Nov 02, 2023 - Sale 2651

Sale 2651 - Lot 163

Price Realized: $ 12,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000

Etching and drypoint on antique cream laid paper, 1878. 548x278 mm; 21 1/2x11 inches, full margins. Edition of approximately 100. Signed in pencil, lower left. With the artist's monogram red ink stamp (Lugt 1545, lower right recto). A very good, richly-inked impression.

Tissot (1836-1902) was a successful French society artist; his artworks portray fashionable women and 19th century life that embody Victorian and Belle Époque aesthetics. The child of Catholic textile merchants, he moved from his native Nantes to Paris in 1856 to study art with Louise Lamothe and Hippolyte Faldrin, who were protégés of Ingres. He also met Édouard Manet (1832-1883), Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and James A. M. Whistler (1834-1903), with whom he maintained ties throughout his life. Tissot was exiled to London in 1871 after his involvement with the Paris Commune in the Franco-Prussian War. In London, Tissot's portraits of women and 19th century life quickly gained popularity and he became among the most successful, renowned artists of his day. Tissot was inspired by many of Whistler's etchings and paintings, borrowing similar subjects, such as views of the Thames, and influences, such as from Japanese prints.

Tissot made his first etchings while studying in Paris—epicenter of the later 19th century etching revival—in the 1860s and revisited the medium again in 1875-85. As a printmaker, Tissot primarily used the medium to skillfully reproduce his own paintings (rather than sell the reproductive rights to his work to other publishers and printers). The market for reproductive prints in England was exceedingly strong during this time (prompted by the concurrent etching revival in England, supported by the English Etching Club) and Tissot found the sale of his etchings a highly lucrative segment of his artistic output. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Tissot did not experiment with etching to make original works but instead only used it as a way of replicating (or revisiting) his painted subjects. Throughout the production of his prints he maintained a consistent approach to etching that employed meticulous detail and rich tonality, which resulted in a cohesive, focused oeuvre.

The etching Octobre is based on the same-titled painting from 1877, now in the Montreal Museum of Art, and follows many of the standard influences in Tissot's work from the 1870s—including Japanese prints and photography. The composition with a single full figure is reminiscent of Japanese Ukiyo-e paintings of the Kaigetsudo School of the early 18th century. Tissot also frequently used photography to help provide compositional details that lent an immediacy to some of his compositions. The woman depicted is young Irish divorcée Mrs. Kathleen Newton, Tissot's frequent model and companion. The two met in 1875 and from 1876 until her death in 1882 they lived together in Tissot's home in St. John's Wood—Tissot would describe these years as the happiest of his life. After Mrs. Newton's death in 1882, Tissot moved back to Paris and began producing artwork focused on religious subject matter, spending the last two years of his life in an Abbey in Buillon, France. Wentworth 33.