Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: Wikis


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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
Self-portrait at age twenty-four, 1804 (revised ca. 1850), oil on canvas, 78 x 61 cm, Musée Condé.
Birth name Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
Born August 24, 1780(1780-08-24)
Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne, France
Died January 14, 1867 (aged 86)
Paris, France
Field Painting, Drawing
Movement Neoclassicism
Works Louis-François Bertin, 1832
The Turkish Bath, 1862

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French pronunciation: [ɛ̃ːɡʁ]) (29 August 1780 – 14 January 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he considered himself to be a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, by the end of his life it was Ingres's portraits, both painted and drawn, that were recognized as his greatest legacy.

A man profoundly respectful of the past, he assumed the role of a guardian of academic orthodoxy against the ascendant Romantic style represented by his nemesis Eugène Delacroix. His exemplars, he once explained, were "the great masters which flourished in that century of glorious memory when Raphael set the eternal and incontestable bounds of the sublime in art ... I am thus a conservator of good doctrine, and not an innovator."[1] Nevertheless, modern opinion has tended to regard Ingres and the other Neoclassicists of his era as embodying the Romantic spirit of his time,[2] while his expressive distortions of form and space make him an important precursor of modern art.



Early years

Ingres was born in Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne, France, the first of seven children (five of whom survived infancy) of Jean-Marie-Joseph Ingres (1755–1814) and his wife Anne Moulet (1758–1817). His father was a successful jack-of-all-trades in the arts, a painter of miniatures, sculptor, decorative stonemason, and amateur musician; his mother was the nearly illiterate daughter of a master wigmaker. From his father the young Ingres received early encouragement and instruction in drawing and music, and his first known drawing, a study after an antique cast, was made in 1789.[3] Starting in 1786 he attended the local school, Ecole des Frères de l'Education Chrétienne, but his education was disrupted by the turmoil of the French Revolution, and the closing of the school in 1791 marked the end of his conventional education. The deficiency of his schooling would always remain for him a source of insecurity.[4]

In 1791, Joseph Ingres took his son to Toulouse, where the young Jean Auguste Dominique was enrolled in the Académie Royale de Peinture, Sculpture et Architecture. There he studied under the sculptor Jean-Pierre Vigan, the landscape painter Jean Briant, and—most importantly—the painter Joseph Roques, who imparted to the young artist his veneration of Raphael.[5] Ingres's musical talent was further developed under the tutelage of the violinist Lejeune. From the ages of thirteen to sixteen he was second violinist in the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, and he would continue to play the violin as an avocation for the rest of his life.

In Paris

Having been awarded first prize in drawing by the Academy, in August 1797 he traveled to Paris to study with Jacques-Louis David, France's—and Europe's—leading painter during the revolutionary period, in whose studio he remained for four years. Ingres followed his master's neoclassical example but revealed, according to David, "a tendency toward exaggeration in his studies."[6] He was admitted to the Painting Department of the École des Beaux-Arts in October 1799, and won, after tying for second place in 1800, the Grand Prix de Rome in 1801 for his Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the tent of Achilles. His trip to Rome, however, was postponed until 1806, when the financially strained government finally appropriated the travel funds.

Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne, 1806, oil on canvas, 260 x 163 cm, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Working in Paris alongside several other students of David in a studio provided by the state, he further developed a style that emphasized purity of contour. He found inspiration in the works of Raphael, in Etruscan vase paintings, and in the outline engravings of the English artist John Flaxman.[7] In 1802 he made his debut at the Salon with Portrait of a Woman (the current whereabouts of which are unknown). The following year brought a prestigious commission, when Ingres was one of five artists selected (along with Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Robert Lefèvre, Charles Meynier, and Marie-Guillemine Benoist) to paint full-length portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte as First Consul. These were to be distributed to the prefectural towns of Liège, Antwerp, Dunkerque, Brussels, and Ghent, all of which were newly ceded to France in the 1801 Treaty of Lunéville.[8]

Madame Rivière, 1806, oil on canvas, 116.5 x 81.7 cm, Louvre

In the summer of 1806 Ingres became engaged to Marie-Anne-Julie Forestier, a painter and musician, before leaving for Rome in September. Although he had hoped to stay in Paris long enough to witness the opening of that year's Salon, in which he was to display several works, he reluctantly left for Italy just days before the opening.[9] At the Salon, his paintings—Self-Portrait, portraits of the Rivière family, and Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne—produced a disturbing impression on the public, due not only to Ingres's stylistic idiosyncrasies but also to his adoption of Carolingian imagery in representing Napoleon.[10] David delivered a severe judgement,[3] and the critics were uniformly hostile, finding fault with the strange discordances of colour, the want of sculptural relief, the chilly precision of contour, and the self-consciously archaic quality. Chaussard (Le Pausanias Français, 1806) condemned Ingres's style as gothic and asked:

How, with so much talent, a line so flawless, an attention to detail so thorough, has M. Ingres succeeded in painting a bad picture? The answer is that he wanted to do something singular, something extraordinary ... M. Ingres's intention is nothing less than to make art regress by four centuries, to carry us back to its infancy, to revive the manner of Jean de Bruges.[11]

As art historian Marjorie Cohn has written: "At the time, art history as a scholarly enquiry was brand new. Artists and critics outdid each other in their attempts to identify, interpret, and exploit what they were just beginning to perceive as historical stylistic developments."[12] The Louvre, newly filled with booty seized by Napoleon in his campaigns in Belgium, Holland, and Italy, provided French artists of the early nineteenth century with an unprecedented opportunity to study, compare, and copy masterworks from antiquity and from the entire history of European painting.[13] From the beginning of his career, Ingres freely borrowed from earlier art, adopting the historical style appropriate to his subject, leading critics to charge him with plundering the past.

