PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
Here, Ingres’s soft treatment of the face, as well as the size of the sheet, compare closely to another 1814 portrait of an unidentified Seated Lady now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York,2 and both drawings have a subtle informality, an air of ease and familiarity in the expressions which suggests that the sitters may have been friends to the artist, more than clients. Ingres’ portraits from these years in Rome, many of which, as he later declared, were done to earn a living, are surprisingly varied in technique and style given their uniformity of medium. This work belongs with those that concentrate on character, on the creation of a quite remarkable vividness of gaze and presence. Hans Naef catalogued more than 450 portrait drawings in his catalogue raisonné a body of work which constituted one of the most glorious chapters in his [Ingres’s] career3 - but those dated 1814 number only 23. Eric Bertin, in a supplement to the catalogue published in 2001, listed a further fifteen, previously unknown, of which only one was executed in 1814 - Ingres’ portrait of his wife, Madeleine.4 At least seven of the known 1814 portraits are likenesses of members of the Murat family and the relatively small number of other drawings belonging to this rather critical year suggests that the artist was indeed only infrequently working to commissions.
1. Letter written in 1807, see H. Lapauze, Le Roman d’amour de M. Ingres, Paris, 1910, pp. 170-171.
2. H. Naef, Die Bildniszeichnungen von J.-A.-D. Ingres, vol. IV, Bern 1977, cat. 130.
3. H. Naef, ‘Ingres’s portrait drawings of English Sitters in Rome’, Burlington Magazine, December 1956, no. 645, XCVIII, p. 827.
4. 'Premier état du supplement au catalogue Naef des portraits dessins par Ingres’, Bulletin du Musée Ingres, no. 73, 2001, pp. 27-31.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale