Tea

Artist: James Tissot (French, Nantes 1836–1902 Chenecey-Buillon)

Date: 1872

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 26 x 18 7/8 in. (66 x 47.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.170

Description

When Tissot moved to London in 1871, he immersed himself in the local scene, with work for Vanity Fair and genre paintings with the river Thames as backdrop. This canvas is a repetition of the left-hand portion of one of his most famous London pictures, Bad News (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff), which shows a captain and his girlfriend absorbing the news of his imminent departure while a companion prepares tea, with the Pool of London in the background. Here, the view is of the dense cityscape beyond that stretch of the river. Tissot's friend Degas owned a pencil study for this work.

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