Newly arrived in Rome, Ingres read with mounting indignation the relentlessly negative press clippings sent to him from Paris by his friends. In letters to his prospective father-in-law he expressed his outrage at the critics: "So the Salon is the scene of my disgrace; ... The scoundrels, they waited until I was away to assassinate my reputation ... I have never been so unhappy." He vowed never again to exhibit at the Salon, and his refusal to return to Paris led to the breaking up of his engagement.[14] Julie Forestier, when asked years later why she had never married, responded, "When one has had the honor of being engaged to M. Ingres, one does not marry."[15]

In Rome

Installed in a studio on the grounds of the Villa Medici, Ingres continued his studies and, as required of every winner of the Prix, he sent works at regular intervals to Paris so his progress could be judged. As his envoi of 1808 Ingres sent Oedipus and the Sphinx and the Valpinçon Bather (both now in the Louvre), hoping by these two paintings to demonstrate his mastery of the male and female nude, but they were poorly received.[16] In later years Ingres painted variants of both compositions; another nude begun in 1807, the Venus Anadyomene, remained in an unfinished state for decades, to be completed forty years later and finally exhibited in 1855.

He produced numerous portraits during this period: Madame Duvauçay, François-Marius Granet, Edme-François-Joseph Bochet, Madame Panckoucke, and that of Madame la Comtesse de Tournon, mother of the prefect of the department of the Tiber. In 1810 Ingres's pension at the Villa Medici ended, but he decided to stay in Rome and seek patronage from the French occupation government.

In 1811 Ingres finished his final student exercise, the immense Jupiter and Thetis, which was once again harshly judged in Paris. Ingres was stung; the public was indifferent, and the strict classicists among his fellow artists looked upon him as a renegade. Only Eugène Delacroix and other pupils of Pierre-Narcisse Guérin—the leaders of that romantic movement for which Ingres throughout his long life always expressed the deepest abhorrence—seem to have recognized his merits.

Although facing uncertain prospects, in 1813 Ingres married a young woman, Madeleine Chapelle, who had been recommended to him by her friends in Rome. After a courtship carried out through correspondence, he proposed to her without having met her, and she accepted. Their marriage was a happy one, and Madame Ingres acquired a faith in her husband which enabled her to combat with courage and patience the difficulties of their common existence. He continued to suffer the indignity of disparaging reviews, as Don Pedro of Toledo Kissing the Sword of Henry IV, Raphael and the Fornarina (Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University), several portraits, and the Interior of the Sistine Chapel met a generally hostile critical response at the Paris Salon of 1814.[17]

A few important commissions came to him; the French governor of Rome asked him to paint Virgil reading the Aeneid (1812) for his residence, and to paint two colossal works—Romulus's victory over Acron (1812) and The Dream of Ossian (1813)—for Monte Cavallo, a former Papal residence undergoing renovation to become Napoleon's Roman palace. These paintings epitomized, both in subject and scale, the type of painting with which Ingres was determined to make his reputation, but, as Philip Conisbee has pointed out, "for all the high ideals that had been drummed into Ingres at the academies in Toulouse, Paris, and Rome, such commissions were exceptions to the rule, for in reality there was little demand for history paintings in the grand manner, even in the city of Raphael and Michelangelo."[18] Art collectors preferred "light-hearted mythologies, recognizable scenes of everyday life, landscapes, still lifes, or likenesses of men and women of their own class. This preference persisted throughout the nineteenth century, as academically oriented artists waited and hoped for the patronage of state or church to satisfy their more elevated ambitions."[19]

La Grande Odalisque, 1814, oil on canvas, 91 x 162 cm, Louvre. The subject's elongated proportions, reminiscent of 16th-century Mannerist painters, reflect Ingres's search for the pure form of his model

Ingres traveled to Naples in the spring of 1814 to paint Queen Caroline Murat, and the Murat family ordered additional portraits as well as three modestly-scaled works: The Betrothal of Raphael, La Grande Odalisque, and Paolo and Francesca. He never received payment for these paintings, however, due to the collapse of the Murat regime in 1815; with the fall of Napoleon's dynasty, he found himself essentially stranded in Rome without patronage.

During this low point of his career, Ingres was forced to depend for his livelihood on the execution, in pencil, of small portrait drawings of the many tourists, in particular the English, passing through postwar Rome. For an artist who aspired to a reputation as a history painter, this seemed menial work, and to the visitors who knocked on his door asking, "Is this where the man who draws the little portraits lives?", he would answer with irritation, "No, the man who lives here is a painter!"[20] Nevertheless, the portrait drawings he produced in such profusion during this period are of outstanding quality, and rank today among his most admired works.

Mining the vein of the small-scale historical genre piece, in 1815 he painted Aretino and the Envoy of Charles V as well as Aretino and Tintoretto, an anecdotal painting whose subject, a painter brandishing a pistol at his critic, may have been especially satisfying to the embattled Ingres.[21] In 1817 he painted Henry IV Playing with His Children, and in the following year the Death of Leonardo. In 1817 the Count of Blacas, who was ambassador of France to the Holy See, provided Ingres with his first official commission since 1814, for a painting of Christ Giving the Keys to Peter. Completed in 1820, this imposing work was well-received in Rome but to the artist's chagrin the ecclesiastical authorities there would not permit it to be sent to Paris for exhibition.

A commission came in 1816 or 1817 from the family of the celebrated Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva, for a painting of the Duke receiving papal honors for his repression of the Protestant Reformation. Ingres, despite his distaste for the subject and his loathing for the man he described as "cet horrible homme", made sketches for this project which reveal his attempt to fulfill the commission while conveying his disapproval.[22] Finally he abandoned the task and entered in his diary, "J'etais forcé par la necessité de peindre un pareil tableau; Dieu a voulu qu'il reste en ebauche." ("I was forced by need to paint such a painting; God wanted it to remain a sketch.")

