Long have I been a fan of James Tissot's work 'Too Early', vividly depicting guests awkwardly milling around an immense ballroom, having arrived slightly too early for the party to have started. As described so perfectly by Katy Werlin at The Fashion Historian :
However, I must admit that my current favourite two works of Tissot are the extraordinarily detailed ship scene of 'The Captain and The Mate' and the mysterious garden escape of 'The Letter'.
The beauty of ship scenes are almost in fashion photography style, juxtaposing the roughness of the surroundings with the elegance of sumptuous attire. Everything in the paintings seem alive to me, as if the moment has been captured and lives ever on for as long as I look at it.
Regarding 'The Letter', I feel that the National Gallery of Canada captures the allure of the scene perfectly with their description:
"The appeal of Tissot's work lies in its lavish detail and a choice of subject inspired by contemporary British society. Here every fold and ruffle of the model's clothing, down to the raised seam of her leather gloves, is rendered with vivid and exacting precision. The setting for "The Letter" has recently been identified as the Dutch Gardens of Holland House in London."
Tissot also paints many a delightful family scene of children on rugs in the garden, basking in the glory of summer days.
The Athenaeum shows a bountiful collection of his works, which is where I have found many of these images.
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