This new monograph explores the career of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867), one of the most important artists of the nineteenth-century Neoclassical period. The lifetime of the painter spans one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of the artist’s native France. Born less than nine years before the storming of the Bastille, Ingres would eventually bear witness to three revolutions and the rise and fall (and eventual resurrection) of a rapid succession of monarchical, republican, and imperial regimes.
Like many his contemporaries, Ingres considered history paintings to be the most exalted form of art, with portraiture a lesser genre. Even during his lifetime, however, tastes were changing, and while icons like his Turkish Bath and the Grande Odalisque are still highly regarded, Ingres is most admired today for his innovative and vivid portraits, which transcend time in their physical and psychological beauty.
In this insightful and unbiased survey, Andrew Shelton provides the reader with a comprehensive portrait of the seventy-year career of this most celebrated artist and discusses all of the artist’s key paintings and drawings.