During this period, Ingres formed friendships with musicians including Paganini, and regularly played the violin with others who shared his enthusiasm for Mozart, Haydn, Gluck, and Beethoven.[23] The works he sent to the 1819 Salon were La Grande Odalisque, Philip V and the Marshal of Berwick, and Roger Freeing Angelica, which were once again attacked as "gothic".[24]

In Florence

Ingres and his wife moved to Florence in 1820 at the urging of the Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini, an old friend from his years in Paris, who hoped that Ingres would improve his position materially, but Ingres, as before, had to rely on his drawings of tourists and diplomats for support. His friendship with Bartolini, whose worldly success in the intervening years stood in sharp contrast to Ingres's poverty, quickly became strained, and Ingres found new quarters.[25] In 1821 he finished a painting commissioned by a childhood friend, Monsieur de Pastoret, the Entry of Charles V into Paris; de Pastoret also ordered a portrait of himself and a religious work (Virgin with the Blue Veil). The major undertaking of this period, however, was a commission obtained in August 1820 with the help of de Pastoret, to paint the Vow of Louis XIII for the Cathedral of Montauban. Recognizing this as an opportunity to establish himself as a painter of history, he spent four diligent years bringing the large canvas to completion, and he travelled to Paris with it in October 1824.

Louis-François Bertin, 1832, oil on canvas, 116 x 96 cm, Louvre

Triumphal return to Paris and angry retreat to Rome

The Vow of Louis XIII, exhibited at the Salon of 1824, finally brought Ingres critical success. Conceived in a Raphaelesque style relatively free of the archaisms for which he had been reproached in the past, it was admired even by strict Davidians. Ingres found himself celebrated throughout France; in January 1825 he was awarded the Cross of the Légion d'honneur, and in June 1825 he was elected to the Institute. His fame was extended further in 1826 by the publication of Sudre's lithograph of La Grande Odalisque, which, having been scorned by artists and critics alike in 1819, now became widely popular.

A commission from the government called forth the monumental Apotheosis of Homer, which Ingres eagerly finished in a year's time. From 1826 to 1834 the studio of Ingres was thronged, and he was a recognized chef d'école who taught with authority and wisdom while working steadily. The critics came to regard Ingres as the standard-bearer of classicism against the romantic school[26]—a role he relished. The paintings, primarily portraits, that he sent to the Salon in 1827 and 1833 were well received. The portrait of Louis-François Bertin (1832) was a particular success with the public, who found its realism spellbinding, although some of the critics found its naturalism vulgar and its coloring drab.

The thin-skinned artist was outraged, however, by the criticism of his ambitious canvas of the Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien (cathedral of Autun), shown in the Salon of 1834. Resentful and disgusted, Ingres resolved never again to work for the public, and gladly availed himself of the opportunity to return to Rome, as director of the École de France, in the room of Horace Vernet. There, although the time he spent in administrative duties slowed the flow of paintings from his brush, he executed Antiochus and Stratonice (executed for Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans), Portrait of Luigi Cherubini, and the Odalisque with Slave, among other works.

Paris, 1841–1867

The Turkish Bath, 1862, oil on canvas, diam. 108 cm, Louvre. A summation of the theme of female voluptuousness attractive to Ingres throughout his life, rendered in the circular format of earlier masters.

The Stratonice, exhibited at the Palais Royal for several days after its arrival in France, produced so favourable an impression that, on his return to Paris in 1841, Ingres was received with all the deference that he felt was his due. One of the first works executed after his return was a portrait of the duc d'Orléans, whose death in a carriage accident just weeks after the completion of the portrait sent the nation into mourning and led to orders for additional copies of the portrait.

Ingres shortly afterward began the decorations of the great hall in the Chateau de Dampierre. These murals, the Golden Age and the Iron Age, were begun in 1843 with an ardour which gradually slackened until Ingres, devastated by the loss of his wife on 27 July 1849, abandoned all hope of their completion and the contract with the Duc de Luynes was finally cancelled. A minor work, Jupiter and Antiope, dates from 1851; in July of that year he announced a gift of his artwork to his native city of Montauban, and in October he resigned as professor at the École des Beaux-Arts.

The following year Ingres, at seventy-one years of age, married forty-three-year-old Delphine Ramel, a relative of his friend Marcotte d'Argenteuil. This marriage proved as happy as his first, and in the decade that followed Ingres completed several significant works. A major undertaking was the Apotheosis of Napoleon I, painted in 1853 for the ceiling of a hall in the Hotel de Ville, Paris and destroyed by fire in the Commune of 1871. The portrait of Princesse Albert de Broglie was also completed in 1853, and Joan of Arc appeared in 1854. The latter was largely the work of assistants, whom Ingres often entrusted with the execution of backgrounds. In 1855 Ingres consented to rescind his resolution, more or less strictly kept since 1834, in favour of the International Exhibition, where a room was reserved for his works.[27]

Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte, president of the jury, proposed an exceptional recompense for their author, and obtained from emperor Napoleon III of France Ingres's nomination as grand officer of the Légion d'honneur.

With renewed confidence Ingres now took up and completed one of his most charming productions, The Source, a figure for which he had painted the torso in 1823; when seen with other works in London in 1862, admiration for his works was renewed, and he was given the title of senator by the imperial government.

