La Mystérieuse

Accession Number

La Mystérieuse

James Jacques Joseph Tissot

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
etching and drypoint on paper

15 3/4 in x 10 1/8 in (40.01 cm x 25.72 cm);22 1/4 in x 14 3/8 in (56.52 cm x 36.51 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Aldrich

Subject matter
This print depicts a fashionable Parisienne with two frisky dogs walking on a tree-lined path, perhaps accompanied by her footman who follows at some distance behind her. The vertical framing of trees and the dramatic recession of space emphasizes the elongation of the woman's body and the sense of claustrophia produced by the wooded space. The inclusion of two women at the far end of the path, one of whom wears a nun's habit and carries a footstool, raises more questions than it answers. When Tissot exhibited a related oil painting of this subject, the accompanying catalogue posed a number of questions about the main figure's identity, such as "What is her history? Is she a great lady?" In the context of the title of this picture--"the mysterious one"--Tissot seems to be commenting on the experience of modern urban life, where one might pass a stranger on the streets and wonder about her.

Physical Description
An etching of a woman in a black dress with two small dogs walking on a tree-lined path. Behind her follows a man in a top hat and two other women, one of whom wears a nun's habit.
Signed in the lower right title margin, on the plate: "J.J. Tissot"

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
intaglio print

Collection Area

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Canis familiaris (species)
costume accessories
pets (domestic animals)
woods (plant communities)

2 Related Resources

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Associated Artists
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)

& Author Notes

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