A Study for ‘By Water’: Kathleen Kelly, Mrs Isaac Newton (1854-1882)

James Tissot (Nantes 1836 - Château de Buillon, Besancon 1902)
National Trust Inventory Number 207847

Category Paintings
Date 1860 - 1882
Materials Oil on panel
Measurements 311 x 254 mm (12 1/4 x 10 in)
Place of origin
Collection Wimpole, Cambridgeshire (Accredited Museum)
On show at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, East of England, National Trust

The grisaille study in oils for the figure in the painting By Water, which with its companion By Land was exhibited at the Dudley Gallery in 1882. The model is Kathleen Newton, who became Tissot’s mistress in 1876 and lived with him until her death from tuberculosis in 1882. The original oil is unknown except by Tissot’s photograph.

Tissot was obsessed with her gentle beauty and made her the subject of almost every painting for the six years of their liaison. Miss Hervey said that they were deeply in love, and this is borne out by Tissot’s despairing attempts to find her again through mediums and seances after her death, when he continued to paint her for two or three years as if she were still alive.

Summary description

Oil painting on panel, A Study for ‘By Water’: Kathleen Kelly, Mrs Isaac Newton (1854-1882) by James Tissot (Nantes 1836 - Château de Buillon, Besancon 1902), signed, bottom centre JT, in pen, and 60 in pencil. A monochrome study for the first of a pair of scenes of travel: By Water and By Land, which Tissot exhibited at the Dudley Gallery in 1882. The model is the frequent subject of Tissot's pictures, Kathleen Kelly (Mrs Isaac Newton), who became his mistress in 1876, and lived with him until her death from TB in 1882.

Provenance

Bought by Captain Bambridge in 1937; bequeathed by Elsie Kipling, Mrs George Bambridge (1896 - 1976), daughter of Rudyard Kipling, to the National Trust together with Wimpole Hall, all its contents and an estate of 3,000 acres

Marks and inscriptions

Verso: Labelled on back - 1) Exhibition of Works by James Tissot held at the Leicester Galleries, Leicester Square, London Jan 1937, No.2 Woman Seated 1868. Purchaser Capt Geo Bambridge, 2) Ernest Brown and Phillips Ltd, Leicester Galleries, etc, 3) part label - Jullien, Rue Pasquier, Paris, 4) Packers Label - James Bourlet and Sons Ltd, 17 and 88 Nassau St, Mortimer St, W.

Makers and roles

James Tissot (Nantes 1836 - Château de Buillon, Besancon 1902)

Related items

Place of origin
Materials Wood (126054)
Category Paintings (12583)
Collection Wimpole, Cambridgeshire (Accredited Museum) (13153)
Periods 19th century (165077)
Maker James Tissot (Nantes 1836 - Château de Buillon, Besancon 1902) (3)
Subjects Kathleen Kelly Mrs. Isaac Newton (1854-1882) (1)
Object Type Oil painting (10977)

Record Status

Enhanced

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