Ingres's tomb. Cimitière du Père Lachaise, Paris, France

After the completion of The Source, Ingres produced paintings of historical genre, such as two versions of Louis XIV and Molière, (1857 and 1860), as well as several religious works in which the figure of the Virgin from The Vow of Louis XIII is reprised: The Virgin of the Adoption of 1858 (painted for Mademoiselle Roland-Gosselin) was followed by The Virgin Crowned (painted for Madame la Baronne de Larinthie) and The Virgin with Child. In 1859 he produced repetitions of The Virgin of the Host, and in 1862 he completed Christ and the Doctors, a work commissioned many years before by Queen Marie Amalie for the chapel of Bizy.

The last of his important portrait paintings date from this period: Marie-Clothilde-Inés de Foucauld, Madame Moitessier, Seated (1856), Self-Portrait at the Age of Seventy-nine and Madame J.-A.-D. Ingres, née Delphine Ramel, both completed in 1859. The Turkish Bath, finished in a rectangular format in 1859, was revised in 1860 before being turned into a tondo. Ingres signed and dated it in 1862, although he made additional revisions in 1863.[28]

Ingres died of pneumonia on 17 January 1867, at the age of eighty-six, having preserved his faculties to the last. He is interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. The contents of his studio, including a number of major paintings, over 4000 drawings, and his violin, were bequeathed by the artist to the city museum of Montauban, now known as the Musée Ingres.[29]


Odalisque with a Slave, 1842, oil on canvas, 76 x 105 cm, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore

Ingres's style was formed early in life and changed comparatively little.[30] His earliest drawings, such as the Portrait of a Man (3 July 1797, now in the Louvre) already show a suavity of outline and an extraordinary control of the parallel hatchings which model the forms. From the first, his paintings are characterized by a firmness of outline reflecting his often-quoted conviction that "drawing is the probity of art".[31] He believed colour to be no more than an accessory to drawing, explaining: "Drawing is not just reproducing contours, it is not just the line; drawing is also the expression, the inner form, the composition, the modelling. See what is left after that. Drawing is seven eighths of what makes up painting."[32]

He abhorred the visible brushstroke and made no recourse to the shifting effects of colour and light on which the Romantic school depended; he preferred local colours only faintly modelled in light by half tones. "Ce que l'on sait," he would repeat, "il faut le savoir l'épée à la main." ("Whatever you know, you must know it with sword in hand.") Ingres thus left himself without the means of producing the necessary unity of effect when dealing with crowded compositions, such as the Apotheosis of Homer and the Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien. Among Ingres's historical and mythological paintings, the most satisfactory are usually those depicting one or two figures. In Oedipus, Half-Length Bather, Odalisque, and The Spring, subjects only animated by the consciousness of perfect physical well-being, we find Ingres at his best.

Roger Freeing Angelica, 1819, oil on canvas, 147 x 190 cm, Louvre, portrays an episode from Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto

In Roger Freeing Angelica, the female figure shows the finest qualities of Ingres's work, while the effigy of Roger flying to the rescue on his hippogriff sounds a jarring note, for Ingres was rarely successful in the depiction of movement and drama. As Sanford Schwartz has noted, the "historical, mythological, and religious pictures bespeak huge amounts of energy and industry, but, conveying little palpable sense of inner tension, are costume dramas ... The faces in the history pictures are essentially those of models waiting for the session to be over. When an emotion is to be expressed, it comes across stridently, or woodenly."[33]

Ingres's choice of subjects reflected his literary tastes, which were severely limited: he read and reread Homer, Virgil, Plutarch, Dante, histories, and the lives of the artists.[34] Throughout his life he revisited a small number of favourite themes, and painted multiple versions of many of his major compositions.[35] He did not share his age's enthusiasm for battle scenes, and generally preferred to depict "moments of revelation or intimate decision manifested by meeting or confrontation, but never by violence."[36] His numerous odalisque paintings were influenced to a great extent by the writings of Mary Wortley Montagu, the wife of the ambassador to Turkey whose diaries and letters, when published, fascinated European society.[37]

Although capable of painting quickly, he often laboured for years over a painting. The Spring, although dated 1856, was painted in 1821, except for the head and the extremities; those who knew the work in its incomplete state professed that the after-painting, necessary to fuse new and old, lacked the vigour and precision of touch that distinguished the original execution of the torso. Ingres's pupil Amaury-Duval wrote of him: "With this facility of execution, one has trouble explaining why Ingres' oeuvre is not still larger, but he scraped out [his work] frequently, never being satisfied ... and perhaps this facility itself made him rework whatever dissatisfied him, certain that he had the power to repair the fault, and quickly, too."[38]

By the time of Ingres's retrospective at the Exposition Universelle in 1855, an emerging consensus viewed his portrait paintings as his masterpieces.[39] Their consistently high quality belies Ingres's often-stated complaint that the demands of portraiture robbed him of time he could have spent painting historical subjects. The most famous of all of Ingres's portraits, depicting the journalist Louis-François Bertin, quickly became a symbol of the rising economic and political power of the bourgeoisie.[40] His portraits of women range from the warmly sensuous Madame de Senonnes (1814) to the realistic Mademoiselle Jeanne Gonin (1821), the Junoesque Marie-Clothilde-Inés de Foucauld, Madame Moitessier (portrayed standing and seated, 1851 and 1856), and the chilly Joséphine-Eléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn, Princesse de Broglie (1853).

Mme Victor Baltard and Her Daughter, Paule, 1836, pencil on paper, 30.1 x 22.3 cm

His portrait drawings, of which about 450 are extant,[41] are today among his most admired works. While a disproportionate number of them date from his difficult early years in Italy, he continued to produce portrait drawings of his friends until the end of his life. Agnes Mongan has written of the portrait drawings:

Before his departure in the fall of 1806 from Paris for Rome, the familiar characteristics of his drawing style were well established, the delicate yet firm contour, the definite yet discreet distortions of form, the almost uncanny capacity to seize a likeness in the precise yet lively delineation of features.

