Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, ‘Portrait of Sir John Hay and his sister Mary’, 1816, British Museum

"French portrait drawings from Clouet to Courbet"

Venue: British Museum, London (2016)

About Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Studying under Jacques-Louis David for four years, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres developed a Neoclassical approach that changed little as his career unfolded. Known for his extraordinary drawing skills, Ingres believed that line, not color, conveyed the expressive content in an image. He did not share his colleagues’ enthusiasm for battle scenes, preferring to depict revelatory moments and intimate confrontations that rarely included movement or violence, and his early work was criticized for stylistic and historical idiosyncrasies. Ingres despised the more fashionable work of the Romantics such as Eugene Delacroix, and was despondent when his work was poorly received in the Salons. Inspired by Orientalism, Ingres painted a series of odalisques that were originally panned for their exaggerated anatomy and depiction of odd accessories, but were later hailed as Romantic masterpieces.

French, 1780-1867, Montauban, France, based in Paris, France