1806–1824 - Rome and Florence
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The French in Italy

In Italy Ingres portrayed several leading figures of society. Inspired by the portraits of the Italian and Flemish Renaissance, the French artist carefully composed his pictures so that his models always seem to be looking at the viewer, and painted them against landscape backgrounds. These are all half-length portraits: The models are cropped at the waist, their hands barely visible.

François Marius Granet: With this painting, which was done as a gift to a close friend, Ingres inaugurated a style, a form of composition and a poetic atmosphere, which he later applied systematically to several of his paid portrait commissions.

Charles Marcotte d'Argenteuil: Dating from 1811, this half-length portrait drawing represents the young Director of Waters and Forests against a view of the Vatican. Charles Marcotte first approached Ingres to commission a portrait of himself for his mother. The two became good friends and over the years Ingres produced several portraits of Charles Marcotte and of various members of his family.

Madame de Senonnes: In this sumptuous portrait, painted in 1814, Ingres explores the infinite range of plastic invention afforded by the pictorial representation of a seated figure. The young woman, elegantly clad in a voluptuous red velvet dress, is seen from a slightly elevated point of view. Her image is reflected simultaneously in a large mirror placed just behind her.

François-Marius Granet
François-Marius Granet, 72 cm x 61 cm, 1807, Aix-en-Provence, Musée Granet
© Musée Granet Aix-en-Provence : Bernard Terlay

Charles Marcotte d'Argenteuil
Charles Marcotte d'Argenteuil, 25 cm x 19.2 cm, 1811, Paris, Musée du Louvre, National Treasure, Purchased in 2006 by the State for the Musée du Louvre with Funding from Arjowiggins - Groupe Sequana Capital
© Studio Ph. Sebert

Madame de Senonnes
Madame de Senonnes, 1.06 m x 84 cm, 1815, Nantes, Musée des Beaux-Arts
© Erich Lessing