He was born in 1836 in Nantes, one of the four pillar-cities of the ancient Duchy of Brittany, to a rich cloth merchant and his wife. Brittany is, to this day, one of the most Catholic regions in France. Jacques Joseph Tissot had good Catholic parents and was a good Catholic boy. He became a good painter and not such a good Catholic.continue at Cream City Catholic
But, though he took his time, he eventually handed over his brushes to God. And in the latter years of his life, Tissot showed the Lord in a way no one had before — and no one has duplicated since.
For some reason, Jacques loved all things English. By the time he was 20, most people knew him as “James.” One imagines he was a little pretentious. He went to Paris to study art.
This was not yet the time of the Impressionists, much less the Moderns — James was educated by copying paintings in the Louvre, just like everyone else. At 23, he painted four scenes from the Middle Ages — some based on Faust — which he exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1859. It was all very conventional.
Wow, EMR's post over at Cream City have been mind blowing! This post is a must read. I have never heard of Tissot before now but I love the style, even the pre-conversion pieces.
Also in case you missed it: Great Traditions of Sacred Art