James Tissot (French, 1836 – 1902)
MediumEtching and drypoint
DimensionsPlate : 14 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. (37.47 x 20.8 cm)
Sheet : 22 1/8 x 14 7/8 in. (56.2 x 37.78 cm)
Mat : 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelActive in France and England, James Tissot’s interest in printmaking grew out of his friendship with James McNeil Whistler and Francis Seymour Haden. Tissot was a portraitist and portrayer of everyday life, specializing in images of well-dressed women relaxing in elegant surroundings. This print depicts Kathleen Newton (1854-1882), Tissot’s mistress and frequent model who had a son with him in 1876. Here we see Newton wearing a form-fitting dress with an elegant hat and parasol. Although the subject and style are European, the print’s composition is heavily indebted to Japanese Ukiyo-e woodcuts, which flooded into Europe during the 1860s and 70s and had a great impact on many artists there. The way Newton holds the parasol and turns her head languidly to the left are particularly Japanese elements. Four years after this print was made, Kathleen Newton contracted tuberculosis (called consumption at the time) and died at age 28.