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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot
French 1836–1902

The Portico of the National Gallery, London

Etching and drypoint, 1878
Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1985.10

In this print, Tissot returned to the site of his painting London Visitors of 1874 (on view in Gallery 33). He depicts here a pretty young woman, who is likely his lover Kathleen Newton, on the steps of the National Gallery in London. An artist’s portfolio under her arm suggests that she has just emerged from the galleries after a morning spent copying Old Master paintings, a practice acceptable for respectable women. Tissot’s masterful printmaking techniques, which combine etching with drypoint, are traditional; however, his contemporary urban subject, detached attitude, and low, angled view recall the work of his radical Impressionist friends, Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet.