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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

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(Ingres por Ingres. Detalle, a la derecha)


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Biography 1 (English)
. Biography 2 (English)

Biografía
(Español)

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres nació el 20 de agosto de 1780 en la ciudad francesa de Montauban. Su ligazón con la ciudad se mantuvo a lo largo de toda la vida del pintor, quien donó importante parte de su obra al ayuntamiento, recibió honores de sus conciudadanos y finalmente disfrutó en ella de su propio museo, el Museo Ingres de Montauban. Ingres era hijo del pintor Joseph Ingres, miembro de la Academia de Bellas Artes de Toulouse. Toulouse era la ciudad más importante cerca de Montauban y allí es donde el padre se llevó enseguida al pequeño para formarle como artista. Dos fueron las disciplinas en las que el padre inició al joven Ingres, y en ambas destacó como un experto, sin abandonar jamás su práctica: música y pintura. En música, el violín era su instrumento favorito y su destreza alcanzó el nivel de virtuosismo. Dio numerosos conciertos, pero normalmente para círculos muy reducidos y en fiestas particulares de sus amigos. Respecto a la pintura, el dibujo era sin duda la guía y la herramienta preferida por el artista, hasta el punto de aconsejar al joven Degas, quien le admiraba: "Trace líneas, joven, muchas líneas, de memoria o al natural, así podrá llegar a ser un buen artista". En ambas ramas del arte Ingres poseía dos mentores o modelos a los que trataba de emular; en la música, Mozart representaba para él la más alta cota de la creación, mientras que en pintura Raphael fue siempre el modelo a seguir, no sólo en lo que se refiere a la práctica de la pintura, sino en su propia biografía que, dicho sea de paso, el pintor francés conocía a través de deformaciones novelescas. Sin embargo, a Ingres siempre le fascinó la vida amorosa de Rafael, en especial la relación mantenida con la bella Fornarina, su amante y modelo de gran parte de sus cuadros. La propia vida de Ingres se inició dentro de una línea de indefinición amorosa, que no le impidió llegar a un matrimonio estable y duradero que casi acabó con su carrera cuando la esposa murió.Ingres se formó, pues, siguiendo la dirección marcadas por su padre, quien le trazó un ordenado plan de estudios en Toulouse. Primero se lo encargó al pintor Pierre Vigan, de quien aprendería el valor del dibujo, una noción que ya nunca abandonaría en su carrera. Tras él pasó a las manos de Joseph Roques, pintor bastante exitoso. Fue Roques el que inculcó a Ingres la devoción por Rafael; por último, el remate de su formación en Toulouse corrió a cargo de Jean Briant, que ejerció menor influencia sobre el aprendiz. Tras esta etapa, en la que aprovechó todo lo que pudo la vida de provincias, Ingres se trasladó a París, la capital del arte neoclásico, ingresando en el taller de David hacia el año 1797. Se mantuvo allí hasta 1801, tras un desagradable incidente con su maestro. David era el pintor más famoso de Francia. Era el intérprete del régimen napoleónico, como antes lo había sido de la revolución; sus lienzos provocaban auténticas conmociones sociales en las exposiciones del Salón Oficial y él mismo formaba parte del jurado que premiaba cada año las obras presentadas al Salón. La relación con Ingres no fue cordial, aunque tampoco significó enemistad. Ingres aprendió de él la forma de componer un lienzo y la grandiosidad de la pintura de historia, el género que Ingres deseaba practicar. También tomó de David la manera de organizar un taller de pintura y trasladó el método a su propio taller cuando llegó el momento de abrirlo, primero en Florencia y luego en París. Sin embargo, Ingres no propició el ambiente ruidoso y colectivo que reinaba en el taller de David, donde los grupos de jóvenes pintores tomaban partido por diferentes opciones pictóricas y organizaban apasionados debates. Por el contrario, Ingres ejerció una disciplina paternalista sobre sus discípulos, y al que se apartaba de su método le acusaba de descarriado e insolente. El incidente que marcó la separación de Ingres respecto de su maestro David tuvo lugar en 1800, cuando Ingres se presentó por primera vez al Salón Oficial con cinco pinturas. Una de sus obras quedó en segundo lugar por el voto en contra de su maestro, algo que Ingres jamás perdonó a David. Al año siguiente, Ingres se presentó de nuevo y consiguió el primer premio, que le proporcionaba además una beca para estudiar en la Escuela de Francia en Roma, situada nada menos que en la bellísima Villa Médici. Las circunstancias económicas del consulado napoleónico hicieron que se retuvieran las becas de ese año por lo que Ingres no pudo hacerla efectiva hasta 1806.De camino a Roma se detuvo en Florencia para visitar a su amigo, el escultor Lorenzo Bartolini, de quien hizo un bonito retrato de juventud. Visitó las iglesias de la zona, decoradas al fresco durante el Quattrocento, y se afianzó su admiración hacia la pintura de los primitivos italianos: Botticelli, Mantegna, Masaccio o Piero. Durante su estancia en Roma participó en conciertos, estudió ruinas y hallazgos arqueológicos y se buscó una clientela particular que le encargó numerosos retratos. La caída de los Bonaparte en Italia determinó la huida de los aristócratas que le proporcionaban trabajo. En 1812 recibió el encargo de decorar el Palacio de Monte Cavallo, pero finalmente tuvo que marchar de Roma y se instaló en Florencia, donde abriría su propio taller, ya en 1819. Mientras tanto, Ingres había seguido enviando obras a los Salones Oficiales de París: la crítica no las había acogido muy bien, pese al academicismo formal de sus obras. La razón solía estar en ciertas violaciones de la composición, la anatomía, etc. Tan sólo Baudelaire apreciaba el valor de Ingres, que en sus lienzos introducía ya temas y enfoques que anticipaban el sentimiento romántico, pero no desde posiciones de la pasión o el sentimiento, sino desde una evolución lógica del propio Neoclasicismo.Su apariencia formal y su trasfondo romántico hicieron a Ingres navegar siempre entre dos corrientes, rechazado y adorado a un tiempo por ambos bandos. Por fin, en el Salón de 1824 Ingres triunfó con El Voto de Luis XIII, exaltación de la monarquía y los valores tradicionales. Se expuso frente a La Matanza de Quíos, de Delacroix. Ambos representaban dos posturas enfrentadas, la reaccionaria y la revolucionaria, la académica y la pasional, el dibujo frente al color empastado. La oposición entre ambos pintores se haría ya simbólica de una época. Ingres siempre había ansiado el éxito en París, por lo que el triunfo del año 24 le animó a cerrar inmediatamente su taller florentino y a trasladarse a la capital francesa. En 1826 se le encargó nada menos que la decoración de algunos techos del Palacio del Louvre, ya convertido en museo nacional. Este hecho marca una serie de hitos triunfales en su carrera: fue nombrado vicepresidente de la Escuela de Bellas Artes de París para inmediatamente después hacerle Presidente, en el año 1833. En 1834 se le encomendó la dirección de la Escuela de Francia en Roma, donde él mismo había sido becado. Allí ejerció hasta el año 1841, cuando vuelve a París atraído por el clamor social que reclamaba la presencia del pintor, que había acumulado éxitos y famas como intérprete del régimen de poder oficial.Su ligazón con la Corona y los estratos oficiales se afianzó con un encargo de 1842: el heredero de Luis Felipe había muerto y se le pidió que trazara los diseños para las vidrieras de la capilla funeraria del príncipe. En 1849 murió su primera esposa, Madeleine Chapelle, lo cual le sumió en una etapa de casi inactividad, hasta que en 1852, a los 72 años, contrajo segundas nupcias con una mujer de 43, Delphine Ramel. En 1855 tuvo lugar la Exposición Universal de París y en ella se organizó la primera exposición retrospectiva del pintor, a la cual pudo acudir, ya muy anciano. Ingres murió a los ochenta y siete años, en Montauban. Enfermó tras una cena en casa de sus amigos y pocos días después, el 14 de febrero de 1867, fallecía.La obra de Ingres a lo largo de toda su vida se divide en cinco grandes temas. El más abundante fue el retrato, en el que alcanzó enorme habilidad. Todos los grandes personajes del siglo XIX francés fueron retratados por él, así como las personas más íntimas del pintor. Su método de trabajo resulta sorprendente pero al mismo tiempo de gran efectividad. Su pasión por el dibujo le hacía tomar innumerables bocetos del modelo y siempre lo hacía sobre desnudos; después pasaba a vestirlos minuciosamente con estudios de plegados en los vestidos, que algunos críticos enjuiciaron como goticistas y, por lo tanto, arcaicos. En ese sentido se puede mencionar el retrato de la Princesa de Broglie que, confrontado con el estudio previo, en donde la noble dama aparece totalmente desnuda, no puede por menos que chocar. Este modo de trabajar le aseguraba al pintor una correcta concepción anatómica de la figura. Su rigor dibujístico contrasta en este terreno de perfección con el segundo tema de sus obras, el desnudo, recordado por su sensualidad y exotismo. Dada la mentalidad puritana de su época, el pintor los ambientaba en baños turcos, escenas míticas, etc., de modo que la aparición del cuerpo femenino desnudo estuviera justificado por el contexto. Pero esto no pasaba de ser una mera excusa para que el artista realizara una y otra vez el mismo tema, que le obsesionaba, emblematizado por la Bañista de Valpinçon. Esta figura femenina de espaldas aparece repetida en numerosos lienzos del artista: en ella no existe corrección anatómica sino pura deformación por un fin estético. El artista ablanda los huesos para que los miembros de las figuras obtengan un aspecto sinuoso. Los cuellos se alargan en vertiginosas curvas de placer. La maravillosa espalda de la bañista está "construida" a partir de tres espaldas diferentes, encajadas, para alargarla y engrandecer su presencia. Este modo de reconstruir la figura conceptualmente para obtener un objeto bello y decorativo tendrá sus consecuencias en la pintura contemporánea. Picasso declaraba haber aprendido de Ingres el modo de descomponer y recomponer a su gusto el cuerpo humano. Este tratamiento heterodoxo del cuerpo fue algo que jamás comprendió la crítica del siglo XIX, que tachó a Ingres de pintor excéntrico. Ingres se muestra mucho más convencional y "aceptable" en sus pinturas de tema religioso.

