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The Departure, from the Prodigal Son portfolio

European Art

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The Departure, from the Prodigal Son portfolio

Artwork Details


James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot
French, 1836–1902




Drypoint and aquatint on paper

Accession #

74.36 B


12 1/4 × 14 11/16 inches


Currently Not on View


Looking down with a remote expression, the young man appears uninterested in his father’s requests and impatient to take his inheritance and be on his way.

The subtle tones of aquatint and the velvety lines of drypoint are perfectly suited to describe the solid furniture, silver tea set, and other domestic details that reveal the family’s prosperous middle-class status. Ship rigging glimpsed through the window and a ship’s model on the mantle indicate the source of this prosperity to be maritime trade, the lifeblood of the English economy in the nineteenth century.


Purchase for the Ralph K. Uhry Collection