Paintings of fashionable Victorian social scenes were a recurring theme of Tissot. This painting illustrates partygoers in fine costumes inside a ship bedecked with flags; ensigns of many nations providing a decorative backdrop.
Ball on Shipboard
84.1 x 129.5 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil on canvas 84.1 x 129.5 cm. ® Tate, London
The early works of French painter James Tissot were literary and historical, often on Faustian themes. He was influenced by Oriental art like his friends Degas and Whistler and he painted in great detail. He was criticised for his lack of narrative which linked him to the Aesthetic movement. From 1876 he lived with his muse and mistress Kathleen Newton but after her death in 1882 returned to Paris.