A scene from a fashionable party reputedly at the house of Octavious Coope, Hush!
shows a famous violinist about to perform. Enjoying the subtleties and contradictions of British Victorian society, Tissot depicts the guests as fashionably preoccupied with each other, completely oblivious to the performance about to take place – with the exception of the two Indian guests, and Tissot himself. It was a great commercial success, bought by Agnew’s for 1200 guineas in 1874.
The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas 73.7 × 112.2 cm Manchester Art Gallery
James Tissot (1836 – 1902) was a French painter who moved to London in 19871, after fighting in the Franco- Prussian war as part of the Paris Commune. He quickly developed a reputation for painting scenes from fashionable society, featuring elegantly dressed women. During his time in London he was close to many artists from the Impressionist movement, and particularly his Thames scenes were influenced by his friendship with Whistler.