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L'Ambitieuse (Political Woman)

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

L'Ambitieuse (Political Woman)

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

L'Ambitieuse (Political Woman)

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

James Tissot

French, 1836-1902

L'Ambitieuse (Political Woman), 1883-1885

oil on canvas

support: 56 x 40 inches (142.24 x 101.6 cm); framed: 73 1/2 x 56 x 5 inches (186.69 x 142.24 x 12.7 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of William M. Chase, 1909

1909:10

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, undated / lower right / J. Tissot

Provenance

collection William Merritt Chase;
donated to the Albright Art Gallery, 1909

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

“L'Ambitieuse (Political Woman),” also referred to as “The Reception,” belongs to a series of fifteen large paintings that James Tissot executed between 1883 and 1885. The series, entitled “La femme à Paris,” contains some of his most trenchant observations and comments on late nineteenth-century Parisian society. The political arena inhabited by this painting’s subject is a social one. The visual narrative Tissot unfolds throughout the composition implies that this young woman aims to improve her own position by making herself a stylish and vital guest in the ballrooms and salons frequented by the French upper class. As described in an exhibition catalogue published by the Arthur Tooth Gallery in London, where this work was shown in 1886, the central figure’s pink dress, “ . . . is a marvel of the dressmaker’s art, with its multitude of tiny flounces, its black girdle, its pink sash, and the color of her pink ostrich feather fan has been carefully studied and matched.” At the time he created this work, Tissot had only recently returned to the city. In 1871, he fled the chaos of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune for London. With “La femme à Paris,” Tissot attempted to document what made the modern Parisian woman unique, while also proving that he was still attuned to the pulse and inner workings of this fashionable urban society.
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