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Top 10 Famous Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Incorporating elements of famous artists from the past into one’s own works was something that this Neoclassical artist mastered.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) was a French artist who was born around the time that the Necoalssical era started and he refused to embrace the emerging Romantic era.

He was profoundly influenced by the paintings of other masters who derived inspiration from classical subjects such as Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) and Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825).

David was his teacher when he studied art in Paris and he aimed to retain his legacy although multiple new styles emerged during his long life

He also experimented with Orientalism in his old days and eventually left behind a legacy of hundreds of oil paintings and over 4,000 drawings.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most famous paintings by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

1. Grande Odalisque

  • Date created: 1814
  • Dimensions: 88.9 × 162.56 centimeters (35 × 64 inches)
  • Location: Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Grande Odalisque is one of the most famous paintings by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and also one of the most controversial ones. It was one of the first paintings in which he experimented with an Oriental subject as we can see an odalisque or concubine, a female attendant of the Ottoman Sultan.

The main criticism of the painting was related to the elongated figure of the woman which is completely out of proportion and unrealistic. It’s one of the many paintings b Ingres that was inspired by other works, especially the Dresden Venus of Giorgione and the Venus of Urbino by Titian.

Grande Odalisque Ingres
Grande Odalisque / Wiki Commons

2. Napoleon I on His Imperial Throne

  • Date created: 1806
  • Dimensions: 259 × 162 centimeters (102 × 64 inches)
  • Location: Musée de l’Armée, Les Invalides, Paris, France

Napoleon I on His Imperial Throne is a painting that depicts the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) who is sitting on his throne. He is wearing the same costume as he was wearing during his coronation, an event that took place at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on December 2, 1804.

The painting was displayed at the Paris Salon of 1806, the year it was completed. This was a year before Jacques-Louis David completed his monumental painting titled “The Coronation of Napoleon” and he was one of the many people who criticized this painting by Ingres. The abundance of details and peculiar color choices resulted in a lukewarm response from the public.

Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne
Napoleon I on His Imperial Throne / Wiki Commons

3. The Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the Tent of Achilles

  • Date created: 1801
  • Dimensions: 110 x 155 centimeters (43.3 x 61 inches)
  • Location: Beaux-Arts de Paris, Paris, France

The Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the tent of Achilles is a painting that Ingres submitted for the Grand Prix de Rome, a prestigious prize. This was awarded by the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris where Ingres studied at the time and it allowed the winner to study in Rome for 4 years.

He won the second prize in 1800 but won the competition in 1801 with this painting. It depicts a scene derived from Homer’s Iliad in which Achilles refuses to listen to the people sent by Agamemnon. They were sent to him to convince him to join Agamneon’s forces during the Trojan War.

Famous Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Paintings The Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the tent of Achilles
The Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the tent of Achilles / Wiki Commons

4. The Vow of Louis XIII

  • Date created: 1824
  • Dimensions: 421 × 262 centimeters (166 × 103 inches)
  • Location: Montauban Cathedral, Montauban, France

The Vow of Louis XIII is a painting completed in 1824 which depicts King Louis XIII of France (1601-1643) who makes a vow to the Virgin Mary. The composition of this work was inspired by the Sistine Madonna, one of the most famous paintings by Raphael which is on display at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, Germany.

This monumental painting was commissioned by France’s Ministry of Interior in August 1820. This was a time that the artist was living in Florence, a place where Raphael lived and worked for extended periods. After years of being criticized, this painting was a great success at the Paris Salon of 1824 and firmly established his reputation as France’s leading Neoclassical artist.

The Vow of Louis XIII by INgres
The Vow of Louis XIII / Wiki Commons

5. Portrait of Monsieur Bertin

  • Date created: 1832
  • Dimensions: 116.2 × 94.9 centimeters (45.7 × 37.4 inches)
  • Location: Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Portrait of Monsieur Bertin is one of the many portraits by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. He excelled in this area although he mostly wanted to be known as the leading history painter of his time. That’s he only reluctantly accepted commissions for portraits during this period of success in his career.

