When I visited the Getty yesterday this James Tissot painting…

When I visited the Getty yesterday this James Tissot painting was one of the first things that caught my eye. I liked how it depicted the two young women doing exactly what I was doing (though I wasn’t as nicely dressed).

Text from the Getty placard:

Young Ladies Admiring Japanese Objects (1869)

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902)

Oil on canvas

Wearing sumptuously tailored dresses, these well-to-do young ladies lean in to admire a Japanese statuette of a warrior. During the mid-1800s in Paris, collecting and appreciating Japanese decorative arts was a central leisure-time pursuit of the upper middle class. Tissot avidly enjoyed this practice himself, and he depicted objects from his own collection here. Several critics remarked on the contemporary character of this work (or another of the painting’s three versions) when it was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1869.

Lent by a private collector.

[me again]

In 1869 Tissot had been painting in this style for six years, and had become one of the most successful portrait artists in Paris. He couldn’t have known it, but a year later he would be fighting in the Franco-Prussian war, and after France’s defeat would be relocating to London, where he spent the next 11 years.

I think about that when I look at this painting. I imagine Tissot lost in the reverie of these young ladies, their geeky absorption mirroring his own obsessive interest, and in turn mirroring my own. When I geek out about something, lose myself in it, I don’t worry about the future. Just like Tissot.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/43403371315.

Tags: james tissot, art.

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