The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Jacques Joseph Tissot, 1836-1902

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 1836.10.15
Place of Birth: Nantes
Date of Death: 1902.08.08
Place of Death: Buillon


Jacques Joseph ('James') Tissot was a painter and etcher of portraits, religious and genre subjects. He never married his mistress Kathleen Newton, with whom he lived until her death in 1882 from tuberculosis.


He became friendly with JW after they met in the Louvre when they were both students, probably shortly after Tissot arrived from Nantes in 1856. According to Reff, Tissot first registered as a copyist in the Louvre on 26 January 1857. Tissot settled in England in 1871, after fleeing the Franco-Prussian war. Tissot's house in the suburbs, 17 (44) Grove End Road, St Johns Wood, was filled with his collection of antiques and oriental objets, and became the backdrop for many of his paintings.

Like JW, Tissot was one of the first artists to frequent M. de Soye's shop in Paris in the 1860s. When he moved back to France in about 1883 his house was bought by the artist Alma-Tadema. By the time of the Whistler-Ruskin trial in 1878, Tissot's early friendship with JW had cooled and he did not wish to appear in court in support of JW. Tissot returned to France after the death of Kathleen Newton and devoted the rest of his career to religious subjects. He contributed to the fan (Dancing girl, on a fan (M.1423)) made in 1894/1898.

Tissot was a member of The Arts Club from 1873-1884; his address when nominated on 24 March 1873 was 73 Springfield Road N.W.


Records of The Arts Club, London; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Monneret, Sophie, L'Impressionisme et son époque, Paris, 1978-79; Walkley, Giles, Artists' houses in London 1764-1914, Aldershot, 1994.