The Musée d’Orsay’s James Tissot’s Ambiguous Modernity exhibition offers visitors a chance to discover or rediscover the work of this painter who has long been forgotten by the critics. Born in Nantes in 1836, Tissot went to Paris in his early twenties to become an artist, somewhat against his parents’ will. With his refined historical compositions inspired by the classical Masters, he rapidly became successful. The young man, and true dandy, mingled in the capital’s elitist circles, creating a solid network of acquaintances from both aristocratic and artistic backgrounds. However, the events of the Paris Commune forced him to flee to London where he discovered a Victorian society he grew to love, and which he represented in his canvases and engravings in a very personal and sometimes ironic manner. Described as “clever” by the British, Tissot was an “intelligent” and “astute” artist who, throughout his career, showed an amazing ability to reinvent himself through both his subjects and the techniques he used.
- June 26, 2020 Initial release