This painting depicts Louis-François Bertin (1766–1841), a renowned French writer and art collector who was the director of a newspaper titled “Journal des débats.” This newspaper was published between 1789 and 1944 and was fervently pro-royalist. Bertin was a close friend of the artist and a prominent figure in the French upper class.

Portrait of Monsieur Bertin by INgres
Portrait of Monsieur Bertin / Wiki Commons

6. The Source

  • Date created: 1856
  • Dimensions: 163 x 80 centimeters (64.1 x 31.4 inches)
  • Location: Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

The Source or “La Source” (“The Spring”) is a remarkable work of art in the oeuvre of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. He started working on it while he was living in Florence in 1820 but didn’t manage to complete it until the year 1856 when he was already 76 years old.

He was already an established figure in the art world of France at the time and had become the president of the École des Beaux-Arts, a place he studied nearly 6 decades earlier. The painting was exhibited in 1856 and it was sold a year later for the handsome sum of 25,000 francs.

The Source by Ingres
The Source by Ingres / Wiki Commons

7. Raphael and the Fornarina

  • Date created: 1813
  • Dimensions: 63.8 × 53.3 centimeters (25.5 × 21 inches)
  • Location: Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States

Raphael and La Fornarina is a painting that emphasizes the great admiration that Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres had for Raffello Sanzio da Urbino, an Italian artist better known as Raphael. It depicts the artist and his girlfriend at the time known as “La Fornarina” or the “Baker’s Daughter.”

Raphael appears to be working on one of his most famous depictions of her titled “La Fornarina” (1518-1519) which was completed a year before he passed away. He completed the first version of this work in 1813 and it a displayed at the Paris Salon in 1814. Ingres eventually produced 5 versions of this subject between 1813 and 1867.

Raphael and La Fornarina
Raphael and La Fornarina / Wiki Commons

8. The Turkish Bath

  • Date created: 1852-1862
  • Dimensions: 108 × 110 centimeters (42.5 × 43.31 inches)
  • Location: Louvre Museum, Paris, France

The Turkish Bath is another famous painting by Ingres that took a while to complete. He worked on it between 1852 and 1859 but remodeled several parts in 1862. It’s one of the many paintings in his oeuvre that depict an Oriental scene, in this case, a group of nude women in and around the pool of a Harem.

The main change he made in the early 1860s, a period when he was already 82 years old, was to change the original rectangular composition to a circular one. The overly erotic sentiment isn’t an exact representation but rather a sense of exotic idealism of the Near East.

The Turkish Bath ingres
The Turkish Bath / Wiki Commons

9. Portrait of Madame Moitessier

  • Date created: 1856
  • Dimensions: 121.3 × 90.9 centimeters (47.8 × 35.8 inches)
  • Location: National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Portrait of Madame Moitessier is a portrait that depicts Marie-Clotilde-Inès Moitessier (1821-1897), a woman who married a rich banker and lace married named Sigisbert Moitessier. When Ingres first receive the commission, he refused to paint her portrait because he considered himself to be mainly a historical painter at the time.

This was before he met the woman and when he eventually did, he not only painted this work between 1844 and 1856 but also completed a standing portrait in 1851. The standing version is part of the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Portrait of Madame Moitessier
Portrait of Madame Moitessier / Wiki Commons

10. Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII

  • Date created: 1854
  • Dimensions: 240 x 178 centimeters (94.4 x 70 inches)
  • Location: Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII is one of the most ambiguous paintings by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. It depicts Joan of Arc who is one of the patron saints of France. The painting was commissioned by the Director of Fine Arts of France and Ingres was allowed to choose the subject.

Ingres decided to merge two paintings that he was working on to complete this work. Joan of Arc was inspired by a nude model and he only added her armor later on. The remarkable choice of colors and lighting in combination with the troubadour style which idealized the Middle Ages makes this one of the artist’s most remarkable paintings.

Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII
Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII / Wiki Commons