in a Victorian house, but has grown to love it as well.  It is very much a comfortable family home exuding hospitality.

The dining area, also painted white, is clearly a Victorian space, with its dark mantel, ceiling beams and towering cabinetry.  The original, hefty bronze door rings are charming.

The centerpiece of the house is the room, now a spacious reception area, which was Alma-Tadema’s three-storey studio, with its huge, half-domed apse that faces slightly northeast.  He had covered it with aluminum, and the effect has been recreated with squares of aluminum leaf that also meld with the current décor.  The owners also recreated Alma-Tadema’s long, Romanesque frieze across the balcony overlooking the studio.

Hide and Seek (1877), by James Tissot.

Hide and Seek (1877), by James Tissot.

It was challenging for me to observe any presence of James Tissot’s gorgeously cluttered Victorian home in this sprawling, immaculately modern dwelling with an underground swimming pool and spa.  As we followed our hostess up stairways and down shorter flights of steps, and through halls and nooks, I felt disoriented as I struggled to glimpse the footprint of the studio extension that Tissot constructed in 1875.  Looking out the windows did not help, as the garden is much smaller now than it was when the house was Tissot’s.  The pool, on the eastern side of the house, which Tissot painted so often was buried during the renovations due to its dilapidated condition.  But as I again descended the steps from Alma-Tadema’s grand studio and faced a small, sun-lit conservatory, I suddenly felt a sense of déjà vu.  The conservatory has a monstera tree that our hostess chose to have planted there because of a specimen she had seen in The Regent’s Park.  Only later did she realize it is the exact tree that appears in many of Tissot’s oil paintings, such as In the Conservatory (Rivals), The Bunch of Lilacs, and Dans la serre.  She said the coincidence makes her shiver.

In the Conservatory (Rivals), . 1875, by James Tissot. Note the monstera plant in the background on the left. (Photo: Wikiart.org)

She generously invited my husband and me to linger and have another look at any part of the house we wished to see again.  It was the garden I wanted to study more closely, but try as I might, I could discern little resemblance to the colonnaded idyll that Tissot created in 1875.

Rather than being a museum, the house where James Tissot and Lawrence Alma-Tadema lived and painted is alive and lovingly cared for by people who respect the home’s history and are sensitive to the interest in the building.  In addition, the current owners run a charitable foundation from the house which provides opportunities for bright people from the developing world, especially the Middle East, to have a good education and also supports a number of humanitarian causes.

We thanked our hostess for sharing her time and her home with us and were shown by staff back through the labyrinth of rooms to the front of the house.

That day, we also explored some sites associated with Kathleen Kelly.

Church of Our Lady, 1

Church of Our Lady, Lisson Grove, built in 1836.

Kathleen Irene Ashburnham Kelly Newton, Tissot’s beguiling mistress, 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 returned to Paris.

For those of you who are Beatles fans, Tissot’s former home is just steps away from the crossing at Abbey Road, made famous by the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, released in 1969 and still the band’s best-selling album.

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6 Hill Road

 

 

We crossed Abbey Road to find the house that Kathleen Newton lived in when she met James Tissot around 1875 or 1876, when she was staying with her married sister, Mary Pauline “Polly” Ashburnham Kelly Hervey (1851/52 – 1896), and her husband and children at 6 Hill Road.

Click here to see an 1871 London map showing Grove End Road in relation to Hill Road.

The Church of Our Lady is further south, and St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery is at Kensal Green, west of St. John’s Wood.

Kathleen Newton’s grave is located a short walk from the cemetery office; the cemetery superintendent led us there.

Gravestone, closeup 2You would have to know where to look for plot 2903A, because it is difficult to read the name on the grave.

Also, the standing cross has fallen, and its disintegrating pieces are laid over the grave.

Just to the left are two similar graves from 1893 and 1894, and they are in excellent shape with the crosses still standing, but there are other nearby graves in the same condition as Kathleen Newton’s.

We found her grave covered with weeds, but I had come prepared with a pair of disposable gloves and cleared it as best as I was able.  It took a fair bit of time, and some of the growth was too prickly to remove.

