Wednesday 22 February 2017

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – part 1

1800c Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres by Jaques-Louis David
oil on canvas 54 x 47 cm
Pushkin Museum, Moscow

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780 – 1867) was a French Neoclassical artist. 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 recognised as his greatest legacy.
Ingres was born in Montauban, France, the first of seven children. 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.
Starting in 1786 he attended the local school École des Frères de l'Éducation 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 in his schooling would always remain for him a source of insecurity.
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 the neoclassical painter Guillaume-Joseph Roques. Roques' veneration of Raphael was a decisive influence on the young artist. Ingres won prizes in several disciplines, such as composition, "figure and antique", and life studies.
In March 1797, the Academy awarded Ingres first prize in drawing, and in August he travelled 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. 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 “The 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.

1801 The Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the Tent of Achilles
oil on canvas 110 x 155 cm
École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris

In 1802 he made his debut at the Salon with “Portrait of a Woman” (the current whereabouts of which is unknown). The following year brought a prestigious commission, when Ingres was one of five artists selected to paint full-length portraits of Napolean Bonaparte as First Consul.  These were to be distributed to the prefectural towns which were newly ceded to France in 1801. Napoleon is not known to have granted the artists a sitting, and Ingres's meticulously painted portrait appears to be modelled on an image of Napoleon painted by Antoine-Jean Gros in 1802. 

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte in the Uniform of the First Consul
oil on canvas 227 x 147 cm
Musée d'Armes, Liège, Belgium

Antoine-Jean Gros
Napolean Bonaparte as First Consul
oil on canvas 208 x 130.9 cm
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. At the Salon, his paintings, including “Napolean I on his Imperial Throne,” produced a disturbing impression on the public. Both David 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.

1806 Napolean I on his Imperial Throne
oil on canvas 260 x 163 cm
Musée de I'Arnée, Paris

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 to Julie Forestier.

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,” hoping by these two paintings to demonstrate his mastery of the male and female nude. The verdict of the academicians was that the figures were not sufficiently idealized. 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.

1808 Oedipus and the Sphinx
oil on canvas 189 x 144 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

n.d. Study for "Oedipus and the Sphinx"
graphite on wove paper 50.7 x 39 cm
The Morgan Library and Museum, New York City

1808 The Valpinçon Bather
oil on canvas 146 x 97.5 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

1808 The Valpinçon Bather
watercolour and white gouache over graphite on white wove paper 34 x 22.8 cm
Fogg Museums, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

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.

1811 Jupiter and Thetis
oil on canvas 32 x 260 cm
Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France

The desire to stay in Italy after his scholarship ended prompted Ingres to earn a living once again as a portraitist, this time of Napoleonic officials and dignitaries. Whatever prosperity he had acquired disappeared in 1825 with the fall of the Napoleonic Empire. Though he despised such commissions, Ingre’s portraits are among his most admired works. He eventually distinguished himself as a master of the “Troubadour” genre, painting Medieval and Renaissance subjects in the artistic likeness of each prospective period. An example is “Paolo and Francesca,” which features two ill-fated lovers from Dante’s “Inferno.” He produced seven known versions between 1814 and 1819.

1819 Paolo and Francesca
oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Angers, France

Also exhibited in the same Salon was “La Grande Odalisque.” Although it would later become a most celebrated painting, critics of the day were outraged by it’s presence in the Salon. Once again Ingres’ subtle modelling was attacked. His perverse desires for human anatomy, as seen by the elongation of her back made her an “unknown creature.”

1814 La Grande Odalisque
oil on canvas 91 x 162 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

At the age of 40 Ingres final caught a break as he gained positive recognition as a religious painter. In 1820 he moved from Rome to Florence and adapted to the evolution of a more conventional, classical style. At the 1824 Salon, Ingres gained critical praise for “The Vow of Louis XIII,” displaying the union of Church and State. He was also elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts.

1824 The Vow of Louis XIII
oil on canvas 421 x 262 cm
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Montauban, France

With this one exhibit, his role as the most vilified artist in France transformed into one of the most celebrated, and prompted him to stay in the country. The following year he opened what would become the largest and most important teaching studio in Paris. Going back to his love of history paintings, Ingres created “Apotheosis of Homer.” its exhibition in the 1827 Salon helped to establish Ingres as a cultural conservator who defended the authority of the ancients.

1827 Apotheosis of Homer
oil on canvas 386 x 515 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

In 1829 Ingres became professor at the École des Beaux-Arts, and four years later he was elected President for the following year. During that period however, Ingres was accused of imposing his personal style on the entire school, and such heavy charges were not forgotten. At the 1834 Salon, Ingres’ “Martyrdom of Saint-Symphorien” was violently criticized by all. Ingres vowed that this would be his last exhibit at the Salon. That same year he left Paris for Rome once more to direct at the Académie de France.

