Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Biography | Oil Paintings
8-29-1780 Mounauban, FRA - 1-14-1867 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres French painter and draftsman a champion of Academic art. Ingres’ father was a minor painter and sculptor and, with parental encouragement, he displayed a talent for both drawing and music at a very early age. Opting for the former, he moved to Paris in 1797 and entered Jacques-Louis David studio.
There, inspired by his teacher and by Flaxman’s engravings of antique vases, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres developed a meticulous Neo-Classical style, notable for impeccable draftsmanship and a smooth, enamel-like finish. This helped him to win the Prix de Rome in 1801 and brought him a succession of lucrative portrait commissions, but political events prevented him from going to Rome.
Napoleon and the Propaganda Paintings of Aggrandizement.
The painting Napoleon As First Consul was commissioned by the city of Liege (a view of it appears in the background) as a tribute to the still young, though already very powerful, Napoleon. The portrait is enriched by its precise details of costume and furnishings. This magnificent portrait of Napoleon on his Imperial Throne was painted at the height of his political success. It was propaganda, rhetoric, and art in the service of the first "modern" dictator. After this painting was completed in 1806, he finally gave Ingres permission to leave for Rome. The painter lived in the Eternal City for eighteen years and therefore was only able to follow the trajectory, rise, and fall of the Napoleonic star from a distance.
The many painted portraits of Napoleon also play a key role in the propaganda and strategy of aggrandizement, that perhaps reached its pinnacle in the equestrian portrait of Napoleon crossing the Alps (one of five versions) by David.
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres worked extensively in Italy after 1806, although he continued to exhibit at the Salon and rapidly became the epitome of the academic establishment. This was most obvious in the 1820s, when his pictures were contrasted with those of Delacroix, in the ‘battle’ between Classicism and Romanticism.
Sexy Orientalism goes Mainstream.
While his style was a model of classical correctness, however, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ subject matter was often distinctly Romantic. This is particularly evident in the exotic eroticism of Oriental scenes, such as The Turkish Bath (all the women are the same model) and La Grande Odalisque. Ingres, aware that he is challenging history, proposes his version of a theme that has been repeatedly explored in painting, that of the reclining nude. Here he relates it to contemporary life by incorporating the growing fashion of the exotic and the seduction of the Orient while maintaining an elevated tone of classical purity.
Ingres's portraits are extraordinary works of nineteenth-century painting, exemplified by Madame Moitessier and the Contessa D Haussonville. The discreet charms of his gentle smiles dare us to take sides in the never-ending struggle between art and nature, a crescendo of virtuosity played out among mirrors, fabrics, perfectly rendered skin tones, jewels, lights flowers, cushions, and porcelain, with an attention to detail that is almost miniaturistic. His absolute technical and stylistic perfection were obtained through the classical and Raphaelesque tradition to which he was committed.
Art Movement History: Academicism, Neoclassicism.
Artists Influencing Jean Ingres: Raphael, Jacques-Louis David.
Painters Dominique Ingres Influenced: Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alexandre Cabanel, Théodore Chassériau, William Bouguereau, Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin, Henri Lehmann, Eugène Emmanuel Amaury-Duval.
He Traveled To Italy.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.