The preferred materials were also already established: the sharply pointed graphite pencil on a smooth white paper. So familiar to us are both the materials and the manner that we forget how extraordinary they must have seemed at the time ... Ingres' manner of drawing was as new as the century. It was immediately recognized as expert and admirable. If his paintings were sternly criticized as "Gothic," no comparable criticism was leveled at his drawings.[42]

His student Robert Balze described Ingres's working routine in executing his portrait drawings, each of which required four hours, as "an hour and a half in the morning, then two-and-a-half hours in the afternoon, he very rarely retouched it the next day. He often told me that he got the essence of the portrait while lunching with the model who, off guard, became more natural."[43] Ingres drew his portrait drawings on wove paper, which provided a smooth surface very different from the ribbed surface of laid paper (which is, nevertheless, sometimes referred to today as "Ingres paper").[44]

Drawings made in preparation for paintings, such as the many nude studies for The Martyrdom of St. Symphorien and The Golden Age, are more varied in size and treatment than are the portrait drawings. He also drew a number of landscape views while in Rome but, with the exception of the small tondo Raphael's Casino (two other small tondos are of questionable attribution), he painted no pure landscapes.[45]


Ingres was regarded as an effective teacher and was beloved by his students.[46] The best known of them is Théodore Chassériau, who studied with him from 1830, as a precocious eleven-year-old, until Ingres closed his studio in 1834 to return to Rome. Ingres considered Chassériau his truest disciple—even predicting, according to an early biographer, that he would be "the Napoleon of painting."[47] By the time Chassériau visited Ingres in Rome in 1840, however, the younger artist's growing allegiance to the romantic style of Delacroix was apparent, leading Ingres to disown his favorite student, of whom he never again spoke favorably. No other artist who studied under Ingres succeeded in establishing a strong identity; among the most notable of them were Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin, Henri Lehmann, and Eugène Emmanuel Amaury-Duval.

Ingres's influence on later generations of artists has been considerable. His most significant heir was Degas, who studied under Louis Lamothe, a minor disciple of Ingres. In the twentieth century, Picasso and Matisse were among those who acknowledged a debt to the great classicist; Matisse described him as the first painter "to use pure colors, outlining them without distorting them."[48] Pierre Barousse, the Keeper of the Musée Ingres, has written:

The case of Ingres is certainly disturbing when one realizes in how many ways a variety of artists claim him as their master, from the most plainly conventional of the nineteenth century such as Cabanel or Bouguereau, to the most revolutionary of our century from Matisse to Picasso. A classicist? Above all, he was moved by the impulse to penetrate the secret of natural beauty and to reinterpret it through its own means; an attitude fundamentally different to that of David ... there results a truly personal and unique art admired as much by the Cubists for its plastic autonomy, as by the Surrealists for its visionary qualities.[49]

Barnett Newman credited Ingres as a progenitor of abstract expressionism, explaining: "That guy was an abstract painter ... He looked at the canvas more often than at the model. Kline, de Kooning—none of us would have existed without him."[50]

Ingres's well-known passion for playing the violin gave to the French language a colloquialism, "violon d'Ingres", meaning a second skill beyond the one by which a person is mainly known. The American avant-garde artist Man Ray used this expression as the title of a famous photograph[2] portraying Alice Prin (aka Kiki de Montparnasse) in the pose of the Valpinçon Bather.

Paintings with articles



  1. ^ Condon et al. 1983, p. 14.
  2. ^ Turner 2000, p. 237.
  3. ^ a b Arikha 1986, p. 103.
  4. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, pp. 25, 280.
  5. ^ Prat 2004, p. 15.
  6. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 31.
  7. ^ Mongan and Naef 1967, p. xix.
  8. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 46.
  9. ^ Cohn and Siegfried 1980, p. 22.
  10. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 68.
  11. ^ Quoted and translated in Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 70.
  12. ^ Condon et al. 1983, p. 13.
  13. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 27.
  14. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 546.
  15. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 75.
  16. ^ Condon et al. 1983, p. 38.
  17. ^ Mongan and Naef 1967, p xx.
  18. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 106.
  19. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 26.
  20. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 111.
  21. ^ Condon et al. 1983, p. 12.
  22. ^ Condon et al. 1983, p. 86.
  23. ^ Arikha 1986, p. 104.
  24. ^ Cohn and Siegfried 1980, pp. 22–23.
  25. ^ Cohn and Siegfried 1980, pp. 23, 114
  26. ^ Siegfried & Rifkin 2001, p. 78–81.
  27. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 554.
  28. ^ Prat 2004, p. 90.
  29. ^ Cohn and Siegfried 1980, p. 25.
  30. ^ Arikha 1986, p. 5.
  31. ^ Prat 2004, p. 13.
  32. ^ Barousse 1979, p. 5.
  33. ^ Schwartz 2006, p. 5.
  34. ^ Condon et al. 1983, p. 13.
  35. ^ Condon et al. 1983, pp. 12–13.
  36. ^ Condon et al. 1983, pp. 11–12.
  37. ^ Cornucopia, issue 10 [1]
  38. ^ Condon et al. 1983, p. 11.
  39. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 512.
  40. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 300.
  41. ^ Ribeiro 1999, p. 47.
  42. ^ Mongan and Naef 1967, p. xiii.
  43. ^ Arikha 1986, p. 6.
  44. ^ Mongan and Naef 1967, p. 244.
  45. ^ Arikha 1986, p. 1.
  46. ^ Tinterow, Conisbee et al. 1999, p. 281.
  47. ^ Guégan et al. 2002, p. 168.
  48. ^ Arikha 1986, p. 11.
  49. ^ Barousse 1979, p. 7.
  50. ^ Schneider 1969, p. 39.


