Apr 10, 2006

Seaside (July: Specimen of a Portrait)

Seaside (July: Specimen of a Portrait)


James Tissot

(French, 1836–1902)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 112.1 x 85.4 x 6.4 cm (44 1/8 x 33 5/8 x 2 1/2 in.); Unframed: 87.5 x 61 cm (34 7/16 x 24 in.)

Bequest of Noah L. Butkin 1980.288

Did you know?

From 1869 to 1876, under the pseudonym Coïdé, Tissot published political cartoons in the British weekly magazine Vanity Fair, causing circulation to skyrocket.


This painting belongs to a series of allegories representing various months of the year. The sitter’s relaxed pose and the distant beach suggest a summer vacation by the sea. Bright sunlight is reflected off the sand and filtered through the awning into the room, where it rebounds from the woman’s ruffled dress onto her face. The model has been identified as Kathleen Newton, Tissot’s British mistress from 1876 until her death in 1882.

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