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La pintura religiosa alcanzó una honda revalorización en el siglo XIX, cuando la Restauración de la monarquía y el puritanismo moral trajeron de nuevo devociones olvidadas. Ingres adaptó a sus cuadros religiosos los modelos aprendidos de Rafael, e incluso trasladó casi literalmente determinadas madonnas del italiano a sus propias vírgenes. Fue un soplo de calidad insuflado a un género que había caído en el aspecto de estampa popular blanda y sin valor artístico. Como punto de curiosidad mencionaremos que, al igual que en el resto de su obra, Ingres también trazaba los bocetos de sus cuadros religiosos con las figuras de santos y vírgenes completamente desnudos, vistiéndolas después. Los dos últimos temas que trató Ingres fueron la pintura de historia y la de mitología. Por sus rasgos formales, ambos temas están muy relacionados; se trata de cuadros de enorme formato, con muchas figuras y moraleja incluida, al gusto del Neoclasicismo. Ingres deseaba ser recordado como un pintor de historia, pues consideraba a éste como el género más digno de la pintura. Curiosamente, sus peores composiciones son sus cuadros de historia. En ellos trata el llamado "género trovador": recupera el gusto por la Edad Media, por el aspecto primitivo de la pintura, así como se ocupa del origen de la monarquía y de las instituciones tradicionales. Sus obras son serviles y centradas en lo meramente anecdótico, sin la grandeza que mostraron los grandes neoclásicos como su propio maestro, David. Aparte del relato de hechos históricos hizo referencias a la literatura medieval y renacentista, como en los lienzos que dedicó a la desgraciada historia de Paolo y Francesca, o los que tienen como motivo los amores de Rafael y la Fornarina.Los lienzos dedicados a mitología tienen las mismas características formales de sus pinturas de historia. Son composiciones pretenciosas, pero en las que la belleza del tema hace perdonar los desmanes sentimentales de la interpretación. Entre los lienzos dedicados a la mitología se incluyen también cuadros dedicados a estrenos teatrales del momento que le impactaron, como la ópera Antíoco y Estratónice. En estos lienzos, que para él significaban su más alta realización como pintor, hacía un profundo estudio previo, que podía alcanzar los 300 ó 500 dibujos preparatorios. El rigor histórico era también una característica de Ingres. Los objetos de la época y los adornos eran copiados de apuntes que Ingres tomaba de sus visitas a yacimientos arqueológicos, así como de su importante colección de vasos etruscos y griegos.La trascendencia de Ingres en el siglo XIX se puede establecer en dos vías: formal y de contenido. En el aspecto formal, los pintores a los que influyó fueron en primer lugar sus discípulos: Flandrin y Lehman entre otros. Federico de Madrazo y Rosales, españoles ambos, también adaptaron su modo de pintar en el eclecticismo español. José de Madrazo incluso llegó a conocer al maestro francés, a quien admiraba profundamente. Por último, en la generación siguiente, Puvis de Chavannes y Gustave Moreau asumieron de Ingres su estilo lineal y depurado. La transmisión del contenido se llevó a cabo en la pintura romántica de género trovadoresco, en especial con influencias sobre los pintores nazarenos, los prerrafaelitas y los simbolistas, entre los que se cuenta el mencionado Moreau. Aparte de ellos, el impresionista Degas también admiraba la solidez dibujística de Ingres y se animó a visitarle y pedirle consejo. Mas allá del siglo XIX, en la década de 1920 se produjo en el arte de vanguardias una llamada "vuelta al orden", a la línea, al clasicismo de la figura y el tema, en la cual la pintura de Ingres tomó un gran peso específico, hasta el punto de servir de referencia al Picasso clasicista de estos años, Gino Severini o Salvador Dalí.

