Tissot's In the Conservatory (Rivals) could make $3.5m

In the Conservatory (Rivals) by James Jacques Joseph Tissot is to highlight Christie's sale of 19th Century European Art in New York on October 28. The work carries a valuation of $2.5m-3.5m.

Tissot was a French born painter who spent much of his career in the UK, moving to London in 1871. He worked as a cartoonist for Vanity Fair and was a contemporary and friend of painters such as Degas, Manet and Whistler.

Tissot Conservatory Christie's
The painting used to hang in the Museum of Modern Art in New York

The piece is a prime example of Tissot's skill in telling stories through his painting. The plot is kept vague and ambiguous, and the viewer is left to decipher the gestures, symbols and body language of the protagonists.

Other lots from Victorian Britain include Edmund Blair Leighton's A Call to Arms which carries a $400,000-600,000 estimate. The painting depicts a medieval scene, a theme for which Leighton is best known.

His painting, Alain Chartier, made £311,750 ($422,198) at Christie's London in 2001.

Other European art is represented by, among many others, Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau's Moses in the Bulrushes, which depicts the Biblical discovery of Moses by the Pharaoh's daughter. It carries a $250,000-300,000 estimate.

Bouguereau was one of the few women in the largely male dominated world of French academic painting. She travelled to Europe in 1860 to study art where she met her husband William Bouguereau to whom her work is often compared. The intimate feel of her work, however, is often what differentiates the two.

We have this handwritten letter by Claude Monet, the father of Impressionism.

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