News broke today that the National Gallery of Canada acquired James Jacques Joseph Tissot’s 1870 masterpiece The Partie Carée (The Foursome) from the estate of David R. Graham, for an undisclosed amount.
Tissot was a 19th-century French academic artist specializing in highlife genre paintings — elegantly dressed figures in scenes of fashionable life. The early part of his career was spent in France, and in 1871 he moved to London where his work was eagerly acquired by wealthy British collectors. It was reported that the artist earned almost 95,000 francs in 1872.
By the mid-1880s, Tissot returned to France and began concentrating on scenes of Biblical events, a subject matter that would occupy him for the remainder of his life. The artist died in 1902.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, have co-organized a major retrospective of Tissot’s work that will run from 2019 through 2020.