James Tissot
Portrait 1876

Artwork details

James Tissot 1836–1902
Date 1876
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 914 x 508 mm
frame: 1330 x 935 x 140 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1927
Not on display

Display caption

In the 1870s a new type of genre subject emerged, illustrating scenes of modern life, and fashionable society in particular, with the narrative content kept to a minimum. These were popularised largely through the work of James Tissot, a French artist who settled in London. This painting appears to be a straightforward portrait of a fashionably dressed lady but may not be what it at first seems. It has been previously called The Visit and An Afternoon Call and might be interpreted as a subtle image of social transgression: a young woman making a visit alone, perhaps to a gentleman's house.

September 2004

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