Tissot is remembered for his exquisite paintings of beautiful English women and most people think he was English. In fact Jacques-Joseph Tissot was born in Nantes, then a thriving port on the Loire estuary in western France. He adopted the name James as an anglicized form when living in England.
Not a lot is known of his personal life except that around 1876 a mysterious attractive lady begins to appear in his pictures. Her identity remained a mystery until well into this century. Her name was Kathleen Newton.
He carried on painting the fashionable society for three years after arriving in Paris, but from 1885 until his death in 1902 became very religious and spent the last 17 years living as a recluse painting religious pictures.