Grave, weedy

Kathleen Newton’s grave as we found it.

 

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The grave after the weeds were pulled.

 

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Kathleen Newton’s grave, under the chestnut tree to the far right, between the tall cross and the raised tomb.

Arched over Kathleen’s grave are the branches of a lovely chestnut tree – the same tree that James Tissot painted over her in life in pictures including Holyday and October.  She was loved and celebrated, and though her grave is neglected and dilapidated, her beauty and her name will live forever.

That afternoon was unforgettable and a highlight of our week in the U.K.

Related posts:

Tissot in the Conservatory

Kathleen Newton by James Tissot: eight auctioned oil paintings

©  2014 by Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

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

The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot, brings Tissot’s world from 1870 to 1879 alive in a story of war, art, Society glamour, love, scandal, and tragedy.

Illustrated with 17 stunning, high-resolution fine art images in full color

Courtesy of The Bridgeman Art Library

(295 pages; ISBN (ePub):  978-0-615-68267-9).    See http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009P5RYVE.

 

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

Kathleen Newton In An Armchair

Kathleen Newton in an Armchair, by James Tissot   (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James Tissot’s mistress and muse, Kathleen Kelly Newton, died of tuberculosis on November 9, 1882 and was buried in plot 2903A (register no. 043971) in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Green, North West London (west of Regent’s Park).  [See James Tissot’s garden idyll & Kathleen Newton’s death.]

After her funeral on November 14, Tissot returned to Paris.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema.  Photo: alma-tadema.com

Tissot had been friends with Dutch-born painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 – 1912) since 1859, when they met as students in Antwerp.  Reunited in London, where Alma-Tadema now lived on the north side of the Regent’s Park with his young wife, Laura Epps (1852 – 1909),  the two painters had a falling out in the mid-1870s.  Through an agent, Alma-Tadema purchased James Tissot’s house at 17 (now 44) Grove End Road in St. John’s Wood by 1883, but he could not move in until he sold his home, Townshend House.  After a two-year wait, Lawrence Alma-Tadema moved into Tissot’s former home on July 17, 1885, and began extensive remodeling.  He enlarged and modified Tissot’s Queen Anne villa into an Italianate mansion appropriate for his popular (and expensive) paintings of ancient Rome.  Alma-Tadema enhanced the garden and colonnaded pool that Tissot had built with huge classical urns and fountains splashing water over exotic fish.  He built a Dutch-style studio for Laura, who also painted, and a three-story studio for himself, capped with a semi-circular dome covered in aluminum, which gave a silvery tone to his paintings.

In My Studio (1893), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Photo: wikipaintings

Alma-Tadema painted and renovated his new home while his wife and two daughters lived in Windsor, in the home of a friend who was travelling abroad.  His décor included a Japanese room, a Chinese room, and an Arabic room.

In 1886, he spent so much of his time supervising work on the house that he only completed three paintings.  His grand home was written up by journalists, impressed by his copper-covered entrance, Mexican onyx windows, and a brass stairway (taken for gold by some visitors) leading to his studio.  The Pall Mall Gazette called his home “The Palace of the Beautiful.”

His family finally moved in on November 17, 1886, and Alma-Tadema and his wife hosted Monday afternoon open houses and  lavish Tuesday evening dinners and concerts for friends such as the Prince and Princess of Wales, the composer Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893), French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917), novelist Henry James (1843 – 1916), French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844 – 1923), internationally-acclaimed portrait painter John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925), Polish pianist and composer Ignacy Paderewski (1860 –1941), Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873 – 1921) and Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965).

James Tissot owned the house at Grove End Road only from 1873 to 1882, while Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, a Royal Academician, owned it for nearly thirty years, from 1883 until 1912.  The house was converted to apartments in the 1920s and fell into disrepair.  During World War II, it was occupied by the Army, then bombed and damaged by fire.  Tissot’s cast iron colonnade was torn down in 1947 and replaced with garages.  The house was later converted into eleven flats, again fell into disrepair, and was listed on English Heritage’s “at risk” register.  The Savage family bought it in the mid-1950s and restored it to a single dwelling in 2003 – with an investment of £5 million GBP.

