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Foreign Visitors at the Louvre (Visiteurs étrangers au Louvre)

This watercolor, exhibited in Paris in 1883, is related to a painting of the same subject. The location of the painting, L’Escalier nord du Louvre, was unknown from its sale in 1891 until its reemergence at auction in 1996. Both works were part of a series of views created by James Tissot in the late 1880s, which depict middle-class tourists in the classical galleries of the Louvre. Comparisons between the oil and the museum’s drawing show remarkable similarities, although subtle changes in the composition, such as the lowering of the ceiling height and minimization of architectural detail, in the latter may indicate the artist’s desire to focus greater attention on the beautiful Parisian woman (likely the artist’s muse and mistress, Kathleen Newton, who died in 1882) standing along the right edge.

James Tissot
French, 1836-1902
Foreign Visitors at the Louvre (Visiteurs étrangers au Louvre)
ca. 1883
Watercolor over graphite on paper
Image/sheet: 24 x 15 in. (61.0 x 38.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 80.30