James Tissot: Victorian Life / Modern Love

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9780930606893: James Tissot: Victorian Life / Modern Love
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James Tissot (1836-1902), the wry and urbane observer of manners and fashions, painted scenes from the life of "society" that simmered with undercurrents of sexual drama. Smiling at his characters' vanities and foibles, Tissot reveled in each detail of their finery, every sign of their savoir-faire. This beautifully illustrated book presents about a hundred paintings, prints, and watercolors that represent every phase of Tissot's career, including such signature paintings as The Ball on Shipboard, Hush! (The Concert), and London Visitors.

Nancy Marsh and Malcolm Warner explore Tissot's themes and interests and consider the influence on his work of Charles Baudelaire's brilliant essay on the aesthetics of modernity, Le Peintre de la vie moderne. The authors also examine how Tissot dealt with the ways of modern love and the forms they took in Paris and London in the later nineteenth century.

This book accompanies an exhibition organized by the Yale Center for British Art and the American Federation of Arts that runs at the Yale Center for British Art from September 22 to November 28, 1999; the Musee du Quebec from 15, 1999 to March 12, 2000; and the Albright-Knox December Art Gallery in Buffalo from March 24 to July 2, 2000.

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Known for his sumptuous and elegant portrayals of well-turned-out Victorian society, Tissot has not had a scholarly museum exhibition in over 30 years--until now. James Tissot is the catalog accompanying a recent traveling exhibition of this artist's work, curated by Marshall and Warner (of the Yale Center for British Art). Their book portrays Tissot as "the painter of modern life"--in the Baudelairian sense. Although formally conservative in painting technique, they argue, Tissot was one of the best observers of life in the 19th century, focusing on the complex manners and morals of Victorian society. This argument is presented in the introductory essay as well as in the thorough catalog entries of the artist's paintings and prints. The other recent general monograph on the subject of Tissot, Russell Ash's James Tissot (Abrams, 1992), has beautiful plates but is not as strong a book, with very short entries on the paintings and a cursory bibliography. Recommended for art libraries and academic libraries supporting art programs. On a more sophisticated level, Seductive Surfaces is an anthology of essays written by scholars in the fields of art history, literature, and costume history. Applying Marxist and feminist methodology, these interdisciplinary essays examine a range of topics, including the influence of popular print sources such as the fashion plate in Tissot's paintings and his portrayal of women as "commodified status symbols" depicted through an elegant veneer. This detailed study is a nice complement to the exhibition catalog but is only recommended for libraries that support upper-level programs in art history and 19th-century studies.
-Sandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll. Lib., MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780300081732: James Tissot: Victorian Life/Modern Love

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ISBN 10:  0300081731 ISBN 13:  9780300081732
Publisher: Yale University Press, 1999
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