Study for the Dress and the Hands of Madame Moitessier

Object Details


Study for the Dress and the Hands of Madame Moitessier


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




France (Place created)




Graphite on tracing paper, squared in black chalk


35.4 x 16.8 cm (13 15/16 x 6 5/8 in.)

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In the crook of her right arm, Madame Moitessier supports a loose, lacy shawl that twines around her. Her brooch attracts attention while the tiny necklace nearly disappears. In Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's later painting, a smaller brooch seems insignificant, while a long string of pearls echoes the flowing sweep of the woman's shawl and provides a purpose for the hand at her waist. He made two additional studies of her left hand in the upper right corner, exploring how she might hold the shawl.

In this preparatory study for an 1851 painting, Ingres concentrated on the woman's dress, her jewels, and the positions of her arms and hands. To determine the figure's proportions, he drew a grid or "squared" the drawing. He freely worked out new ideas from the bodice on down, probably tracing the head and shoulders from another study. Ingres made many such preparatory sketches for his four painted portraits of Inès Moitessier, a banker's wife from a prominent family of government officials.


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

Expert F. Petit, Ingres atelier sale, April 27 and May 6-7, 1867

Raimondo de Madrazo y Garretta

Comtesse Martine-Marie-Pol de Béhague, French, 1870 - 1939

June 29, 1921

Sotheby's (London), lot 97

Wildenstein & Co. (London), by 1951

Villiers David, London, by 1967

Private Collection

July 3, 1990

Christie's (London), lot 138

Private Dealer

Nineteenth Century French Drawings [1990] (November 21 to December 18, 1990) (10)
  • Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox Ltd., (London), November 21 to December 18, 1990
Classicism and Neoclassicism in French Drawing, 1600-1860 (October 25, 1994 to January 8, 1995) (10)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 25, 1994 to January 8, 1995
The Compositional Drawing from the 16th to the 19th Century (April 16 to June 30, 1996) (10)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 16 to June 30, 1996
Portraits by Ingres (January 27 to August 22, 1999) (143; Catalogue edited by G. Tinterow and P. Conisbee)
  • The National Gallery (London), January 27 to April 25, 1999
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), May 23 to August 22, 1999
Posing for Posterity: Portrait Drawings from the Collection (October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002) (143; Catalogue edited by G. Tinterow and P. Conisbee)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002
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