Photo: Flickr

A Grade II listed building since 1987, 44, Grove End Road went on the market in 2006 for £17 million GBP, the same price paid somewhat earlier for a vacant half-acre of land on nearby Avenue Road.

[Grade II listed buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest; a listed building may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority.]

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema - Blue Plaque - Londo...

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema – Blue Plaque – London, England (Photo credit: rchappo2002)

When the house went up for sale, The Sunday Times [London] reported:

“It is spread over four floors, relatively few for a property of this size, and the ground and first floors are a sprawling 5,000 square feet per floor.  There are seven bedroom suites (with space for en-suite bathrooms and dressing rooms); a three storey-high artist’s studio with enormous windows; five large reception rooms (the main one leading to a conservatory); billiard room; security room; staff living quarters; a kitchen; countless storage rooms and a lift.  All the main reception rooms are on the ground floor.  All up, it’s 16,000 square feet and, with the garden, measures 0.6 of an acre.”

44, Grove End Road, London on August 1, 2008. (Photo: wikimedia.org)

Though bathrooms and a kitchen were needed, at an estimated cost of £3 to 4 million GBP, a buyer was found.  44, Grove End Road is now the address of a charitable organization, established in 2006, that works in the U.K. and the Arab world, particularly in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

Coincidental to the 2006 sale of James Tissot’s former home was the 2006 sale of Preparing for the Gala (c. 1874).  Painted in Tissot’s garden in St. John’s Wood.  Preparing for the gala, which was sold by Sotheby’s, New York in May, 1996 for $1,650,000/£ 1,090,188, was sold by Christie’s, London in 2006 for $ 2,763,150/£ 1,500,000.

Related posts:  

Tissot in the Conservatory

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

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

© Copyright Lucy Paquette 2013.  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.

Courage & Cowardice: The Impressionists at War, 1870 (Part 1 of 2)

CH377762NOTE:  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.

By September, 1870, Channel boats were lined up to ferry people to safety in England.

English: , Dutch-British painter

Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lawrence Alma-Tadema, who had been working in Paris over the summer but who lived in Brussels, boarded a Channel boat at the beginning of September 1870* with his two small daughters and his sister Artje.  In London, he rented a house and studio at 4 Camden Square that belonged to British artist Frederick Goodall (Goodall, who like Alma-Tadema was one of the dealer Ernest Gambart’s artists, was travelling in Egypt).  Alma-Tadema immediately arranged to give painting lessons to Laura Epps, now 18, whom he had met and fallen in love with on a trip to London in December 1869.  Laura, a doctor’s daughter with two sisters who also studied painting, modeled for In the temple (No 132, 1871).  The thirty-four-year-old Alma-Tadema proposed marriage, and though her father at first was opposed, he finally agreed as long as they would wait and get to know each other better first.

Portrait of the painter Claude Monet

Portrait of the painter Claude Monet, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the news of Napoleon’s surrender on September 2, 29-year-old socialist Claude Monet left for London to avoid the war – without his former model and new wife, Camille, and their infant son, Jean, both of whom joined him later.  They first lived at 11, Arundel Street, near Piccadilly Circus and then moved to 1, Bath Place, Kensington.

Paul Cézanne, 31, also dodged the draft.  He took his twenty-year-old model and mistress, Hortense Fiquet – whom he had met the previous year — nearly twenty miles north of Marseilles to Aix-en-Provence, where he had been raised.  When the authorities came after him, he and Hortense fled to L’Estaque, a remote fishing village closer to Marseilles.

