Throughout his career, Tissot painted and etched very few nudes, and his understanding of anatomy was none too good. This print is one of three drypoints of nude young women, crowned with laurel leaves, holding large plaques, which were trials for a frontispiece to Tissot’s portfolio of ten etchings, published in 1876-77; the artist finally settled on a different subject for the frontispiece, “L’Auberge des Trois Corbeaux” (W. 29).
Signature: Signed and dated in the plate lower left J.J. Tissot 1875.
Krystyna Matyjaskiewicz, James Tissot, Phaidon Press & Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1984, no. 86, p. 115 (ill.).
About James Jacques-Joseph Tissot
In genre portraits of fashionable, high-society women in the late 1800s, James Jacques-Joseph Tissot captured the charmed elegance of his social world by documenting the costumes, decor, and events of the elite. A painter, printmaker, and enamelist, Tissot was a student of Hippolyte Flandrin and Louis Lamothe at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but later relocated to London after fighting in the Franco-Prussian war, where a caricature gig at Vanity Fair granted him entry to the elite society that would ultimately define his subject matter. Upon meeting his wife and muse Kathleen Newton, Tissot drastically altered his lifestyle and subject matter to trade his social life for domesticity, and upon her death, a heartbroken Tissot returned to Paris with a subsequent interest in religion and spirituality that was reflected in his work thereafter.
French, 1836-1902, Nantes, France