Two Figures at a Door (The Proposal?)

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Did You Know?

James Tissot was close friends with Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, and Berthe Morisot, but declined Degas’s invitation to participate in the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874.


James Tissot lived in London in 1871–82 where he established a reputation as painter of elegantly dressed women in modern, fashionable settings. This painting, made at the beginning of his London period, was designed to appeal to Victorian audiences who enjoyed art that hinted at narrative. Here, a young couple enters an upholstered interior, leaving a sunlit garden. The woman’s gesture suggests contemplation; might she be considering a proposal made by the man who follows closely behind her? Their exchange, ultimately, remains mysterious.
Two Figures at a Door (The Proposal?)

Two Figures at a Door (The Proposal?)


James Tissot

(French, 1836–1902)
France, 19th century

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