1841–1855 — The Court Painter
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The Christian Revival

Ingres's return to Paris was preceded by the resounding success of Antiochus and Stratonice. Ingres, now acclaimed as a major artist, was commissioned by the royal family to design the cartoons for the stained glass windows of the Neo-Gothic chapel of Neuilly, and to produce an ambitious religious painting, Jesus among the Doctors.

Jesus among the Doctors: This painting is the product of the meditations of a mature mind intent on paring down the representation of religious themes to their essence. The simplicity of the Christian message is encapsulated in the serene and profoundly human figure of the Christ child.

The Virgin with the Host: The embodiment of maternity and of a pure feminine ideal, as well as of Christian love and religious fervor, the figure of the Virgin Mary became one of the catholic themes most often explored by Ingres. Inspired by the work of Raphael and by other painters of the Renaissance, Ingres's images of the Virgin combine elegance, sensuality and femininity with the expression of faith, spirituality and virginity.

Jesus among the Doctors
Jesus among the Doctors, 2.65 m x 3.20 m, 1842-1862, Montauban, Musée Ingres
© Roumagnac Photographe

Virgin with the Host
Virgin with the Host, 1.13 m x 1.13 m, 1854, inv20088, Paris, Musée d'Orsay
Photo RMN / © Hervé Lewandowski