In Full Sunlight (En plein soleil)

James Tissot French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 815

Cascading sunlight illuminates the colorful open parasol and beribboned hats of the group lounging on the grass. This idyllic scene was inspired by Tissot’s private life in Victorian London, which was rather improper by the standards of polite British society. At the left is Kathleen Newton, who lived out of wedlock with Tissot as his companion and model. Her free-spirited romantic life resulted in two children, Muriel (lying beside her) and Cecil (standing by the wall). The setting is likely Tissot’s garden in Saint John’s Wood, where the French painter lived from 1871 until Kathleen’s death in 1882.

In Full Sunlight (En plein soleil), James Tissot (French, Nantes 1836–1902 Chenecey-Buillon), Oil on wood

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