London Visitors

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James Tissot (French, 1836–1902)
London Visitors, 1874
Oil on canvas
34 1/4 × 24 3/4 in. (87 × 62.87 cm)
Layton Art Collection Inc., Gift of Frederick Layton L1888.14
Photo credit: P. Richard Eells
Currently on View

Standing underneath the portico of the newly constructed National Gallery in London, with the church of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields framed behind them, a fashionably dressed couple contemplates which site to visit next. The gentleman consults his guidebook, while his female companion uses her umbrella to gesture towards Trafalgar Square, which lies in front of them. Tissot, who was a close friend of the avant-garde Impressionists, was a great painter of fashionable members of society. By contrast, he included a slender youth in the foreground, one of the so-called bluecoat boys, who were students of the charitable Christ’s Hospital School, and who often acted as tour guides to visitors to the city.

Publication History
Eastberg, John C. and Eric Vogel. Layton’s Legacy: A Historic American Art Collection 1888–2013. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Collection, Inc., 2013, pp. 110-13, color pl. 7, p. 112, color illus. p. 129, color detail pp. 110–11, 113, color illus. in collection p. 379.

Youngs, Tim. Travel Writing in the Nineteenth Century Filling the Blank Spaces. London: Anthem Press, 2006, cover illus.

Robins, Anna Gruetzner, and Richard Thomson. Degas, Sickert, and Toulouse-Lautrec: London and Paris, 1870-1910. London: Tate, 2005, p. 17, color plate 1.

Marshall, Nancy Rose, and Malcolm Warner. James Tissot: Victorian Life, Modern Love. New Haven: American Federation of Arts, Yale University Press, 1999, p. 73.

Milwaukee Art Museum. 1888: Frederick Layton and His World. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1988, p. 136-37, cat. 51, color illus. p. 137 and cover.

Naglin, Nancy. On Exhibit-Founder's Choice. Americana 16, no. 1 (March/April 1988): 17, color illus.

Barbican Art Gallery. Barbican Art Gallery Bulletin. London, 1987, color illus.

Goldstein, Rosalie, ed. Guide to the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 18, b/w illus. p. 18.

Milwaukee Art Center. Mirrors of 19th Century Taste: Academic Painting. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Center, 1974, no. 74.
Exhibition History
Tissot's London 1871–1882: The Art and Culture of City Life, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 2, 2009–January 3, 2010.

Degas, Sickert, and Toulouse-Lautrec, Tate Britain, October 6, 2005–January 15, 2006; The Phillips Collection, Washington DC, February 18–May 14, 2006.

James Tissot: Victorian Life, Modern Love, Musee du Quebec, Canada, December 15, 1999–January 12, 2000; Albright Knox Art Gallery, March 24–July 2, 2000. (Exhibition opened at the Yale Center for British Art September 22–November 28, 1999, but Milwaukee version of London Visitors was not included—the Toledo version was included at that venue. Milwaukee picture was used as a replacement for the Toledo Version at the last two venues)

1888: Frederick Layton and His World, Milwaukee Art Museum, April 8–August 28, 1988.

The Image of London, Views by Travellers and Emigres 1550–1920, Barbican Art Gallery, London, August 6–October 18, 1987.

Mirrors of 19th Century Taste: Academic Painting, Milwaukee Art Center, July 14–August 25, 1974.

Jewelry and Finery, 18th Through 10th Centuries, Art Association of Indianapolis, February 18–March 26, 1967.

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, date unknown. (exhibition label on painting)

YMCA, Milwaukee, 4th Street, 1922–1937.

Royal Academy, London, 1874. (uncertain if this is Milwaukee version or Toledo Museum of Art version)

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.