Camille Pissarro, now 40, was a socialist willing to fight for his ideals but unwilling to fight for Napoleon III.  In September, he fled from Louveciennes (west of Paris) with his pregnant mistress, Julie Vellay, a vineyard grower’s daughter and his mother’s maid, and his two children, Jeanne (called Minette, age 5) and Lucien (age 7).  They took refuge at a friend’s farm in Brittany.  The baby died at birth on November 5, and Pissarro wanted his family to be safe.  Since he was born on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas, which was owned by Denmark, he was legally Danish.  He had lived in Paris only since 1855.  He wrote to his mother in London, and she replied, “You are not French.  Don’t do anything rash.”  By Christmas, 1870, Pissarro took his family to England, where they joined his mother and family living south of London in Upper Norwood.

www.camille-pissarro.org, Self-Portrait,-1873

Camille Pissarro, Self-Portrait (www.camille-pissarro.org)

Renoir by Bazille

Renoir by Bazille, 1867 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 29, was offered a staff post with the 10th Chasseurs, a light cavalry unit, in October.  Born to a working-class family, Renoir became an accomplished cavalryman, an opportunity usually open only to the sons of aristocrats.  Renoir also gave painting lessons to the daughter of the captain.  He was a pacifist, and he was terrified of gunfire, but as it happened, he did not see any action.  He first was sent to Bordeaux in southwestern France, then to nearby Libourne, where he became so ill with dysentery that he nearly died.  He ended up convalescing with an uncle in Bordeaux and later at his parents’ house in Louveciennes.

Bazille, Frédéric - Self Portrait

Frédéric Bazille – Self Portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frédéric Bazille joined the Third Regiment of the Zouaves, a light infantry regiment, in mid-August 1870.  By October, Bazille was in a village near Besançon in eastern France, and not having seen a single Prussian soldier yet, he was frustrated.  But on November 28, in the minor Battle of Beaune-la-Rolande near Orléans (about 80 miles southwest of Paris), when Bazille’s officer was injured, Bazille took command.  He led an assault on the Prussians – an unsuccessful one – and Bazille was struck twice during the retreat.  He died on the battlefield at age 28.  His father claimed his body from the snow and buried Bazille at Montpelier the following week.  Some of Bazille’s friends, such as Édouard Manet, did not learn of his death until February, 1871.

Alfred Sisley, a 31-year-old painter in Édouard Manet’s circle, lived near the avenue de Clichy in Paris, and his wealthy and cultivated parents lived in Bougival, west of Paris.  Sisley’s parents were English, but he was born in France and brought up in the capital.  He retained British citizenship though he had never mastered the English language.  Sisley lost everything he owned, and most of his paintings were looted or destroyed, when Prussian troops ransacked the family’s estate along with the town of Bougival.  By 1870, Sisley had been involved with Marie Louise Adélaïde Eugénie Lescouezec a 36-year-old artist’s model and florist from Brittany, for four years.  Sisley and she now had a three-year old son, Pierre, and an infant daughter, Jeanne.  Sisley traveled to London, where – like Monet and Pissarro — he met the art dealer Durand-Ruel and became one of his stable of artists.

Portrait of Alfred Sisley, painted by Pierre-A...

Portrait of Alfred Sisley, painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1868 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul Durand-Ruel, 39, also had fled Paris — with a hoard of paintings, many entrusted to him for safekeeping by various artists.  On December 10, 1870, he opened his first Annual Exhibition of the Society of French Artists at his new gallery at 168 New Bond Street.  Though there was no opportunity to exhibit or sell paintings in France during the war, the British would see the newest art from Paris.  It was mostly ignored – until British artists, trying to earn a living selling to the same pool of patrons, eventually became threatened by this different kind of siege.

 

Lawrence Alma-Tadema*, in my book, The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot © 2012, remains in Paris through Christmas, 1870 so that I can introduce him in the second chapter.

© 2013 Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

How much do you know about the Impressionists & War?  Take my quiz on goodreads.com!

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.

Exhibition Notes:

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity                                                                          February 26 – May 27, 2013 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

A revealing look at the role of fashion in the works of the Impressionists and their contemporaries. Some eighty major figure paintings, seen in concert with period costumes, accessories, fashion plates, photographs, and popular prints, will highlight the vital relationship between fashion and art during the pivotal years, from the mid-1860s to the mid-1880s, when Paris emerged as the style capital of the world.

 For more information, visit

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2013/impressionism-fashion-modernity

Genius, or only strange tricks? Tissot’s friends Whistler & Alma-Tadema at the Royal Academy, 1870 (Part II)

James Whistler, http://www.nndb.com

At the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1870, James Tissot’s friend from his student days, the American expatriate, James Whistler (1834 — 1903) showed Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony.  It was so exotic that a critic commented, “It might have been painted in Japan.”