Biography 1 - Aileen Ribero - Source Artchive

"If I had to select just one artist whose work is the most fruitful and instructive to the historian of dress for the period covering the first half of the Nineteenth Century, it would be Ingres. From that time, when the fashion spotlight was on the dress and appearance of women rather than on men Ingres has left an unrivalled and detailed record of the female image. Such images are primarily conjured up through portraiture, which is obviously I superb source of information on clothing. In his famous essay 'The Painter of Modern Life', Baudelaire remarks how portraits

are clothed in the costume of their own period. They are perfectly harmonious because everything - from costume and coiffure down to gesture, glance and smile (for each age has a deportment, a glance and a smile of its own) - everything, I say, combines to form a completely viable whole.

"When we look at portraits by Ingres, we 'situate ourselves' (in John Berger's phrase apropos painted landscapes but even more relevant to portraiture) within the frame, we imagine ourselves wearing the garments the artist depicts with such intensity of detail, and we wonder how they would feel on our bodies; we conjure up the sensation of touch when we look at the fabrics. Ingres's heightened depiction of the visible and the tactile becomes our experience, too. When one looks in detail at the surviving costume of the period, it is astonishing to see not just how accurate Ingres is in terms of the cut and construction of garments and the depiction of fabrics and accessories in his work, but also how alive he is to the nuances and the sense of clothing. Not only will Ingres paint the brilliance of a fine cashmere shawl, for example, where the colours flow like all oriental imagery, but he will also lead the eye to such tiny but telling details as the way in which the twisted fringe on the border of the fine wool gets caught up on the fabric of a dress. He will - even in a drawing - delight in the draping of the finest muslin gowns, and focus on the way in which this gossamer material is pleated at the neck or at the breast.

