Rare Tissot resources on display in the Libraries and Archives

The Tissot exhibition recently opened to the public. On your visit to see the exhibition, don’t forget to stop by the Libraries and Archives display cases to view additional Tissot materials from our Special Collections and Archives. On display are early Tissot exhibition catalogs, a limited edition book set signed by Tissot, and letters regarding the 1900 exhibition installation, and purchase of the collection.  Also, there are rare illustrated Bibles from the Library collection in the Tissot exhibition.

N200_T52_Am3_1899_Tissot.jpg

Portrait of Tissot. American Art Association (1898).The life of Our Lord Jesus Christ: illustrated by over four hundred paintings and drawings taken from the four Gospels and from studies made in Palestine by J. James Tissot / exhibited under the management of the American art association of New York, managers for J. James Tissot, New York. New York: Press of J.J. Little & co., 1898.

Tissot’s artworks attracted much attention at the turn of the twentieth century. The traveling tour of Tissot’s watercolors drew masses of people, the record being 23,000 visitors in one day in Chicago. At the closure of the tour in 1900, the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences agreed to solicit funds for purchase of the collection, in part by public subscription. The call for help was made to Brooklynites through a series of notices and announcements in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Subscriptions flowed in at the rate of $300 – $1000 per day for several months, and the names of contributing individuals were periodically published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. These articles can be viewed online through Brooklyn Public Library’s digitization of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Conducting a simple keyword search for “Tissot” will return many results, revealing the public perception of Tissot’s artwork and the story of how the citizens of Brooklyn came together to acquire these works for the Brooklyn Museum collection.

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  • james coxon - 3 years ago

    hi, i hope you can help me , i have a book the life of our lord jesus christ illustrated &notes by j james tissot, it has inside the book written in french a note about staying in a great house and the owner of the house was called gladstone signed and dated 15 october 1897 j. james tissot.
    would you be interested in this book.
    you can email me or phone on 07790799865. thanks James

  • Karen Waller - 3 years ago

    This is a curiosity, indeed.
    After seeing the traveling exhibit at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Va, I went home and pulled out two books that I bought many years ago at a second hand shop.
    These are two of the Tissot Bible volumes in english, and the first, Vol. 1, also has an inscription in french, to “Monsieur Gladstone”, and the signature” J. James Tissot, 15 octobre 1897, abbaye de Buillon”. A rough translation of the french reads “I dedicate this translation of my book to you, Mr. Gladstone, you, to whom your country has given the title of great man. I thank you for the great honor that you have given to my book in accepting this dedication.”
    Is it likely that there are multiple books circulating, with the artist’s signature written on the same date, and referencing Britain’s former Prime Minister? I’ve wondered about the authenticity of this inscription in this volume – it certainly look antique, but it would be an odd marvel, for something dedicated to such a man as William E. Gladstone to have somehow arrived here in this southern state, and so neglected.

  • Deirdre Lawrence - 3 years ago

    Thanks for your interest in the Tissot volumes. We can supply more details in response to your questions but need to ask you some questions first. Please email us at library@brooklynmuseum.org and we will assist.
    Best,
    Deirdre Lawrence
    Principal Librarian

  • James Hegarty - 3 years ago

    Hi from Ireland
    I also have the two volumes of the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ with the same indcription on the page A after the title page in Volume 1.
    I would agree with Karen that it is most unlikely that these are not actual hand written inscriptions, but rather I think are a printed page in the actual publication. Difficult to tell this with old printing techniques, but this is the most likely explanation.
    Pity I was also wondering how it got to Ireland.
    Regards
    Jimmy

    • Sylvia Proger - 1 year ago

      I have an autographed lithograph of what I think is James Tissot’s “Seeking the Magi” -a scene of three men on camels leading a caravan. In the lower left hand of the lithograph is the line “copyright by J. James Tissot ’95-’96″. This picture has been in my family since I was a child (I’m way past seventy now).I’m trying to ascertain the value of this litho, if there is any. Please let me know if you can assist me in any way.
      Thank you,
      Sylvia Proger

  • Deirdre Lawrence - 3 years ago

    Hi – Yes this is very confusing since many editions were published with facsimile notes. We will do some research and come up with some examples of facsimile notes and which editions they appeared in.
    Best, Deirdre

  • Robert Kavanaugh - 3 years ago

    Good day,

    I came accross a 3 volume set of the Life of Jesus Christ by Tissot. From looking at the books it appears they are the the seconds set. Like Karen Waller volume 1 has the hand written inscription in french as well as french passages within the each book.

    I am intersetd in getting more information on these books.

    Thanks,

    Robert
    (from Canada)

  • Mary stewart - 2 years ago

    Hello, I have the same 4 hardbound books with the autograph of Tissot written in French to Mr. Gladstone, any further views on the source?

  • Kevin - 2 years ago

    Is there any further clarification regarding the Gladstone dedication on the Tissot volumes? I too have a three volume series with the dedication in volume 1.

