Collection Online
An interesting story
Medium
oil on wood panel
Measurements
59.7 × 76.6 cm
Inscription
inscribed in brown paint l.l.: J. J. TiSsot (TiSsot underlined)
Accession Number
536-4
Department
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1938
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Provenance

Exhibited Royal Academy, London, 1872, no. 389, as An interesting story; possibly purchased directly from the artist by Miss Mary Emily Flinn (c. 1846–1937); her collection, Oxton, Birkenhead, England, by until 1937[1]; with Palser Gallery (dealer), London, 1938, as Tracing the North-West Passage; from where acquired for the Felton Bequest, 1938.

[1] Mary Emily was one of four children of Captain Henry Flinn (d. 1896), of ‘Gorselands’, Wallasey (near Oxton) in Birkenhead. A brother Frederick Woolven Flinn (or F. W. Flinn) was a Justice of the Peace and also owned ships like his father. When Mary Emily died, probate was granted to her surviving brother and another sister Edith Fraser (nee Flinn), see The London Gazette, 19 November 1937, accessed https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34456/page/7316/data.pdf

 



Tissot here portrays two fashionably dressed young women ignoring a soldier who is engrossed in his own telling of a tale. This work, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1872, was one of the first paintings Tissot showed in London after he left France at the fall of the Paris Commune in 1871 and critics responded to it with great enthusiasm. Tissot subsequently found great success in London with his comedies of manners such as An interesting story as its humour and irony struck a chord. The setting of the Thames would also have been very appealing to contemporary audiences. Artists such as Tissot’s friend J.M. Whistler, Henry Pether, whose nocturnal view of the river is in the NGV's collection, and the author Charles Dickens had explored the romantic and nostalgic qualities of the Thames, sensibilities that are warmly embraced by James Tissot.

Colourmen

Colourman
ROWNEY
Location of stamp
Centre reverse of panel
Transcript
MAHOGANY PANELS,/PREPARED/FOR OIL PAINTING,/BY/GEO. ROWNEY & CO.,/51, RATHBONE PLACE, LONDON. and G.ROWNEY & Co/ PREPARED/ MAHOGANY PANEL/ LONDON/ 52, RATHBONE PLACE
Medium
Printed paper label and impressed stamp on reverse of panel (x radiograph detail)
More Information
National Portrait Gallery