"As an artist who is so responsive to clothing and the postures that costume dictates - both signifiers of status and social display - it is all the more surprising that this crucial aspect of Ingres's work has been ignored. It is my contention that we cannot fully understand Ingres until he is seen in relation to the world of fashion. Such a relationship was often uneasy (as it is today) in an artistic environment where the love of display and ornament so integral to fashion clashed with the pursuit of 'high art', and - in Ingres's case - with the purity and austerity of draughtsmanship and a love of academic history painting.

"Ingres is as full of contradictions now as he was to his contemporaries. Critics then and now deplore his lack of spontaneity, his mannered and too 'finished' work in which his love of surfaces and things is so apparent. Baudelaire was not alone in being baffled by the almost suffocating presence of Ingres's portraits, which he could only partly explain by deciding that such images were the creations of the artist's obsession with the ideals of antiquity mingled with 'the curiosities and minutiae of modern life'. The tension between Ingres's love of history painting and his practice, from necessity, of portraiture, helped to produce images of women that are not just fashion-plate assemblages of clothes, which is how they are often described, but often startling creations which link realism with abstraction. Ingres was a perfectionist to the point of obsession, seeking precision and mastery of form - particularly with regard to the costume and accessories. His portraits are more than mere photographic records - the often painful and intense depiction of dress (painful because it sometimes gave the artist great trouble) serves to create a new genre, the dress as an art form in its own right within the art form of the traditional portrait.

"Even his famed opponent Delacroix, while denouncing Ingres for the production of works 'that are merely clever and that satisfy nothing but idle curiosity', admired his knowledge of dress and his feel for adornment, perceiving some glimmerings of Romanticism there. And if an element of Romanticism involves mental perturbation and a constant struggle to achieve a personal vision, this is what the painter Jacques-Emile Blanche saw in Ingres earlier this century. Describing him as tyrannical, pedagogic and opinionated - all words that occur many times apropos Ingres - Blanche also notes the way in which the artist wrestled with his problems, as 'sublime touchant, admirable', attempting, not always successfully, to reconcile his militant idealism based on classical perfection with a delight in colour and all appreciation of the sensual. Although Ingres's work looks so effortless, so much a product of technical perfection, it was often the result of self-torment - he was not the self-satisfied artist of myth.

"On the subject of Ingres's sensuality, a number of writers are troubled by the way in which his images of women seem to render them as objets de luxe, whether fashion idols or almost nude bathers and odalisques; a male 'colonization' of the eroticized female body is assumed. References to Venus, as Robert Rosenblum points out, permeate Ingres's work, not just in the more obvious odalisques and bathers 'whose lives are fully devoted to the arts of love', but also 'their nineteenth-century counterparts, the gallery of modern women whose portraits Ingres painted as if these sitters, too, were sequestered in the pampered confines of an exclusively erotic domain'.

"The unthinking passivity, implying a sexual submissiveness, that many critics see in Ingres's depictions of women, 'without secret troubles, impossible dreams or fancies in their heads, made for healthy and simple love . . .',' is to be seen, so the argument goes, in the way in which women of fashion exist, in the Baudelairean sense, only through their clothes and accessories, and are as much kept creatures as the bathers and odalisques.

"To some extent this is true, particularly with regard to the portraits of fashionable women in which Ingres reflects in a non-judgemental way the part played by clothes in female lives that were largely dependent on men. In Ingres's nude figures there is clearly some element of the proprietary masculine eye in the pleasures of the naked body, but this is hardly surprising in the context of the long history of this type of image which mingles classical and Renaissance tradition with unashamed voyeurism.

