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Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – Virtual Tour

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – Virtual Tour

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780 – 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter who thought of himself as a painter of history and who today is highly regarded for his many portraits.

Critics often found his style bizarre and archaic. His expressive distortions of form and space make him an important precursor of modern art. His work influenced Picasso and Matisse and other modernists.

Virtual Tour of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Highlights Tour Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

The Valpinçon Bather

“The Valpinçon Bather” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres is a female nude in a chaste pose. The curves accentuate her neck and the curves of her back and legs in the green draperies.

With the white linen in front of her and the folds of the bedsheets, this painting lacks the overt sexuality of other Ingres paintings.

Ingres has masterfully depicted a calm and measured sensuality, which is a masterpiece of harmony and light. Ingres returned to the form of this figure several times in his life. Museum: The Louvre

The Turkish Bath

“The Turkish Bath” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres depicts a group of nude women in the bath of a harem and is painted in a highly erotic style.

Ingres has successfully evoked the form of both the Near East and earlier western styles associated with the mythological subject matter.

Painted originally in a rectangular format, Ingres altered the painting by cutting the picture to its present tondo form. Fortunately, photographs of the art in its original size have survived. Museum: The Louvre

Grande Odalisque

“Grande Odalisque” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres depicts an odalisque. An odalisque was a chambermaid or attendant in the sequestered living quarters used by wives, court ladies, and concubines in an Ottoman household of the Ottoman sultan.

Grande Odalisque attracted extensive criticism when it was first exhibited. It became renowned for the elongated proportions and departure from the restrictions of anatomical realism.

This work signified Ingres’ break from Neoclassicism and shifted towards exotic Romanticism. Ingres favored long lines to convey curvature and sensuality and the very skillful use of light and shadow to sculpture proportions. Museum: The Louvre

Madame Moitessier ( The National Gallery, London)

“Madame Moitessier” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres is a portrait of Marie-Clotilde-Inès Moitessier (née de Foucauld) begun in 1844 but not completed until twelve years later.

Madame Moitessier (1821–1897) was the daughter of a French civil servant who married a wealthy banker and merchant, who was a widower twice her age.

In this painting, she is shown wearing abundant jewelry and dressed in an elegant silk dress with a floral pattern, which is echoed by the flowers and leaves of the gilt-framed mirrors.

Madame Moitessier is framed on either side by mirrors, and her profile reflection can be seen in the mirror on the right. Museum:   The National Gallery, London and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Ruggiero Freeing Angelica

“Ruggiero Freeing Angelica” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was inspired by the 16th-century Italian epic poem called “Orlando Furioso” by Ariosto and depicted Ruggiero saving Angelica.

Ruggiero is portrayed as the knight riding a hippogriff, which is a legendary creature half horse and half eagle.

According to the poem, the hero is riding near Brittany’s coast, where he finds a beautiful woman who is chained to a rock on the Isle of Tears.

She has been abducted and stripped naked by barbarians. She was left there as a human sacrifice to a sea monster. Museum: The Louvre

Oedipus and the Sphinx

“Oedipus and the Sphinx” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres depicts Oedipus explaining the riddle of the Sphinx. 

Oedipus was a tragic hero in Greek mythology. Oedipus accidentally fulfilled a prophecy in which he kills his father and unknowingly marries his mother.

As part of his journey, which brings disaster to his city and family, Oedipus encountered a Sphinx. The Sphinx would stop all travelers and ask them a riddle.

If the travelers did not answer the riddle correctly, they would be killed and eaten. If the answers were correct, they would be free to continue on their journey.

Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville

“Portrait of Comtesse d’Haussonville” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres depicts a young princess in her twenties from a distinguished French family who became a French essayist and biographer.

She was considered independent, liberal, and outspoken. She published several books, including biographies of Byron and the Irish revolutionary Robert Emmet.

This portrait took three years to complete in 1845 when she was a mother of three. The work resulted after several false starts and a great many preparatory drawings.

A friend of the family commented to Ingres, who at the time was the greatest portrait painter in France and his sixties: “You must have been in love to depict her this way.”

The portrait is provocatively intimate in this scene, as though the viewer had just entered her boudoir, as she calmly leaned on an upholstered fireplace and considered her audience. Museum:        The Frick Collection

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

  • Artist:              Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
  • Born:               1780 – Montauban, Languedoc, France
  • Died:               1867 (aged 86) – Paris, France
  • Movement:     Neoclassicism

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: A collection of paintings

A Tour of Famous Artists you should Know

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Famous Women in the Arts

Ingres’s Madame Moitessier

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Quotes


“Is there anyone among the great men who have not imitated? Nothing is made with nothing.”


“Make copies, young man, many copies. You can only become a good artist by copying the masters.”


“What do these so-called artists mean when they preach the discovery of the’new’?
Is there anything new? Everything has been done; everything has been discovered.”


“You have to observe flowers to find the right tones for the folds of clothes.”


“It takes 25 years to learn to draw, one hour to learn to paint.”


Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, “Comtesse d’Haussonville”

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – The Duke of Orléans


“Is there anyone among the great men who have not imitated? Nothing is made with nothing.”
– Ingres


Photo Credit 1) Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres [Public domain]

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