Another wrote, “The picture, though clever, is singularly slight for its place in the Academy; we may next expect to see on the walls the Japanese screens sold in Regent Street.”  Whistler was still in his long artistic crisis – he had not exhibited at the Royal Academy or the Salon since 1867 — and this picture is all he had to show for the last few years of struggle.

Whistler’s professional struggles were intertwined with his personal issues.  Over the past few years, and while his pious and adoring mother resided with him at 2 Lindsey Row, Whistler had begun what biographer Roy McMullen called “a lifelong process of losing friends.”

At the end of 1864, Whistler’s warm, six-year friendship with French artist Alphonse Legros ended when they quarreled about money – and Whistler mocked Legros’ marriage to Miss Frances Rosetta Hodgson, a British girl who was fifteen when he wed her.  As if that weren’t enough, in April 1867, when Legros accused Whistler of lying about a business matter, Whistler sent him to the floor with a fist to the face.

Whistler’s 45-year-old half-sister, Deborah (whom he called “Debo” or “Sis”), lived in London, but his once-close relationship with her became difficult after he pushed her husband, Seymour Haden, through a plate-glass window in Paris in 1867.  Haden, a surgeon, collector and etcher, had encouraged Whistler in his etching from 1858 on, but the two were no longer on speaking terms.

The fact that Whistler had any friends at all is perhaps explained by French painter Henri Fantin-Latour in July 1866:  “For to me, Whistler is like a wife, like a mistress whom one loves in spite of all the troubles she gives you.  He is, after all, seductive.”

It was about 1870, through D.G. Rossetti, that Whistler befriended the shipping entrepreneur and art collector Frederick R. Leyland (1832 – 1892) of Liverpool, who could be indulgent and generous as well as cold and bad-tempered.  Over the next decade, Whistler and Leyland – along with his wife — would form an interesting relationship.

On June 10, 1870, Whistler became a father.  His son was borne by Louisa Fanny Hanson, a 21-year-old parlourmaid from Clapham.  Whistler later referred to the boy as “an infidelity to Jo,” and it was Joanna Hiffernan – his former mistress – who adopted and raised the boy, Charles James Whistler Hanson, called John.

As for James Tissot’s Brussels-based Dutch friend, Lourens Alma Tadema, he by now styled himself Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836—1912).  This shrewd move put him at the beginning of alphabetical catalog and exhibition listings as he showed three paintings at the Royal Academy in 1870:  The juggler/Un jongleur, (No 119), A Roman Interior/ Un Intérieur Romain, and A Roman art lover/Un Amateur Romain (No 120).

A Juggler/Un Jongleur (No 119), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Wikipedia Commons

A Roman art lover/Un Amateur Romain (No 120, 1870), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Milwaukee Art Museum

There were the British critics to contend with:

“The artist has not lacked literal truth so much as sincere conviction.  With Mr. Tadema, sneer and irony discolor truth; moreover, this eccentric Dutchman dresses up history in so grotesque a garb that he casts ridicule on scenes which he might seem to honor.  He paints a “juggler,” and he is himself a juggler; he astounds by startling feats.  Whether he has genius, or only strange tricks, the world can scarcely judge.  Genius lays hold of essential truth; pseudo-genius exaggerates accident.”  (The Saturday Review, June 18, 1870)

Nevertheless, in just his second exhibition in London, the short, blond and bespectacled Alma-Tadema – an extrovert with a pronounced Dutch accent – already was gaining a following among English collectors, thanks to his agent and advocate, Ernest Gambart.  Gambart also saw to it that Tadema’s work was included in an exhibition at St Mary’s Hall in Glasgow.  Scottish poet and artist William Bell Scott (1811 –1890) commented that Gambart was “working the oracle for Alma-Tadema very successfully.”

With his sister, Artje, helping him to raise his two young daughters, the recently-widowed Alma-Tadema worked toward completing the forty-eight paintings that Gambart had commissioned from him in late 1867.  He finished Catullus reading his poems at Lesbia’s house (No 121) in March and then, through August, worked exclusively on The vintage festival (No 122).