"An overwrought and simplistic viewpoint is expressed by Berger: 'To be on display is to have the surface of one's own skin, the hairs of one's own body, turned into a disguise which in that situation can never be discarded. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress.' The lack of hair, by implication, is argued to be a form of masquerade, for hair was associated with real life, and with passion. In opposition to this, it could be argued that the hairless nude that Ingres depicts relates not only to the classical and Renaissance ideal, but to the actual depilated body of the female inhabitants of the harem. Ingres's traditional training allied to his research into the customs of the Ottoman court produced a hybrid marriage of the ideal and the real; his bathers and odalisques are ideal beauties, but also real women, their existence emphasized by the artist's choice of luxury fabrics and accessories. Ingres's excursions into this genre are far removed from the productions of contemporary orientalist painters who depict 'images of womanhood in which remote and beautiful ladies, lost in some cold and vacant reverie, hint at a refined eroticism which makes women into objects of delectation . . . that springs from a physical revulsion against their solid, carnal presence'.

"Whether, as Berger suggests, women colluded in seeing themselves exposed and depicted nude for masculine consumption seems irrelevant, and cannot be proved. We do not know what women thought of such images, or if they thought about them at all. There seems no reason to suppose that women could not take pleasure in looking at female nudes, in the way that today we can experience a similar delight once we disencumber ourselves of the baggage of late twentieth-century critical comment.

"It is important also to note that, for the historian of dress, a study of the nude is essential to understanding the fashionable aesthetic of the period. The Goncourt Journal stresses the need for the artist to paint the nude woman of his own time:

The female body is not immutable. It changes according to civilizations, periods, customs. The body of the time of Phidias is no longer that of our time. Other customs, another age, another line. The elongation, the free- flowing grace of Goujon or Parmigianino are only the woman of their time caught in the elegance of the type . . . The painter who does not paint the woman of his time will not endure.

"The Goncourts felt that the 'worked over, polished, naively stupid' recreations of the women of antiquity by Ingres (the specific reference here is to La Source, now in the Musee d'Orsay, Paris) would have no lasting appeal. Such paintings are indeed largely irrelevant to a study of dress, and these anodyne works have been omitted. Ingres's genius lies in the relationships of women to the garments that clothe them and the fabrics and accessories that surround them. In portraits and in 'orlentalist' scenes alike, Ingres conveys the pleasure of seeing, through the female body and its ornamentation. It is precisely these images by Ingres that have attracted so much hostile and irritated comment from a wide range of critics. To Clive Bell, writing in the 1920s (when a slim androgynous female form was in vogue), Ingres's nudes, 'the heavy hareem type of the artist were sensuality, the hearty appetite of a great eupeptic bourgeois'. Ten years later Martin Davies declares a thinly veiled contempt for what he sees as the 'grossly feminine' in Ingres. Ingres's own contemporaries as well as twentieth-century critics tend to shy away from his avid recording of fashion and his celebration of sleek female flesh. It is now time to appreciate Ingres as - in Baudelaire's words - 'a fashionable milliner', and to revel in what one recent art historian has called his 'couturier's instincts'. This book has the artist as hero, he is the focal point from which to explore the role of dress and undress in the wider context of the world of fashion.

"Ingres is, however, a famously unheroic hero, it must be observed. Dour and uncommunicative in an age of lively critical and artistic debate, his recorded thoughts tend towards aphoristic and somewhat gnomic utterances on art intended mainly for his pupils, together with alarmingly dogmatic and eccentric comments on music and literature. There is nothing like the vivid journals of Delacroix, in which the words dance off the page and reflect the artist's absorbed interest in his life and times (including a fascination with clothes) and his relations with a wide circle of fellow artists, writers and composers. Ingres did not involve himself in the wider intellectual scene of his time, his main contacts being with a small group of intimates, including his favoured pupils; it is from the latter that we gain our impressions of Ingres the man as well as Ingres the artist.

"Whatever Ingres might have thought about politics, there is very little factual information, either in the form of his own published comments or those of his friends, on the dramatic events that marked the first half of the nineteenth century in France: the upheavals of the French Revolution giving way to an empire under Napoleon, then in the Restoration a constitutional monarchy under Louis XVIII, followed by the 'ultra-royalist' Charles X who was deposed in 1830 and replaced by a liberal Orl&anist regime under Louis-Philippe; a revolution in 1848 brought a republic, which was then succeeded in 1852 by the restoration of the Bonaparte dynasty in the person of Napoleon III and the establishment of the Second Empire. Many artists and writers were caught up in politics and such a background is essential to an understanding of their work. For Ingres, only the changing narrative of costume in portraiture indicates the passing of time; his politics do not intrude. His strength lay in his driving commitment to his own vision of truth which, coupled with his sense of the ideal - even to the occasional distortion of the human body - created portraits that are timeless, formal and often complex in structure and technically highly accomplished. Easier to appreciate, perhaps, at a more immediate level, are the portrait drawings, with their delicacy and spontaneity; these depict a wider range of clothing than the grandes toilettes of the painted canvases, and their very informality acts as a commentary on the constantly changing form of fashion, so much a part of modern life.

"This book is not a catalogue raisonne of Ingres's portraits of women, nor is it a life of the artist. It will, I hope, appeal to art historians and to dress historians who increasingly (and laudably) find their interests overlapping. This book is largely about things - the fashions, fabrics and accessories that were part of the existence of nearly all women in the nineteenth century, rich or poor. It is these things that Ingres depicts both as formalized objects and as necessary ingredients in his portraits, bathers and odalisques. It is clear that the artist must have looked at a great deal of fashion, as well as a wide range of other arts such as illuminated manuscripts, illustrated costume books and - later in his career - photography. His adoration of Raphael is well known, but the work of a wide range of artists resonates in his portraits and one might pick out, for example, Holbein and the Swiss eighteenth-century painter Jean-Etienne Liotard - both artists who had a northern European love of crisp detail in their depiction of fashion and fabrics.

"No artist, even one as self-contained as Ingres, works in isolation, and it is necessary to discuss the artist within the context of the critical debate surrounding the problems of how to represent clothes in art. A discussion of the fashionable world that forms a backdrop to Ingres's work precedes a narrative of the main changes in dress displayed through the artist's drawings. The focal point of this book is an examination of the dress in Ingres's portraits, and it brings together the critical comment on the portraits in general, especially those in which the sitters' clothes are mentioned.

"To some extent we can only guess at the answer to the question, What does Ingres see in dress? Perhaps the more important question is, What do we see in the dress that Ingres depicts? This book attempts to answer such a question."

Biography 2
 

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. To look at auction records, find Ingres's works in upcoming auctions, check price levels and indexes for his works, read his biography and view his signature, access the Artprice database.

            Jean-August-Dominique Ingres is a French neo-classical painter, and one of the major portrait painters of the 19th century. He received his first lessons in art and music from his father, Joseph Ingres (1755-1814), miniature-artist and sculptor. In 1791, he entered the Royal Academy of Arts in Toulouse, where his teachers were J. Vigan and G. Roques. Simultaneously he took violin lessons, and played in the local orchestra. After 1797, Ingres was in Paris, in the studio of David. He resolutely studied principles of composition and human anatomy

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. To look at auction records, find Ingres's works in upcoming auctions, check price levels and indexes for his works, read his biography and view his signature, access the Artprice database.

