Copyright 2018 Southampton City Art Gallery All rights reserved

On Display

James Tissot (1836 -1902)

The Captain’s Daughter

Tissot began his career exhibiting historic subjects at the Paris Salon but during the 1860s turned to scenes of contemporary life. He served in the Garde Nationale during the Prussian siege of Paris but left for London in 1871. There he began a successful career as a painter of fashionably dressed women in various social settings. The Thames was the location for a number of Tissot's London paintings.

The Captain's Daughter was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1873 and has been confused with another work shown at the same time The Last Evening. It shows a young sailor sitting with the Captain while the object of his affection stares out at the river. They look in different directions in strained silence: the young woman's lack of interest showing that things are not going well. The ambiguous emotional relationships between his subjects was sometimes seen as risqué by British critics who saw Tissot as a French artist and generally viewed the French as morally suspect.

Medium oil on canvas
Date 1873
Dimensions 723mm x 1048mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 580
Credit Line Purchased in 1934 through the Frederick Smith Bequest Fund