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 Title/Artist? 
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Post Title/Artist?
I came across this image (click to enlarge):

Image

It looks like the Thames with Greenwich in the background to the left? I don't know if the image has been cropped or not. I was particularly interested in the ships.

Does anyone know the title of the picture and the artist?

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susan


Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:30 am
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Post Re: Title/Artist?
Susan,

James Tissot, Portmouth Dockyard, 1878, uncropped

Brian


Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:09 am
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Post Re: Title/Artist?
Susan,

PS I have tried to identify the two two-deckers in reserve over the highland sergeant's left shoulder, but without success. The figureheads look like Nelson and Ajax (or Britannia though without extended arm which would have been removed for sefety) but there were no ships with these names and in Portsmouth in the 1870's and Nelson was a three decker. Artistic license? Perhaps someone else knows what they are!

Brian


Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:36 am
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Thanks Brian!

He was quite prolific wasn't he? I'm sure I've seen his work elsewhere, but never had a name to attach to the images.

He must have liked ships as there are a number of works with maritime elements.

Yes, I thought, too, that one of the figureheads looked like Nelson.

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susan


Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:11 pm
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The Hull Of A Battle Ship

The Ball On Shipboard

Main site: James Jacques Tissot Virtual Gallery

This is all quite useful, as one thing we are thinking of as a fundraiser for the Falls of Clyde, somewhere down the line, is a costume ball. A lot of the paintings are a good guide to the fashions of the late 1800s.

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susan


Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:22 pm
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The trooper in the background is the JUMNA (if the riband around the hull is red, as it seems to be).


Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:17 am
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Because my books are currently in storage I'm unable to access my reference sources, but James Tissot is generally considered to be an artist within the Victorian 'narrative genre'. With many modern art historians this term is deliberately used in a derogatory manner, even though such artists demonstrated a very clear understanding - and skill - in the depiction of the human form, something Tissot was exceptionally good at, as any study of his 'social' paintings demonstrates. (And of course, there are very few art historians capable of drawing or painting themselves!)

Tissot's observation and draughtsmanship of fine detail, and not just in the costumes worn, suggests his interest in matters nautical was not superficial. Take for example the rigging of his ships. I have yet to find any errors in the set and run of the ropes, be they standing or running rigging.

Tissot used naval or maritime settings for his many of his paintings and it was a combination of his undoubted artistic abilities and the use of maritime themes or settings that made me include him in my book on marine art (The Art of Nautical Illustration: a visual tribute to the classic marine painters). I believe this was the first time a broad-based study of marine art had included the works of Tissot and others, such as Atkinson Grimshaw.

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Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:27 am
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Hi Michael,

Thanks for your comments on Tissot.

Why is the Victorian "narrative genre" looked down upon by art historians? Is it because the subject matter/style isn't "edgy" enough?

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susan


Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:36 am
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Hi Susan

I've worked with a few academic art historians in my time and I fail to understand their disdain for Victorian narrative paintng. Indeed, the same applies to maritime art. I suspect that it is very much to do with the extremely subjective nature of how art history is taught. It is often taught by traditional academics who have absolutely no skill in drawing or painting themselves, and often have never gone beyond the gallery to explore or understand an artist's studio and methods. Yet, all art historians praise the outstanding draughting skills of artists such as da Vinci, yet any modern artist who endeavours to use the same pure observation drawing skill in their own preparatory work is looked down upon as being 'retentive'! Sadly, this approach, leading to false or inaccurate interpretations, is even prevalent within the educational departments of world-renowned institutions such as the Royal Academy in London.

Because maritime painting is often narrative by nature, this is why it is often classified as third or fouth rate by modern historians, though obviously - and here's the extreme subjectivity again - artists such as Turner are excluded from this subjectivity! In the UK at least this negative stance is evidenced by the sheer number of marine paintings in national and regional collections that are never on show for the public to form their own opinion.

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Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:58 am
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Hi Michael,

Interesting comments. I wonder if the art historians consider the works too commercial/common, no matter how well executed?

Maybe they don't like the ship paintings because of the associated technical nature? It would be hard to analyze elements of the paintings without having a good grasp of seamanship and naval architecture.

Note: I have had basic art history classes and some history of ancient art classes (when I thought I might want to be an archaeologist).

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susan


Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:57 am
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