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26

James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

Property of a Distinguished Collector

James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot

James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

Property of a Distinguished Collector

James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot

French

1836 - 1902

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon


signed J.J. Tissot lower right

oil on panel

Unframed: 35.5 by 51cm., 14 by 20in.

Framed: 52 by 68cm., 20½ by 27in.

The panel is flat and is providing a stable structural support. The picture is in excellent condition. There is a very small paint abrasion on the dark curtain on the right and minor abrasions at the extremities where the paint surface has been rubbed by the rebate of the frame. The picture is ready to hang. UNDER ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT There is a slightly opaque varnish but does not appear to be any retouching.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Sotheby's, London, 25 November 1987, lot 27
Private collection
Willard E. Misfeldt, The Albums of James Tissot, 1982, illustrated p,120, plate IV.48
The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon is one of the series of pictures painted following Tissot’s conversion to Catholicism. This new-found faith incidentally coincided with the French Catholic revival, which came as a stark contrast with the secular ways of the French Third Republic. In addition to this, Tissot’s style differed from the French style of the time, moving away from the impressionism, pointillism and heavy oil washes, Tissot had shifted toward realism in his watercolours. His conversion ultimately led him to depict Biblical events and he travelled to the Middle East on a number of occasions, in 1880, 1886 and 1896, to make studies of the landscape and people. His depictions of biblical events were critically acclaimed, being put on view in Paris, London and New York. Those 365 gouache illustrations brought him fame and wealth and were first published in a French edition of the La Sainte Bible in 1904. In his final years, Tissot worked on a series of oil paintings of subjects from the Old Testament, which he never completed. The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon relates to an illustration for La Sainte Bible depicting the arrival of the queen at the palace of King Solomon, whose presence is suggested by the steps shown on the right leading to his throne. Sheba and her all-female retinue and bowing to the King, their movements closely watched by a group of the King's archers. The published illustration differs in many details, including the pose of Sheba and the number of hand-maidens and the omission of the palace guards in the illustration. This oil painting is arguably more successful than the illustration, the composition being more dramatic and Sheba's mien being more regal in comparison with the other female figures. It is possible that Tissot had been inspired by Edward Poynter's 1890 extravaganza The Queen of Sheba's Visit to King Solomon (Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney).