A “genre painter”, as they say : a painter of “elegantly dressed women shown in scenes of fashionable life”. He lived in England for years, and became pretty rich.
Therefore it’s easy to put him in the “conservative” box. All you see is beautiful and rich people and well done art, and though he’s been friends with impressionists, we could say he kept painting “interesting records of social life at the time”. Beautiful dresses, gorgeous art skills and colors, almost photographs!
Today we see other things, and Tissot is said to be “rediscovered”. Because we know now he painted about the “nouveau riche” world : there’s show-off everywhere (what we call in France un “m’as-tu vu”. This didyouseemeness is putting a smile on my face. These dresses must have been a real mess, right?
More : Tissot manages to make us think about the slices or boredom and loneliness and worry. It’s been a harsh world, and I thought about this marvellous Scorcese’s movie : The Age of Innocence – read the book, or The House of Mirth, also by Edith Wharton, which is worse!