  • Cathy Macartney - 2 years ago

    I also have a 4 volum set: Old Testament I & II, New Testament I & II. The New Testament I have the above mentioned inscription page. All four volums are in good condition. I was hoping to get an estimated value for the set.Thank you – Cathy

  • Deirdre Lawrence - 2 years ago

    We hold a number of watercolors by James Jacques Tissot (1836-1902) and many of these were showcased by the Museum in the exhibition entitled James Tissot: The Life of Christ held October 23, 2009 to January 17, 2010. The exhibition included books illustrated by Tissot and subsequently generated interest in the books. As a result, we have received a number of inquiries about the books and Tissot’s inscription which appear in many of the editions. Hopefully the information here will provide clarification.

    James Jacques Tissot produced a number of illustrated versions of the Old and New Testaments that were international bestsellers. Known under several various titles, Tissot’s series on the Life of our Saviour Jesus Christ were published for a wide audience and included limited editions to trade editions. Many of these editions contained a facsimile of Tissot’s inscription. As a result, many people think that the volumes contain original signatures but in most cases the signature and statement are indeed facsimiles or copies of the original.

    For more information about Tissot and his illustrated work, see James Tissot: The Life of Christ (Brooklyn Museum/Merrell, 2009) which is available in the Brooklyn Museum Library and the Museum Shop.

    Listed below is a compilation of editions in chronological order that were published during Tissot’s lifetime. The following is a list of publications we are aware of that included his watercolors created for various editions of the Bible:

    La vie de notre Seigneur Jesus Christ : trois cent soixante-cinq compositions, tirées des Quatre Evangiles avec des notes et des dessins explicatifs par J. James Tissot. (Tours : Alfred Mame et fils, 1896-1897) Owned by the Brooklyn Museum.: http://arcade.nyarc.org:80/record=b846790~S2

    The life of our Saviour Jesus Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels, with notes and explanatory drawings (London : Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1886) 2 v.: v. 1. The holy childhood — The ministry — v. 2. Holy week — The Passion — The Resurrection. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The New Testament; four hundred and sixty-two compositions illustrating the New Testament …(New York ; London : Idem Publishing, 1896) 2 v. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The life of our Saviour Jesus Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels, with notes and explanatory drawings (London : Sampson Low, Marston & Co. ; Paris : Lemercier & Co., 1897) Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The New Testament : four hundred and sixty-two compositions illustrating the New Testament (New York ; London : Idem Pub. Co., Imprimeries Lemercier,1897) 2 v. pt. 1. The Holy Childhood. The ministry — pt. 2. Holy Week. The Passion. The Resurrection. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The life of Our Saviour Jesvs Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels (London : S. Low, Marston & Co. ; Paris : Lemercier & Co., 1897-1898) 2 v. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    New Testament: four hundred and sixty-two compositions illustrating the New Testament (Paris, M. de Brunoff, 1897) 2 v. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The life of Our Saviour Jesus Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels with notes and explanatory drawings by J. James Tissot ; notes translated by Mrs. Arthur Bell (New York, Doubleday and McClure, 1898) “Autograph edition … limited to 600 copies for America.” Contains facsimile of Tissot’s signature. Owned by the Brooklyn Museum: http://arcade.nyarc.org:80/record=b677265~S2

    The life of Our Saviour Jesus Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels (New York : Century Co., 1898) 4 v. in 2. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The life of Our Saviour Jesus Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels with notes and explanatory drawings by J. James Tissot ; notes translated by Mrs. Arthur Bell (New York : The McClure-Tissot Company, c1899) Owned by the Brooklyn Museum: http://arcade.nyarc.org:80/record=b624615~S2

    The life of Our Saviour Jesus Christ :three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels (New York : Doubleday & McClure, 1899) 4 v.in 2: v. 1, pt. 1. The holy childhood–v. 1, pt. 2 The ministry.– v. 2, pt. 1. Holy Week–v. 2, pt. 2. The close of Holy Week: the Passion; the Resurrection. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The life of our saviour Jesus Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four gospels, with notes and explanatory drawings (Toronto : George N. Morang, 1899) 4 v:. v.1-2. The holy childhood. The ministry — v. 3-4. Holy Week. The passion. The resurrection. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The life of Our Saviour Jesus Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels [S.l.] : St. Hubert Guild, 1900) 3 v.: 1. The holy childhood — The ministry — v. 2. The ministry-continued — Holy Week — The passion — v. 3. The passion-continued — The resurrection. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The life of our Saviour Jesus Christ; three hundred and sixty -five compositions from the four gospels, with notes and explanatory drawings (New York, The McClure-Tissot Co., 1900) 3 v. illus. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The life of our Saviour Jesus Christ : three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four Gospels with notes and explanatory drawings (New York : Werner Co., Year: 1903, ©1900) 3 v: 1. The holy childhood. The ministry — v. 2. The ministry (cont.). Holy week. The passion — v. 3. The passion (cont.). The resurrection. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    La vie de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ (Tours : Alfred Mame et fils, 1903) Edition nationale. 2 vol. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    La Sainte Bible (Ancien Testament) quatre-cents compositions par J. James Tissot. ( Paris : M. de Brunoff, 1904) 560 copies printed. Owned by the Brooklyn Museum: http://arcade.nyarc.org:80/record=b270191~S2