  • Arikha, Avigdor (1986). J.A.D. Ingres: Fifty Life Drawings from the Musée Ingres at Montauban. Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts. ISBN 0-89090-036-1
  • Barousse, Pierre, 1979, "The drawings of Ingres or the poetry in his work", Ingres: Drawings from the Musee Ingres at Montauban and other collections (catalogue), Arts Council of Great Britain. ISBN 0-7287-0204-5
  • Clay, Jean (1981). Romanticism. New York: Vendome. ISBN 0-86565-012-8
  • Cohn, Marjorie B.; Siegfried, Susan L. (1980). Works by J.-A.-D. Ingres in the collection of the Fogg Art Museum. Cambridge: Fogg Art Museum.
  • Condon, Patricia, et al. (1983). In Pursuit of Perfection: The Art of J.-A.-D. Ingres. Louisville: The J. B. Speed Art Museum. ISBN 0-9612276-0-5
  • Delaborde, Henri (1870). Ingres, sa vie et ses travaux. Paris.
  • Gowing, Lawrence (1987). Paintings in the Louvre. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang. ISBN 1-55670-007-5
  • Guégan, Stéphane; Pomaréde, Vincent; Prat, Louis-Antoine (2002). Théodore Chassériau, 1819-1856: the unknown romantic. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 1-58839-067-5
  • Mongan, Agnes; Naef, Dr. Hans (1967). Ingres Centennial Exhibition 1867-1967: Drawings, Watercolors, and Oil Sketches from American Collections. Greenwich: New York Graphic Society.
  • Parker, Robert Allerton, 1926, "Ingres: The Apostle of Draughtsmanship", International Studio 83 (March 1926): pp. 24–32.
  • Prat, Louis-Antoine (2004). Ingres. Milan: 5 Continents. ISBN 88-7439-099-8
  • Ribeiro, Aileen (1999). Ingres in Fashion: Representations of Dress and Appearance in Ingres's Images of Women. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07927-3
  • Schneider, Pierre, 1969, "Through the Louvre with Barnett Newman", ARTnews (June 1969): pp. 34–72.
  • Schwartz, Sanford, 2006, "Ingres vs. Ingres", The New York Review of Books 53:12 (2005): pp. 4–6.
  • Siegfried, S. L., & Rifkin, A. (2001). Fingering Ingres. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-22526-9
  • Tinterow, Gary; Conisbee, Philip, et al. (1999). Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 0-300-08653-9
  • Turner, J. (2000). From Monet to Cézanne: late 19th-century French artists. Grove Art. New York: St Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-22971-2

External links

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Preceded by
Horace Vernet
Director of the
French Academy in Rome

Succeeded by
Jean-Victor Schnetz


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (August 29, 1780January 14, 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he thought of himself as a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, by the end of his life it was his portraits, both painted and drawn, that were recognized as his greatest legacy.


