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Portrait of Mrs Catherine Smith Gill and Two of her Children

James Tissot1877

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The Frenchman Tissot was a daring choice for this intimate portrait of the heiress wife of Chapple Gill, a wealthy Liverpool cotton broker. The setting is her mother’s house, Lower Lee, at Woolton near Liverpool. Her two children are Robert, aged two and Margaret, aged six. Tissot spent eight weeks at Lower Lee painting this portrait, becoming close friends with Catherine. They were well matched. She was known for her lavish dresses and he for his paintings of fashionable ladies.

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Details

  • Title: Portrait of Mrs Catherine Smith Gill and Two of her Children
  • Creator: James Tissot
  • Date Created: 1877
  • tag / style: James Tissot; Portraiture; Liverpool; Impressionist; woman; children; dress; interior; window; dog; rug; garden; sofa; blinds; family
  • Physical Dimensions: w1015 x h1525 cm (Without frame)
  • Artist biographical information: French-born Tissot exhibited with the Impressionists. He settled in England after 1870, eventually returning to France in 1882. Tissot acquired a reputation in England during the 1870s for paintings of fashionable young women often in slightly ambivalent social circumstances. He was a political refugee in England for some years and in 1877 visited Liverpool to paint Mrs Gill – in the same year that the Walker Art Gallery opened.
  • Additional artwork information: This painting is the only known picture by one of the French Impressionists’ circle to have been painted in Liverpool. To read more about this painting, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/19c/tissot.aspx To learn more about the Walker Art Gallery’s 19th-century collection, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/19c/
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund and the V&A Purchase Grant Fund in 1979

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