“Young Lady In a Boat”, 1870, James Tissot. (via)
This young lady looks a lot like Kathleen Newton, who was Tissot’s mistress and frequent model during the peak of his London portrait painting years. But she can’t be, because “Young Lady in a Boat” was exhibited at the 1870 Paris Salon, before Tissot moved to London. In 1870, the then-16-year-old Kathleen Newton was travelling to and from India, experiencing the (actually kind of horrible) events that shaped the subsequent course of her life, and she hadn’t yet met Tissot.
So the model isn’t Newton, and I guess the similarity must be due to Tissot’s aesthetic ideal of female beauty. He may have sought out models with a particular look, or adjusted their features to match his ideal when he painted them, with the result that this painting looks remarkably like the different woman who later became his muse.
This drawing of an elegant courtesan captured in a relaxed pose is a study for “Young Lady in a Boat”, a painting that Jacques Joseph Tissot (known as James Tissot) showed at the 1870 Salon. The artist uses a flowing line to render the young woman’s full skirt, and devotes particular attention to his subject’s face, propped on a slender hand, the little finger touching the corner of her mouth. Tissot’s paintings were admired – and criticized – under Napoleon III for their hyper realistic and attractive, one might say seductive, depictions of modern life, in a style suggestive of the eighteenth century.
I’ve ordered a copy of Patricia O’Reilly’s fictionalized biography of Kathleen Newton, A Type of Beauty, and I’m also going to spend some time looking through the chronological list of Tissot paintings at WikiPaintings. But I don’t suppose I’ll ever be able to learn much about the “elegant courtesan” who was the subject of “Young Lady in a Boat”.
Note: Tagged for Kylie because look: It’s a famous painting of a pug!
Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/44336058322.