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“The Valpinçon Bather” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - La Baigneuse Valpinçon

“The Valpinçon Bather” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres is a female nude in a chaste pose. Her neck and the curves of her back and legs are accentuated by the curves in the green draperies. With the white linen in front of her and the folds of the bed sheets, 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 a number of times in his life. Most famously in “The Turkish Bath” of 1863, where the central character in the foreground playing a mandolin echoes in rhythm and tone this figure. The Turkish Bath was the last of his Orientalist paintings of the female nude and was finished when Ingres was 83 years old.  “The Valpinçon Bather” was originally titled “Seated Woman” but later became known after one of its nineteenth-century owners.

Ingres 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,  and his work influenced Picasso and Matisse and other modernists.

Essential Facts:

    • Title:                The Valpinçon Bather or La Grande baigneuse
    • Deutsch:         Die Badende von Valpincon
    • Français :        La Baigneuse Valpinçon
    • Artist:              Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
    • Created:         1808
    • Media:            Oil on canvas
    • Dimensions:  146 x 98 cm
    • Museum:        The Louvre

Artist:

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“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” Leonardo da Vinci

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Photo Credit 1) Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons