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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
(
1780-1867)

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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was a French painter and a leading figure in the Neo-Classical movement.  Ingres was born in Montauban on August 29, 1780, the son of an unsuccessful sculptor and painter. 

He entered the studio of the Neo-Classical painter Jacques-Louis David in Paris in 1797 and won the Prix de Rome in 1801 for his painting The Envoys from Agamemnon (École des Beaux-Arts, Paris). From 1806 to 1820 he painted in Rome, where he developed his extraordinary gifts for drawing and design. 

He was greatly influenced by the work of Raphael (High Renaissance), and his style has been described as doubly inspired by Raphael and David (the latter being neo-classical artist). While in Italy, Ingres made many pencil portraits that are distinguished for their purity and economy of style. In 1820 he left Rome and went to Florence for four years. 
 
USSR 1980. Neo Classical Painting. Ingres. Self portrait in front of  "The Source". (Part of the series The Turkish Bath).
  • USSR 1980.  Self-portrait in front of "The Source" (part of the series The Turkish Bath). 

  • An interesting cover, sent air mail from Tashkent (Soviet Union) in 1980 to Vancouver (Canada).  It is not often that such art stamps are seen commercially used. 

ussr 1980. Neo Classical Painting. Ingres. Commercially used cover Taskent-Vancouver, franked with Ingres-painting.

On his return to Paris, Ingres won great acclaim with The Vow of Louis XIII (1820), commissioned for the cathedral of Montauban and exhibited in the Paris Salon in 1824. He became the recognized leader of the Neo-Classical school that opposed the new Romantic movement led by Eugène Delacroix and Théodore Géricault. During this period Ingres painted The Apotheosis of Homer (1827) for a ceiling in the Louvre, Paris. 

Angered by the poor reception given his Martyrdom of St Symphorian (1834, Autun Cathedral), he left Paris to accept the directorship of the French Academy at Rome in 1834. At the end of his seven-year term as director he returned again to Paris and was welcomed as one of the most celebrated painters in France. His position both as a painter and as the official academic spokesman against the Romanticists was established, and he was given the rank of commander of the Legion of Honour in 1845. In the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1855 both he and Delacroix, his chief rival in art, were awarded gold medals. 

France 1987. Neo Classical Painting. Ingres. Maximum Card, depicting a scene from "Turkish Women at the Bath". State of Oman 1972. Neo Classical painting. Ingres. Scene from The Turkish Bath.

I find it interesting to compare the French stamp on the above maximum card with the one far right immediately below. Obviously the two stamps show the same scene, but how differently they turn out!  The French stamp is the only Ingres-stamp ever issued by France! 

Paraguay 1981. Neo Classical Painting. Ingres. Stamp #1 from the series "Turkish Women at the Bath") Paraguay 1981. Neo Classical Painting. Ingres. Stamp #2 from the series "Turkish Women at the Bath") Paraguay 1981. Neo Classical Painting. Ingres. Stamp #3 from the series "Turkish Women at the Bath") Paraguay 1981. Neo Classical Painting. Ingres. Stamp #4 from the series "Turkish Women at the Bath") Paraguay 1981. Neo Classical Painting. Ingres. Stamp #5 from the series "Turkish Women at the Bath")

Ingres's strengths -- superb draughtsmanship, keen sensitivity for personality, and precise Neo-Classical linear style -- were perfectly suited to portraiture. Mme Moitessier (1851, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) and La Comtesse d'Haussonville (1845, Frick Collection, New York) are outstanding examples, and M. Berlin (1832, Louvre) is considered one of the finest portraits of the 19th century. Ingres continued to paint vigorously in his old age, producing in his 82nd year his famous Turkish Women at the Bath (1863, Louvre), the culmination of his superb depictions of female nudes. 

Ingres's influence on art to the present day has been immense; among important later painters who acknowledged deriving inspiration from his style are Edgar Degas, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. Ingres died in Paris on January 14, 1867. 

Sources and links: 

A to neo-classical sculptor on this site:   

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