James Tissot Ambiguously modern - Exhibition catalogue
James Tissot (1836-1902) was a virtuoso painter whose elegance quickly spread beyond the borders of France. A native of Nantes, a companion of the Impressionists - Degas, Manet and Whistler were among his friends - Tissot was trained at the Beaux-Arts in Paris before moving to England, his chosen country from the 1870s onwards.
It was in London that his talents as a worldly portrait painter blossomed, encouraged by the Royal Academy. His dandyism naturally responded to the sophisticated charm of British high society, and his taste for observation seduced the press of the time (he painted inspired caricatures for Vanity Fair).
James Tissot painted the Victorian era with unparalleled delicacy. In his paintings, wise models with lost glances follow Proustian figures with fascinating toilets. His conventional genre scenes, in typical Second Empire interiors, are nevertheless shrouded in a striking mystery ...
Beyond these iconic images, this catalogue endeavours to present the biblical illustrations by Tissot that contributed to his fame, as well as his daring research in photography, printmaking and cloisonné enamel. Different techniques at the service of the same creative impulse, and which testify to the multiple works of a brilliant artist little exposed in France.
Exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay from 22 March to 19 July 2020
224pages / 250 illustrations
Rmn-Grand Palais Publications