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James Tissot

May - 10 - 2013
Tissot self portrait

Tissot in 1898 (detail of a self-portrait on silk)

James Tissot-French painter, illustrator and etcher, born at Nantes(Born on October 15, 1836 – died on August 8, 1902). The artist spent his entire career in Britain.

Early life

Tissot was born on October 15, 1836 to a family of Italian descent in the port town of Nantes, France. His father, Marcel Théodore Tissot, was a successful drapery merchant while his mother, Marie Durand, assisted her husband in his business and designed hats. His mother was also a devout Catholic and instilled pious devotion in Tissot from a very young age. It is widely believed that Tissot’s youth spent in Nantes contributed to his frequent depiction of shipping vessels and boats in his later works. His parents’ involvement in the fashion industry is also 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. Though his father did not support this decision, they eventually were able to overcome the disagreement.

James TissotStudied from c.1856 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, under Lamothe and H. Flandrin; became friendly with Whistler and Degas. Early influenced by Henri Leys and painted pictures of Faust and Marguerite. Later turned to scenes from contemporary life, especially of fashionable women, under the influence of Manet and Alfred Stevens. Took part in the defence of Paris and the Commune and was obliged to flee to London in 1871. Exhibited at the Royal Academy 1864 and 1872-81, and at the Grosvenor Gallery 1877-9. His paintings of the Thames were influenced by Whistler. Declined an invitation from Degas to participate in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. Returned to Paris in 1883, and had his first one-man exhibition that year at the Palais de l’Industrie there. Visited Palestine in 1886-7 and 1889 and devoted the rest of his life to illustrating the Bible, his illustrations being enormously successful. Tissot died in Doubs, France on August 8th, 1902, while living in the Château de Buillon, which he had inherited from his father in 1888.

Resources on the Internet
Small biography and works
The extensive article on Wikipedia

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