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Les Adieux: The Farewells

Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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This is one of the first works James Tissot painted after his arrival in London in 1871, and one of several in which he treated the theme of parting. It has been suggested that such subjects were provoked by Tissot's sudden departure from his native Paris and his sense of displacement in London, although clearly he was also responding to the English taste for narrative. The reluctantly parting couple are divided by a fence that symbolises their imminent separation. The scissors which dangle from the lady's waist also allude to their division. The image became famous through an engraving published in 1873.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery





oil on canvas


H 100.3 x W 62.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1955

Work type



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Normally on display at

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Queens Road, Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RL England

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