James Tissot

By Melissa E. Buron, Jan Dirk Baetens, Justine De Young, Donato Esposito, Margaretta S. Frederick, Charlotte Gere, Marine Kisiel, et al.

James Tissot (French, 1836 –1902) was one of the most intriguing artists of his era. Though invited by Edgar Degas to exhibit with the Impressionist circle, Tissot instead garnered exceptional critical and commercial success on his own in London and Paris, securing his international reputation. While he is best known for his keen observations of society life and fashion, Tissot also made hundreds of spiritual and religious works that have since provided visual motifs for artists and filmmakers working to this day. Rendered with incredible detail, his compositions offer layers of meaning to lend rich insights into the vibrant culture of fin-de-siècle Europe. Published on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, James Tissot—the first extensive monographic volume on the artist to be produced in more than twenty years—provides new perspectives on his oeuvre and reexamines his place in the canon of late nineteenth-century art. His achievements are contextualized in nearly twenty original scholarly essays that address the artist today, alongside more than 150 lavish reproductions of his most important creations. This catalogue also features recently rediscovered archival material, including previously unknown compositions selected from a photograph album of paintings made by the artist, and his personal sales notebook, which has been transcribed and annotated here for the first time. A robust chronology, a conservation study of his materials and techniques, and a group of photographs taken at his château in Buillon, France, round out this volume to provide a dynamic portrait of an artist who is prime for reconsideration in the twenty-first century.


Melissa E. Buron is director of the art division at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Jan Dirk Baetens is assistant professor at Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Justine De Young is assistant professor of the history of art at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

Donato Esposito is an independent scholar and curator.

Margaretta S. Frederick is the Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art at the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington.

Charlotte Gere is an independent social historian.

Marine Kisiel is a paintings curator at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

Sarah Kleiner is associate paintings conservator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Frédéric Mantion is an independent scholar who owns the Château de Buillon, France.

Nancy Rose Marshall is a professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Krystyna Matyjaszkiewicz is an independent curator and art historian.

Paul Perrin is a paintings curator at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

Valentine Robert is a lecturer in film studies at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Léa Saint-Raymond is an independent art historian.

Cyrille Sciama is director of the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny.

Françoise Tétart-Vittu is a fashion historian and scholar.

Bertrand Tillier is professor of contemporary history at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Peter Trippi is an independent curator and art historian.

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