is famous for his exquisite paintings of beautiful
English women and most people think he was English.
In fact Jacques-Joseph Tissot was born in Nantes,
then a thriving port on the Loire estuary in
western France. He adopted the name James as
an anglicised form when living in England. His
friends were Manet and Degas, with whom he shared
a teacher in the painting school in Paris.
Not a lot is known of his personal life except
that around 1876 a mysterious attractive lady
begins to appear in his pictures. Her name was
Kathleen Newton, née Kelly. Her father, an Irish
army officer, arranged the marriage of his convent-educated
daughter when she was only 17, sending her off
to India to marry a certain Isaac Newton, a
surgeon in the Indian Civil Service. On the
ship, however, she fell in love with a Captain
Palliser, but only confessed this to Newton
after their wedding on 3rd of January 1871.
Newton's response was to divorce her immediately.