Docent Presents Monday

Courtesy Royal Academy    The 1873 oil painting “Too Early,” considered one of James Tissot’s masterworks, captures that awkward moment when guests realize they’ve arrived before the appointed time. Tissot’s work will be discussed coming up at Alameda Library.

A presentation set for Monday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at Alameda Main Library, 1550 Oak St., will discuss an unsung French artist who, though working in the late 1800s, was not an Impressionist. James Tissot’s work often gets overlooked, while the Impressionist movement drives the conversation in art history classes. 

Tissot, who lived from 1836 to 1902, worked in both England and France, enjoying commercial and critical success. Approximately 60 of his works are currently on display at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. 

His work “defied both personal and professional convention,” states the Legion’s website. “His most ebullient society pictures reveal a rich and complex commentary on Belle Epoque culture, religion, fashion and politics.”

While his style proves hard to define, it shows elements of Aestheticism and Japonisme. In a sense his works may be considered windows into the past.

Monday’s discussion is presented by the Friends of the Alameda Free Library in conjunction with the Legion of Honor. Admission is free. To learn more, visit