The Vintage Festival (No 122), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

A reviewer for The Athenaeum commented extensively on Alma-Tadema’s work at the 1870 Royal Academy.  He expressed “regret that these works show signs of haste to reap the fruits of skill with less cost of study than usual.  [He] has soon begun to forget the steps by which he won honors and fame.”  After describing these paintings for his readers in minute detail regardless, the writer is exhausted with foreigners and writes, “It is time we turned to an English painter; and we may begin with the works of Mr. Millais.”

Stay tuned for The Royal Academy Exhibition:  London, 1870 (Part III) – featuring J.E. Millais

 © 2013 Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

Exhibition notes:

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900
February 17–May 19, 2013 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The first major survey of the art of the Pre-Raphaelites to be shown in the United States features some 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects.

For more information, visit http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/preraphaelites.shtm

and

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity                                                                          February 26 – May 27, 2013 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

A revealing look at the role of fashion in the works of the Impressionists and their contemporaries. Some eighty major figure paintings, seen in concert with period costumes, accessories, fashion plates, photographs, and popular prints, will highlight the vital relationship between fashion and art during the pivotal years, from the mid-1860s to the mid-1880s, when Paris emerged as the style capital of the world.

 For more information, visit http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions

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.

Watch my new videos:

The Strange Career of James Tissot” (2:33 minutes)

and

Louise Jopling and James Tissot” (2:42 minutes)

Of Snobbery, Death & Parlormaids: Millais, Alma-Tadema & Whistler, 1869

CH377762NOTE:  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 at http://bitly.com/SNCvYu to read The Hammock:  A novel based on the true story of French painter James Tissot.  Read reviews.

In March 1869, Millais, now 40, was in Hastings, recuperating from typhoid.  Several weeks later, at the Royal Academy, he exhibited a portrait of his deerstalking friend, the millionaire London Underground engineer John Fowler, as well as Vanessa, both painted the previous year.  But he was prolific, and he also exhibited The Gambler’s Wife, A Dream of Dawn, The End of the Chapter and Miss Nina Lehmann, daughter of F. Lehmann, Esq.

English: Vanessa, 1868, by John Everett Millais

Vanessa, 1868, by John Everett Millais (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet

Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet (Photo credit: Wikipedia) by J.E. Millais

In these years, while living at 7 Cromwell Place near the South Kensington Museum, John and Effie Millais socialized at grand balls and state receptions with the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, Cyril Flower (later Lord Battersea), and foreign dignitaries including Italy’s General Garibaldi, Prince Alexander of Bulgaria and the Shah of Persia.  Millais’ personal friends included notable literary, music, theatrical, scientific and political, diplomatic, and military figures.

Even so, while stag hunting in Scotland this year, Millais was frustrated to find the beats designated according to social rank, so that the lords and baronets were given the best shooting opportunities and Millais was relegated to stalking ground where there were no deer. Still, he characteristically referred to these men as “capital” chaps and only regretted that the snobbery was rather unsportsmanlike.

Whistler, living in London and still discouraged, had nothing to show for his artistic experimentation.  For all his earnest attempts, he did not complete any new work in 1869.  He had not exhibited his work since the Paris World Exposition in 1867.  He feared being rejected by the Salon and Royal Academy, and if his work was accepted, he feared the humiliation that it would be badly hung.

Whistler lived in some elegance at 2 Lindsay Row (now 96 Cheyne Walk), near Battersea Bridge, where he had moved upon his return from Valparaiso at the end of 1866.  He had broken off with Joanna Heffernan, though they saw each other occasionally.  Jo had been virtually his wife from 1861, modeling for him, managing his household and helping him sell his work.  But by 1869, at 35, Whistler had eyes for at least one other woman:  Louisa Fanny Hanson, age 20.  She is believed to have been a parlormaid from Clapham; she was the daughter of Frances Hanson, née Raymond, and Henry Hanson, a groom.