  • If I had to put a sign over my door, I would write "School of Drawing" and I'm certain that I would create painters.
  • Drawing is the probity of includes everything except the tint.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JEAN AUGUSTE DOMINIQUE INGRES (1780-1867), French painter, was born at Montauban, on the 29th of August 1780. His father, for whom he entertained the most tender and respectful affection, has described himself as sculpteur en pldtre; he was, however, equally ready to execute every other kind of decorative work, and now and again eked out his living by taking portraits or obtained an engagement as a violin-player. He brought up his son to command the same varied resources, but in consequence of certain early successes - the lad's performance of a concerto of Viotti's was applauded at the theatre of Toulouse - his attention was directed chiefly to the study of music. At Toulouse, to which place his father had removed from Montauban in 1792, Ingres had, however, received lessons from Joseph Rogues, a painter whom he quitted at the end of a few months to become a pupil of M. Vigan, professor at the academy of fine arts in the same town. From Vigan, Ingres, whose vocation became day by day more distinctly evident, passed to M. Briant, a landscape-painter who insisted that his pupil was specially gifted by nature to follow the same line as himself. For a while Ingres obeyed, but he had been thoroughly aroused and enlightened as to his own objects and desires by the sight of a copy of Raphael's "Madonna della Sedia," and, having ended his connexion with Briant, he started for Paris, where he arrived about the close of 1796. He was then admitted to the studio of David, for whose lofty standard and severe principles he always retained a profound appreciation. Ingres, after four years of devoted study, during which (1800) he obtained the second place in the yearly competition, finally carried off the Grand Prix (1801). The work thus rewarded - the "Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the Tent of Achilles" (Ecole des Beaux Arts) - was admired by Flaxman so much as to give umbrage to David, and was succeeded in the following year (1802) by the execution of a "Girl after Bathing," and a woman's portrait; in 1804 Ingres exhibited "Portrait of the First Consul" (Musee de Liege), and portraits of his father and himself; these were followed in 1806 by "Portrait of the Emperor" (Invalides), and portraits of M, Mme, and Mlle Riviere (the first two now in the Louvre). These and various minor works were executed in Paris (for it was not until 1809 that the state of public affairs admitted of the re-establishment of the Academy of France at Rome), and they produced a disturbing impression on the public. It was clear that the artist was some one who must be counted with; his talent, the purity of his line, and his power of literal rendering were generally acknowledged; but he was reproached with a desire to be singular and extraordinary. "Ingres," writes Frau v. Hastfer (Leben and Kunst in Paris, 1806) "wird nach Italien gehen, and dort wird er vielleicht vergessen dass er zu etwas Grossem geboren ist, and wird eben darum ein hohes Ziel erreichen." In this spirit, also, Chaussard violently attacked his "Portrait of the Emperor" (Pausanias FranQais, 1806), nor did the portraits of the Riviere family escape. The points on which Chaussard justly lays stress are the strange discordances of colour - such as the blue of the cushion against which Mme Riviere leans, and the want of the relief and warmth of life, but he omits to touch on that grasp of his subject as a whole, shown in the portraits of both husband and wife, which already evidences the strength and sincerity of the passionless point of view which marks all Ingres's best productions. The very year after his arrival in Rome (1808) Ingres produced "Oedipus and the Sphinx" (Louvre; lithographed by Sudre, engraved by Gaillard), a work which proved him in the full possession of his mature powers, and began the "Venus Anadyomene" (Collection Rieset; engraving by Pollet), completed forty years later, and exhibited in 1855. These works were followed by some of his best portraits, that of M. Bochet (Louvre), and that of Mme la Comtesse de Tournon, mother of the prefect of the department of the Tiber; in 1811 he finished "Jupiter and Thetis," an immense canvas now in the Musee of Aix; in 1812 "Romulus and Acron" (Ecole des Beaux Arts), and "Virgil reading the Aeneid" - a composition very different from the version of it which has become popular through the engraving executed by Pradier in 1832. The original work, executed for a bedchamber in the Villa Aldobrandini-Miollis, contained neither the figures of Maecenas and Agrippa nor the statue of Marcellus; and Ingres, who had obtained possession of it during his second stay in Rome, intended to complete it with the additions made for engraving. But he never got beyond the stage of preparation, and the picture left by him, together with various other studies and sketches, to the Musee of his native town, remains half destroyed by the process meant for its regeneration. The "Virgil" was followed by the "Betrothal of Raphael," a small painting, now lost, executed for Queen Caroline of Naples; "Don Pedro of Toledo Kissing the Sword of Henry IV." (Collection Deymie; Montauban), exhibited at the Salon of 1814, together with the "Chapelle Sistine" (Collection Legentil; lithographed by Sudre), and the "Grande Odalisque" (Collection Seilliere; lithographed by Sudre). In 1815 Ingres executed "Raphael and the Fornarina" (Collection Mme N. de Rothschild; engraved by Pradier); in 1816 "Aretin" and the "Envoy of Charles V." (Collection Schroth), and "Aretin and Tintoret" (Collection Schroth); in 1817 the "Death of Leonardo" (engraved by Richomme) and "Henry IV. Playing with his Children" (engraved by Richomme), both of which works were commissions from M. le Comte de Blacas, then ambassador of France at the Vatican. "Roger and Angelique" (Louvre; lithographed by Sudre), and "Francesca di Rimini" (Musee of Angers; lithographed by Aubry Lecomte), were completed in 1819, and followed in 1820 by "Christ giving the Keys to Peter" (Louvre). In 1815, also, Ingres had made many projects for treating a subject from the life of the celebrated duke of Alva, a commission from the family, but a loathing for "cet horrible homme" grew upon him, and finally he abandoned the task and entered in his diary - "J'etais force par la necessite de peindre un pareil tableau; Dieu a voulu qu'il restat en ebauche." During all these years Ingres's reputation in France did not increase. The interest which his "Chapelle Sistine" had aroused at the Salon of 1814 soon died away; not only was the public indifferent, but amongst his brother artists Ingres found scant recognition. The strict classicists looked upon him as a renegade, and strangely enough Delacroix and other pupils of Guerin - the leaders of that romantic movement for which Ingres, throughout his long life, always expressed the deepest abhorrence - alone seem to have been sensible of his merits. The weight of poverty, too, was hard to bear. In 1813 Ingres had married; his marriage had been arranged for him with a young woman who came in a business-like way from Montauban, on the strength of the representations of her friends in Rome. Mme Ingres speedily acquired a faith in her husband which enabled her to combat with heroic courage and patience the difficulties which beset their common existence, and which were increased by their removal to Florence. There Bartolini, an old friend, had hoped that Ingres might have materially bettered his position, and that he might have aroused the Florentine school - a weak offshoot from that of David - to a sense of its own shortcomings. These expectations were disappointed. The good offices of Bartolini, and of one or two other persons, could only alleviate the miseries of this stay in a town where Ingres was all but deprived of the means of gaining daily bread by the making of those small portraits for the execution of which, in Rome, his pencil had been constantly in request. Before his departure he had, however, been commissioned to paint for M. de Pastoret the "Entry of Charles V. into Paris," and M. de Pastoret now obtained an order for Ingres from the Administration of Fine Arts; he was directed to treat the "Voeu de Louis XIII." for the cathedral of Montauban. This work, exhibited at the Salon of 1824, met with universal approbation: even those sworn to observe the unadulterated precepts of David found only admiration for the "Veeu de Louis XIII." On his return Ingres was received at Montauban with enthusiastic homage, and found himself celebrated throughout France. In the following year (1825) he was elected to the Institute, and his fame was further extended in 1826 by the publication of Sudre's lithograph of the "Grande Odalisque," which, having been scorned by artists and critics alike in 1819, now became widely popular. A second commission from the government called forth the "Apotheosis of Homer," which, replaced by a copy in the decoration of the ceiling for which it was designed, now hangs in the galleries of the second storey of the Louvre. From this date up till 1834 the studio of Ingres was thronged, as once had been thronged the studio of David, and he was a recognized chef d'ecole. Whilst he taught with despotic authority and admirable wisdom, he steadily worked; and when in 1834 he produced his great canvas of the "Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien" (cathedral of Autun; lithographed by Trichot-Garneri), it was with angry disgust and resentment that he found his work received with the same doubt and indifference, if not the same hostility, as had met his earlier ventures. The suffrages of his pupils, and of one or two men - like Decamps - of undoubted ability, could not soften the sense of injury. Ingres resolved to work no longer for the public, and gladly availed himself of the opportunity to return to Rome, as director of the E. de France, in the room of Horace Vernet. There he executed "La Vierge a l'Hostie" (Imperial collections, St Petersburg), "Stratonice," "Portrait of Cherubini" (Louvre), and the "Petite Odalisque" for M. Marcotte, the faithful admirer for whom, in 1814, Ingres had painted the "Chapelle Sistine." The "Stratonice," executed for the duke of Orleans, had been exhibited at the Palais Royal for several days after its arrival in France, and the beauty of the composition produced so favourable an impression that, on his return to Paris in 1841, Ingres found himself received with all the deference that he felt to be his due. A portrait of the purchaser of "Stratonice" was one of the first works executed after his return; and Ingres shortly afterwards began the decorations of the great hall in the Chateau de Dampierre, which, unfortunately for the reputation of the painter, were begun with an ardour which gradually slackened, until in 1849 Ingres, having been further discouraged by the loss of his faithful and courageous wife, abandoned all hope of their completion, and the contract with the duc de Luynes was finally cancelled. A minor work, "Jupiter and Antiope," marks the year 1851, but Ingres's next considerable undertaking (18J3) was the "Apotheosis of Napoleon I.," painted for the ceiling of a hall in the Hotel de Ville; "Jeanne d'Arc" (Louvre) appeared in 1854; and in 1855 Ingres consented to rescind the resolution, more or less strictly kept since 1834, in favour of the International Exhibition, where a room was reserved for his works. Prince Napoleon, president of the jury, proposed an exceptional recompense for their author, and obtained from the emperor Ingres's nomination as grand officer of the Legion of Honour. With renewed confidence Ingres now took up and completed one of his most charming productions - "La Source" (Louvre), a figure of which he had painted the torso in 1823, and which seen with other works in London (1862) there renewed the general sentiment of admiration, and procured him, from the imperial government, the dignity of senator. After the completion of "La Source," the principal works produced by Ingres were with one or two exceptions ("Moliere" and "Louis XIV.," presented to the Theatre Frangais, 1858; "Le Bain Turc," 1859), of a religious character; "La Vierge de l'Adoption," 1858 (painted for Mlle Roland-Gosselin), was followed by "La Vierge Couronnee" (painted for Mme la Baronne de Larinthie) and "La Vierge aux Enfans" (Collection Blanc); in 1859 these were followed by repetitions of "La Vierge a l'Hostie"; and in 1862 Ingres completed "Christ and the Doctors" (Musee Montauban), a work commissioned many years before by Queen Marie Amelie for the chapel of Bizy.

