Madame Moitessier

Object Details

Title:

Madame Moitessier

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780 - 1867)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

France (Place created)

Date:

1851

Medium:

Graphite and white chalk

Dimensions:

45.7 x 33.7 cm (18 x 13 1/4 in.)

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Never did beauty more regal, more magnificent, more stately, and of a more Junoesque type, offer its proud lines to the tremulous pencil of an artist.

Thus wrote critic Théophile Gautier after watching Inès Moitessier pose for this portrait. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres painted four oil portraits of her and made multiple drawings at many sittings. He made this drawing and six other preparatory studies for an early portrait.

Both a realist and a classicist, Ingres gave his sitter cool, idealized features recalling the smooth, balanced proportions of ancient marble sculpture. In contrast to the detail of her expressionless face, he broadly indicated the hair's abstract shape and lightly sketched in the outlines of the surrounding flowers with reminder notes of appropriate colors.

Edgar Degas, a great admirer of Ingres, once owned this drawing.

Provenance

Inès Moitessier, Paris

Edgar Degas, French, 1834 - 1917, Paris

Private Collection, Geneva

Private Collection, New York

March 26, 1918

Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, Degas estate sale, lot 210

Exhibitions
European Drawings (November to December 1988)
  • Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox Ltd., (London), November to December, 1988, (Cat. 66)
18th and 19th Century Drawings (March 15 to May 29, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), March 15 to May 29, 1994, (Cat.)
Portrait Drawings 1500 - 1900 (January 30 to May 12, 1996)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 30 to May 12, 1996, (Cat.)
Portraits by Ingres (January 27 to August 22, 1999)
  • The National Gallery (London), January 27 to April 25, 1999, (Cat. Catalogue edited by G. Tinterow and P. Conisbee 142)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), May 23 to August 22, 1999, (Cat. Catalogue edited by G. Tinterow and P. Conisbee 142)
Raphael and his Influence Across the Centuries (October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001, (Cat.)
Posing for Posterity: Portrait Drawings from the Collection (October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002, (Cat.)
Casting Characters: Portraits and Studies of Heads (November 4, 2003 to February 1, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 4, 2003 to February 1, 2004, (Cat.)
Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800-1900 (June 5 to September 9, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 5 to September 9, 2007, (Cat.)