At this time, Tissot’s Dutch friend, Lourens Tadema (later Lawrence Alma-Tadema) was much decorated.  Living in Brussels, he had earned a gold medal at Paris in 1864 and a second-class medal at the International Exhibition at Paris in 1867; he was made a member of the Academy of Fine Arts at Amsterdam in 1862, a Knight of the Order of Leopold (Belgium) in 1866, a Knight of the Dutch Lion in 1868, and he was made a Knight First Class of the Order of St. Michael of Bavaria in 1869.

His art dealer, the influential Ernest Gambart who maintained his Continental office in Brussels, kept him close.  Gambart decided to enter two of Tadema’s best paintings — A Roman art lover: (Silver statue) (No 108, 1868) and The pyrrhic dance (No 111, 1869)  — into the 1869 Royal Academy Exhibition, now relocated from the National Gallery to Burlington House in Piccadilly. They were entered under the category of foreign works, and they immediately drew the ire of prominent art critic John Ruskin (whose marriage to Effie Millais was annulled in 1854).  Ruskin, now 50, described The pyrrhic dance as:

“the most dastardly of all these representations of classic life, was the little picture called the Pyrrhic Dance, of which the general effect was exactly like a microscopic view of a small detachment of black-beetles in search of a dead rat.”

A Pyrrhic Dance Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema - 186...

On May 28, 1869, Tadema’s wife of six years died of smallpox at the age of 32.  Marie-Pauline Gressin Dumoulin was the daughter of a French journalist, and it was on their honeymoon in Italy in 1863 – his first visit there — that he had been inspired to paint the life of ancient Rome.  He had painted her only a few times, as in My Studio (1867), and after her death, he never spoke of her again.  She left him with two young children – daughters, Anna (age two) and Laurense (age five).  His son had died of smallpox just four years earlier, in 1865.  Grief-stricken, Tadema’s health began to suffer, and he did not paint again until that autumn.  Tadema’s unmarried sister, Artje, had lived with him and Pauline; now she helped with the children and kept house for her brother at 29 Rue de la Limite.

My Studio (1867) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Courtesy of www.alma-tadema.org

My Studio (1867) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Courtesy http://www.alma-tadema.org

When Tadema’s doctors were unable to diagnose his medical problems, Gambart  advised him to consult with English physician Sir Henry Thompson (1820 – 1904).  Thompson*, who had been knighted two years ago, was a surgeon and professor at University College Hospital.  Six years earlier, he had performed a successful operation on the King of Belgium, who suffered from kidney stones.  In London, on December 26, Tadema attended a dance at the home of painter Ford Madox Brown (1821 — 1893) – and met Laura Theresa Epps (1852 — 1909).  The daughter of a doctor, Laura was a seventeen-year-old redhead — tall, slim, elegant, educated, musical, and interested in art — and the 33-year old Lourens Tadema fell in love with her.

Portrait of Miss Laura Theresa Epps (Lady Alma-Tadema), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.  Courtesy www.alma-tadema.org

Portrait of Miss Laura Theresa Epps (Lady Alma-Tadema), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Courtesy http://www.alma-tadema.org

Tadema did complete a number of paintings in 1869, including The convalescent (No 113, 1869), the first he completed after his wife’s death.  Others included A Wine Shop, Confidences, A Greek Woman, The Crossing of the River Berizina, and An Exedra.

English: Lawrence Alma-Tadema's art

Confidences (1869) Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Meanwhile, James Tissot had been enjoying his enormous success in Paris for only about five years, and his villa only since early 1868.  He was 33, and 1869 would be his final full year to enjoy the elegant, carefree life he had made for himself in the French capital. His lucrative new sideline – contributing full-color political cartoons to London’s ground-breaking Society magazine, Vanity Fair – would open a new market for his work and would be, perhaps, the best bit of luck ever to happen to James Tissot.

 

Sir Henry Thompson * also was an artist who exhibited his paintings at the Royal Academy and the Salon in Paris.

© 2013 Lucy Paquette.  All rights reserved.

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

 

Exhibition note:

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900

February 17–May 19, 2013 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The first major survey of the art of the Pre-Raphaelites to be shown in the United States features some 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects.

For more information, visit http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/preraphaelites.shtm

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.