ON THE THAMES by James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836 - 1902).
I am a big fan of J.J.J. Tissot's extraordinary work. He was a French painter who spent most of his life in Victorian England. I've blogged about his paintings before and probably will again, going forward. I am very fond of his dressed-to-the-teeth Victorian ladies.
This painting, for me, is all about the fanciful outfit this young woman is wearing. That and the two men and their non-expressions. I love the mellow use of color as well.
Do you suppose this young woman is about to get into that little boat? Or has she just come up out of it? The sailor on the right is helping - her hand is on his wrist, possibly for balance. But do you think she can actually sit in that get-up? Oh, don't get me wrong, I love her dress! All that wonderfully detailed ruching. But I'm just wondering if it's the appropriate thing for a turn on the Thames in a little boat. The fabric looks like chiffon and the woven ribbon - velvet? And those gloves- my dear. Underneath it all, of course, would be a corset. It's a wonder to me she can even move. But the whole effect is one of enormous charm and a certain helpless femininity. The Victorian ideal?