James J. J. Tissot
James J. J. Tissot, 1836-1902
En Plein Soleil. In the Sunlight.
Original etching with drypoint in blackish ink. 1881. Signed in pencil. Signed with the artist's red monogram stamp. Signed in the plate. From the edition of about 100 to 120. Printed by Goulding in London, 1881. Issued by Osgood, Boston USA, in the album: 'A Portfolio of Autograph Etchings', 1881. The image completed with the cat on the step.
Ref: Wentworth - Tissot Prints no 54. Tissot's catalogue 54. Extremely fine rich impression. On cream laid hollande-type paper. Generally excellent condition; a very minor loss in the upper sheet edge and slight remains of old mount hinges on the reverse only. Full margins. Sheet: 13 x 19 1/4ins. Plate: 7 3/4 x 11 5/8ins. (198x296mm).
Exceptionally fine impression signed both in pencil with red monogram stamp. The study is set in the garden of Tissot's house and Tissot used two photographs of Kathleen Newton together with her two children Violet and George to compose it.
Like 'The Elder Sister' this composition was based on photography. In this case Tissot used a composite of a number of photographs. Kathleen Newton in fact appears twice in the picture; in the foreground she is sitting by the closed parasol, together with her eldest child Violet (whose father had been Captain Palliser with whom she had her first affair - see no 3 in this catalogue). She is then seen again in the left background sitting on the low wall with her child George (whose father may well have been Tissot). In the background under the open parasol lies Lilian Hervey, her niece (see no 11 in this catalogue). Tissot used the composite of these various photographic studies to build up a very carefully constructed composition in which the placing of the figure groups, and the lines of the paths and the walls, are used to create a deliberate enclosed space enhancing the sense of a 'secret world' and of private emotion. (see no 7 'Le Croquet'). These themes had increasingly replaced society occasions and balls as the focus of Tissot's artistic inspiration as Kathleen became more and more unwell. It is in many ways this feeling of a carefully captured moment of private happiness which is preserved against future tragedy which gives the works of this period their particular poignancy and emotion.
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