            Jean-August-Dominique Ingres is a French neo-classical painter, and one of the major portrait painters of the 19th century. He received his first lessons in art and music from his father, Joseph Ingres (1755-1814), miniature-artist and sculptor. In 1791, he entered the Royal Academy of Arts in Toulouse, where his teachers were J. Vigan and G. Roques. Simultaneously he took violin lessons, and played in the local orchestra. After 1797, Ingres was in Paris, in the studio of David. He resolutely studied principles of composition and human anatomy. In 1801, he got a Roman prize for his picture Ambassadors of Agamemnon and could go to Italy to continue his education. Because of financial problems he stayed in Paris till 1806; during the period he executed a number of bright and expressive portraits; Portrait of Napoléon on the Imperial Throne, Self-Portrait, Portrait of Mademoiselle Rivière. The model on every painting is portrayed on a large scale, and takes all the space of the canvas. Ingres was reproached for imitation of Gothic masters and Jan van Eyck.
            From 1806 till 1824, the painter lived in Italy, first in Rome (1806-1820), then for four years in Florence; he worked and studied the art of Renaissance; Raphael was his idol. His fame as a portraitist grew; his commissions increased. In 1807-24, he painted a lot of portraits: his masterpiece - beautiful and mysterious Mme Duvauçay, a mistress of d’Alquier, the French ambassador in Saint-Siège; Portrait of Joseph-Antoine Moltedo, Portrait of Charles-Joseph-Laurent Cordier, Portrait of Count Nikolay Gouriev, etc.
            In 1813, Ingres married Mlle Madeleine Chapelle (died in 1849), a modest milliner from Guéret, see her portrait Madame Ingres. In 1813-14, in Rome he painted his popular La Grande Odalisque. The picture was commissioned by the Queen of Naples, Napoleon’s sister, but never delivered, since the Emperor’s fall intervened. Ingres remained in Rome but sent the picture to the Paris Salon in 1819.
            In 1824, Ingres returned to Paris and showed Vow of Louis XIII (Montauban, Cathedral) in the Salon. This canvas brought him official recognition and fame: he was elected in the Academy, and awarded the Order of Honor. His very long stay in Italy and fondness of the Renaissance made him miss out on the formation of Romantic painting in France. On his return he could not understand Romanticism and became its violent opponent. From now on Ingres was looked upon as a foothold and the hope of classicism. In 1835, he returned to Italy as Director of the French Academy of Arts in Rome (1835-1841). At the end of his directorship, he came back to France. In Paris a great welcoming parade was held in his honor. The king himself invited Ingres to the Versailles.
             Though the big canvases Apotheosis of Homer (1827), Martyrdom of St. Symphorien (1834) and others are grandiose, and make impression with their sizes and labor of the painter, they can’t be considered the achievements of the artist, they are cold and rational. Working on such grand compositions with mythological and religious subjects, the master was irritated when he had to distract for portraits, but exactly the portraits made his name. The main force of Ingres was in his contact with a model, his sitters always inspired the master. The outstanding work is the Portrait of Louis-Francois Bertin.
           But the summit of Ingres’ achievement was his women portraits. The artist perfectly expressed the cult of the ideal woman, as the 19th century saw her: woman as an item of art, who commanded the art of communication, art of movements, art of being dressed in accordance with place, time and her natural data. Though not all Ingres’ models were beauties, he could find in each one special harmony, attributed only to her: Portrait of Countess D'Haussonville, Portrait of Baroness James de Rothschild, Portrait of Madame Gonse, Portrait of Madame Moitessier Sitting. The secret of the charm of Ingres’ portraits is in his love to every model.
            He was in love with women all his life. In 1852, he married Delphine Ramel, aged 20, at his own age 61. He remained like this till the end – one cold winter day he accompanied a young beautiful modle to a carriage, as a gallant man he stayed bareheaded. He caught a cold, which developed into pneumonia, he did not recover – he was 87 years old.

Pinturas. Paintings
 

The Source. La fuente - 1820 - Oil on canvas, 83 x 163 cm - Musée d'Orsay, Paris

 

El baño turco -

 

Odalisca y esclava -

 

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