OIL PAINTING: A Passing Storm, c.1876
In the mid 1870s Tissot met Kathleen Newton (1854-1882), an Irish divorcee with a distinctly colourful past. She had formed a sexual relationship with a man on a voyage to India to be married, and borne his child. Kathleen became his model, muse, mistress, and the great love of his life. Tissot paintings of his lady tell any observer of sensitivity of his love for her. ''A Passing Storm'' depicts her laid down on a coach . Many other successful men kept mistresses in St John's Wood, but they did not, like Tissot, live openly with them in adulterous relationships. This situation forced Tissot to chose between his social life and Kathleen. To his credit he chose his lady. It would be wrong to think that Tissot became something of a hermit, as he and Kathleen Newton entertained their more bohemian artistic friends at home.