    The Old Testament : three hundred and ninety-six compositions illustrating the Old Testament (London : Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1904 2 v. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

    The Old Testament; three hundred and ninety-six compositions illustrating the Old Testament … by J. James Tissot. (Paris, New York [etc.] M. de Brunoff, 1904) Owned by the Brooklyn Museum: http://arcade.nyarc.org:80/record=b625417~S2

    The Old Testament. Three hundred and ninety-six compositions illustrating the Old Testament …(M. de Brunoff: Paris, London; New York printed, [1905.] 2 v. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum

    Life of our Saviour Jesus Christ; three hundred and sixty-five compositions from the four gospels (New York, McClure-Tissot, 1909) 4 v. Not owned by the Brooklyn Museum.

  • mrs a coulthard - 2 years ago

    recently i have come across two volumes of the above books vol 1 vol 2and these are in wood crates with the the title on them lemercier gallery on them 35 new bond street london and was wanting to know if they were of anty value before we cut tem up for scrap

  • Ida & Sara - 2 years ago

    We have two books The Life Of Jesus Christ Section One & Two by J. James Tissot Green Binding, New York’s The Werner Company 1903. Notes Translated by (Mrs Arthur Bell N.D’Anvers). Can you tell us if we should take them to a rare book section at the library.

  • Carol Rauch - 2 years ago

    I,too have four volumes of Life of Christ by J.
    James Tissot. The inscription page of volume one
    has a french paragraph to Mr. Gladstone saying what a great and honorable man he is, etc. It is signed 15 October 1897. J. James Tissot. I see many people have same and presume it is a facsimile. Any opinions????

  • Mimi Nolan - 2 years ago

    I also have a 3 vol. series similar to the ones described above. Not sure what to do with them. Is there anyone out there who would like them and would appreciate their value? I was given them by a gentleman in my church who does estate sales.
    Sincerely,
    Mimi Nolan

    • ray jones - 1 year ago

      I am studying the bible
      I viewed the Tissot exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of art in 2010 and was inspired
      I would be interested in purchasing your books if they are still available

  • P.M. Begley - 1 year ago

    I ALSO HAVE VOL. 1 OF LIFE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BY TISSOT WITH SAME INSCRIPTION TO GLADSTONE. HAVE YOU FOUND IF THIS BOOK HAS ANY REAL VALUE BEFORE I GIVE IT AWAY? THANK YOU.

  • Sue Davis - 1 year ago

    My husband also aquired Volumes 1 and 2 of The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ about 20 years ago in London, with the same inscription from Tissot to Gladstone. There must have been a limited amount of these printed. Any ideas how to find out more about it?

  • melanie herbst - 1 year ago

    would the inside cover of first edition of the life of our saviour jesvs christ …vol III have the words “my galleons sail on every sea and bring their treasures home to me”? McClure-Tissot company New york.MDCCCXCIX. C.1895 C.1896 AND C.1899 j james tissot. translated by Mrs. arthur bell…n. d nvers.. Leather bound corners and bind ? thank you for your prompt attention. melanie herbst

  • Brian H - 1 year ago

    If the signature is real it will smudge if you rub it with a moist finger .

    • melanie - 1 year ago

      was that information for me brian? From what i understand this far, the edition A did not contain true signature.. the editions that followed have very specific signatures as they were part of a special group of replica. Forgive my ignorance but do any of you know how many of each volume 1-4 are believed to be circulating in either edition “A” or “B” . It seems to me that the catholicchapterhouse has pictures in their display but i am having alot of trouble locating the residency of the edition “A” volume “three”….365 from four by j. james Tissot translated by Mrs.Arthur Bell- McClure- tissot company new york MDCCCXCIX C.1895, C.1896, C.1899?

  • Brian H - 1 year ago

    What is the dollar value of a four volume hard cover collection of the Life of Jesus Christ by Tissot 1896 ?

  • Ella Miller-Williams - 1 year ago

    I have 2 books Life of our Lord Jesus Christ byJ.James Tissot copyright 1895 I had for 30 years ,I want to know are there any value in my books.Thank you

  • Trevor Austin - 1 year ago

    Hi
    I have a two volume set “The Life Of Our Lord Jesus Christ” in a brown binding also with the “Gladstone 1897″ inscription on page A. There are other inscriptions dated 6 March 1930 and 1982. I bought these in a second-hand book shop in Worthing, West Sussex, England a few years ago for a few pounds.
    How can I find out how much these are worth today?
    Thanks

  • Kim H - 1 year ago

    I too, have a set of 3 volumes of “The Life of Jesus Christ” by J. James Tissot (Werner Co.15 Oct 1897)with the inscription to “Mr. Gladstone”. The pages on the left are written in French and the pages on the right are in English. They also have onion skin paper protecting the illustrated pages. I would be interested in selling them if anyone knew a fair value.