Summer ("Portrait")

James Tissot, 1836-1902


Oil on canvas

Support: 914 x 508 mm; frame: 1330 x 935 x 140 mm

Collection: Tate (purchased 1927)

Reference: N04271

As the gallery label states, this is the kind of painting of fashionable society that became popular in the 1870s. The young woman is dressed for the holidays, in a fresh, frilled white dress trimmed with buttercup-yellow bows, carrying a parasol and something to read, perhaps on the promenade. She is wearing a ring on her ring-finger but in a drypoint etching after the painting she is called "Miss L...." It is hard to read her expression, but it might be somewhat defiant, suggesting that any summer romance might be somewhat problematic. Carol Jacobi points out the Japanese and Indian patterns on the door-curtains at either side, which suggest the "aesthetic arrangement" of the composition (110). [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Text by Jacqueline Banerjee.

Image kindly made available by the Tate Gallery under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported) licence.