5 Best James Tissot’s : From Fashionably Dressed Women into Bible Character

Jacques Joseph Tissot (French: [tiso]; 15 October 1836 – 8 August 1902), Anglicized as James Tissot (/ˈtɪs/), was a French painter and illustrator. He was a successful painter of Paris society before moving to London in 1871. He became famous as a genre painter of fashionably dressed women shown in various scenes of everyday life. He also painted scenes and characters from the Bible

  1. Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née, Thérèse Feuillant by James Jacques Tissot, 1866.  If you as someone who gravitates to all things Victorian era, seeing his paintings so perfectly defining an era, both symbolically and figuratively, it truly took breath away. Also, a patch of pink material was encased in glass to the right of the painting along with the description.  We didn’t know it at the time but we will would glance upon this woman’s face again.

2 .  This painting belongs to a series of allegories representing various months of the year. The sitter’s relaxed pose and the                distant beach suggest a summer vacation by the sea. Bright sunlight is reflected off the sand and filtered through the                      awning into the room, where it rebounds from the woman’s ruffled dress onto her face. The model has been identified as              Kathleen Newton, Tissot’s British mistress from 1876 until her death in 1882 (kimberlyevemusings.blogspot)

In 1875-6, Tissot met Kathleen Newton, a divorcee who became the painter’s companion and frequent model. He composed an etching of her in 1876 entitled Portrait of Mrs N., more commonly titled La frileuse. She gave birth to a son, Cecil George Newton in 1876, who is believed to be Tissot’s son. She moved into Tissot’s household in St. John’s Wood in 1876 and lived with him until her death in the late stages of consumption in 1882. Tissot frequently referred to these years with Newton as the happiest of his life, a time when he was able to live out his dream of a family life.

After Kathleen Newton’s death, Tissot returned to Paris. A major exhibition of his work took place in 1885 at the Galerie Sedelmeyer, where he showed 15 large paintings in a series called La Femme à Paris. Unlike the genre scenes of fashionable women he painted in London, these paintings represent different types and classes of women, shown in professional and social scenes. The works also show the widespread influence of Japanese prints, as he used unexpected angles and framing from that tradition. He created a monumental context in the size of the canvases. Tissot was among many Western artists and designers influenced at the time by Japanese art, fashion and aesthetic

 

 

 

3.   Jacques Tissot was born in the port town of Nantes, France and spent his early childhood there. His father, Marcel Théodore Tissot, was a successful drapery merchant. His mother, Marie Durand, assisted her husband in the family business and designed hats. A devout Catholic, Tissot’s mother instilled pious devotion in the future artist from a very young age. Tissot’s youth spent in Nantes likely contributed to his frequent depiction of shipping vessels and boats in his later works.

The involvement of his parents in the fashion industry is believed to have been an influence on his painting style, as he depicted women’s clothing in fine detail. By the time Tissot was 17, he knew he wanted to pursue painting as a career. His father opposed this, preferring his son to follow a business profession, but the young Tissot gained his mother’s support for his chosen vocation. Around this time, he began using the given name of James. By 1854 he was commonly known as James Tissot; he may have adopted it because of his increasing interest in everything English.

 

The Circle of the Rue Royale, a scene in Paris seen from the balcony of the Hôtel de Coislin overlooking the Place de la Concorde.(wikipedia)

4.     In 1859, Tissot exhibited in the Paris Salon for the first time. He showed five paintings of scenes from the Middle Ages, many depicting scenes from Goethe’s Faust. These works show the influence in his work of the Belgian painter Henri Leys (Jan August Hendrik Leys), whom Tissot had met in Antwerp earlier that same year. Other influences include the works of the German painters Peter von Cornelius and Moritz Retzsch. After Tissot had first exhibited at the Salon and before he had been awarded a medal, the French government paid 5,000 francs for his depiction of The Meeting of Faust and Marguerite in 1860, with the painting being exhibited at the Salon the following year, together with a portrait and other paintings.

 

 

5.  In 1885, Tissot had a revival of his Catholic faith, which led him to spend the rest of his life making paintings about Biblical events. Many of his artist friends were skeptical about his conversion, as it conveniently coincided with the French Catholic revival, a reaction against the secular attitude of the French Third Republic.  At a time when French artists were working in impressionism, pointillism, and heavy oil washes, Tissot was moving toward realism in his watercolors.

To assist in his completion of biblical illustrations, Tissot traveled to the Middle East in 1886, 1889, and 1896 to make studies of the landscape and people. His series of 365 gouache (opaque watercolor) illustrations showing the life of Christ were shown to critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences in Paris (1894–5), London (1896) and New York (1898–9), before being bought by the Brooklyn Museum in 1900.

They were published in a French edition in 1896–7 and in an English one in 1897–8, bringing Tissot vast wealth and fame. During July 1894, Tissot was awarded the Légion d’honneur, France’s most prestigious medal.  Tissot spent the last years of his life working on paintings of subjects from the Old Testament.  Although he never completed the series, he exhibited 80 of these paintings in Paris in 1901 and engravings after them were published in 1904.

 

The Creation, Jewish Museum (New York), 1896 and 1902