On the 17th of January 1867 Ingres died in his eighty-eighth year, having preserved his faculties in wonderful perfection to the last. For a moment only - at the time of the execution of the "Bain Turc," which Prince Napoleon was fain to exchange for an early portrait of the master by himself - Ingres's powers had seemed to fail, but he recovered, and showed in his last years the vigour which marked his early maturity. It is, however, to be noted that the "Saint Symphorien" exhibited in 1834 closes the list of the works on which his reputation will chiefly rest; for "La Source," which at first sight seems to be an exception, was painted, all but the head and the extremities, in 1821; and from those who knew the work well in its incomplete state we learn that the after-painting, necessary to fuse new and old, lacked the vigour, the precision, and the something like touch which distinguished the original execution of the torso. Touch was not, indeed, at any time a means of expression on which Ingres seriously calculated; his constant employment of local tint, in mass but faintly modelled in light by half tones, forbade recourse to the shifting effects of colour and light on which the Romantic school depended in indicating those fleeting aspects of things which they rejoiced to put on canvas; - their methods would have disturbed the calculations of an art wholly based on form and line. Except in his "Sistine Chapel," and one or two slighter pieces, Ingres kept himself free from any preoccupation as to depth and force of colour and tone; driven, probably by the excesses of the Romantic movement into an attitude of stricter protest, "ce que l'on sait" he would repeat, "it faut le savoir l'epee a la main." Ingres left himself therefore, in dealing with crowded compositions, such as the "Apotheosis of Homer" and the "Martyrdom!of Saint Symphorien," without the means of producing the necessary unity of effect which had been employed in due measure - as the Stanze of the Vatican bear witness - by the very master whom he most deeply reverenced. Thus it came to pass that in subjects of one or two figures Ingres showed to the greatest advantage: in "Oedipus," in the "Girl after Bathing," the "Odalisque" and "La Source" - subjects only animated by the consciousness of perfect physical well-being - we find Ingres at his best. One hesitates to put "Roger and Angelique" upon this list, for though the female figure shows the finest qualities of Ingres's work, - deep study of nature in her purest forms, perfect sincerity of intention and power of mastering an ideal conception - yet side by side with these the effigy of Roger on his hippogriff bears witness that from the passionless point of view, which was Ingres's birthright, the weird creatures of the fancy cannot be seen.

A graphic account of "Ingres, sa vie et ses travaux," and a complete catalogue of his works, were published by M. Delaborde in 1870, and dedicated to Mme Ingres, née Ramel, Ingres's devoted second wife, whom he married in 1852. Allusions to the painter's early days will be found in Delecluze's Louis David; and amongst less important notices may be cited that by Theophile Silvestre in his series of living artists. Most of Ingres's important works are engraved in the collection brought out by Magimel. (E. F. S. D.)

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Simple English

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (29 August 1780 – 14 January 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he considered himself a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, by the end of his life it was Ingres's portraits, both painted and drawn, that were recognized as his greatest legacy.


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