1834 The Martyrdom of Saint Symphorian
oil on canvas
Autun Cathedral, France

During his six years at the Académie he continued with his own works. The positive response to “Antiochus and Stratonice” was once again in his favour. In 1841 he returned to Paris triumphant, even dining with the King.

1840 Antiochus And Stratonice
oil on canvas
Musée Condé, Chantilly, France

In his 60s Ingres was recognized as the greatest living artist in France. Though a history painter, his major commissions were portraits, as he became the most sought-after portraitist. Abstaining from the Salon for more than two decades, Ingres entered 69 pieces to the 1855 Universal Exposition in Paris. The reviews were mixed; to the Conservatives he was the last great representative of “the grand tradition,” to the Progressives his style was old-fashioned and irrelevant to contemporary advance in painting. Continuing to paint into his latter years prved beneficial for Ingres – it was then that he completed his most notable works; his two most recognizable pieces, “La Source” and “The Turkish Bath.”

“La Source” is a representation of a nude 13-year old girl without the anatomical distortion so often seen in Ingres work.

1856c La Source
oil on canvas 163 x 80 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Returning to his true belief in the ideal, in “The Turkish Bath” Ingres displays the female form in many distorted poses.

1862 The Turkish Bath
oil on canvas 108 cm diameter
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Ingres was married for 36 years to his love, Madeleine. The birth of a still-born baby left them without children. Madeleine died in 1849. He continued to paint for the remainder of his widower years up until his death in 1867. He died a wealthy man, honoured and revered by many of his pupils. He left an impact on the artistic world as a true Neoclassical artist, and an inspiration to many influential painters that succeeded him.

This is part 1 of a 8 – part series on the works of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres:

1796 Portrait of a Man
graphite on parchment, with black ink and green watercolour 9 cm diameter
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1797 Profile Portrait of a Man
graphite on parchment laid on white laid paper 6.9 cm diameter
Fogg Art Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

1798 Pierre Guillaume Cazeaux
Private Collection

1800 Male Torso
oil on canvas 102 x 80 cm
École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris

1800 Pierre-François Bernier (1779-1803)
oil on canvas

1800 Venus, Wounded by Diomedes, Returns to Olympus
oil on wood 26.5 x 33 cm
Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland

1801 Academic Study of a Male Torso
oil on canvas 97.5 x 80.6 cm
National Museum, Warsaw 

1802-06 Study of a Nymph from the Fountain of the Innocents, after Jean Goujon ( see below )
black chalk 43.2 x 10.2 cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

Jean Gojon "Nymph" 1548-49
Musée du Louvre, Paris

1802-06c A Nymph after Jean Gougon ( see below )
graphite on paper 46 x 11.7 cm
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK

Jean Gojon Nymph 1548-49
Musée du Louvre, Paris

1802-06c A nymph after Jean Goujon ( see below )
graphite on paper 45.4 x 11.6 cm
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK

Jean Gojon Nymph 1548-49 
Musée du Louvre, Paris
1804 Jean-Marie-Joseph Ingres
oil on canvas 55 x 47 cm
Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

1804 Portrait of a Young Woman
black chalk and stumping on cream wove paper 39.8 x 32 cm
Fogg Art Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

1804-05c Jean-Pierre-François Gilibert
oil on canvas 99 x 81 cm
Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

1805 Belveze-Foulon
Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

1805 Joseph Vialètes de Mortarieu
oil on canvas 56 x 46 cm
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA

1805 Mademoiselle Rivière
oil on canvas 100 x 70 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

1805 Philbert Rivière
oil on canvas 116 x 89 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

1806  Jean François Julien Menager

1806 Le Casino De L'Aurore De La Villa Ludovisi
17.5 cm diameter
Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

1806 Madame Aymon ( La Belle Zelie )
oil on canvas 59 x 49 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, France

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

1806 Maria Maddalena Magli ( Mme. Baryolini )
graphite on cream wove paper 20.8 x 15.9 cm
de Young / Legion of Honour Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA

1806 Orangery Villa Borghese
17.5 cm diameter
Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

1806 Suvée, Director of the Academy of France in Rome
Musée Bonnat, Bayonne, France

1806 The Forestier Family
Musée du Louvre, Paris

1807 Antonia Duvaucey de Nittis
oil on canvas 76 x 59 cm
Musée Condé, Chantilly, France

1807 Half-Figure of a Bather
oil on canvas
Musée Bonnat, Bayonne, France

1807 The Painter Francois-Marius Granet
oil on canvas 74.5 x 63.2 cm
Musée granet, Aix-en-Provence, France

1807 View of the Villa Medici
graphite and wash on paper 28.9 x 23.1 cm
Musée Ingres, Montauban, France

1808 Madame Guillaume Guillon Lethière, née Marie-Joseph-Honorée Vanzenne, and her son Lucien Lethière
graphite 24.1 x 18.7 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

1808 Portrait of the Architect François-Désiré Girard de Bury
graphite 13.3 x 7.9 cm
Fogg Art Galler, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

1808 Victor Dourlen

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