This small, jewel-like devotional painting was made as a gift for Ingres’s friend Louise Marcotte, who introduced the artist to Delphine Ramel, whom he married in 1852. The Raphaelesque composition is based on one Ingres first painted in 1841 for the future czar Alexander II, which includes the two patron saints of Russia, Alexander Nevsky and Nicholas (Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow). For this version, Ingres replaced the Russian saints with two French ones. He would go on to paint four more variants, as well as, in 1855, a watercolor for Madame Ingres herself (Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Mass.).
Mme Charles Marcotte d'Argenteuil, Paris (1852–d. 1862; gift of the artist); her widower, Charles Marcotte d'Argenteuil, Paris (1862–d. 1864); their son, Joseph Marcotte, Paris (1864–d. 1893); his widow, Mme Joseph Marcotte, née Paule Aguillon, Paris (1893–d. 1922); their daughter, Mme Marcel Pougin de la Maisonneuve, Paris (1922–d. 1939); apparently, her widower, Marcel Pougin de la Maisonneuve, Paris (1939–ca. 1947; sold to Wildenstein); [Wildenstein, London and New York, by 1947–56; sold to Ford]; Henry Ford II (1956–64); his former wife, Anne McDonnell Ford, later Mrs. Deane F. Johnson, New York (1964–at least 1982; sold to Shickman); Lila and Herman Shickman, New York (ca. 1985–2005)
Paris. Galeries Georges Petit. "Exposition Ingres... organisée au profit du Musée Ingres," April 26–May 14, 1911, no. 52 (as "La Vierge à l'Hostie," lent by Mme Joseph Marcotte).
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 5.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Arnould de Vienne. "Galerie de M. Marcotte." L'Artiste, 6th ser., 2 (August 24, 1856), p. 102.
Henry Lapauze. Les Dessins de J.-A.-D. Ingres du Musée de Montauban. Paris, 1901, pp. 236, 250, as listed under Ingres's Cahiers IX and X.
Henry Lapauze. Ingres: Sa vie & son oeuvre (1780–1867), d'après des documents inédits. Paris, 1911, p. 465, erroneously states that it was offerred to Mme Legentil in 1852.
Georges Wildenstein. The Paintings of J. A. D. Ingres. 2nd revised ed. London, 1956, pp. 205, 211–12, 220–21, 224, 226, 232, no. 268, pl. 99, as "The Virgin with the Host, between St. Helena and St. Louis"; notes that "The Virgin with the Host" (1841; Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts; W234), commissioned by the czarevitch, later Alexander II, was the first picture on this theme.
Daniel Ternois inIngres. Exh. cat., Petit Palais. Paris, 1967, p. 320 (under no. 249), calls it the closest version to the Pushkin painting and lists four other variants in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (1854; W276); private collection, England (1860; now whereabouts unknown; W296), Musée Bonnat, Bayonne (1866; W325), and whereabouts unknown (1859; W289).
Ettore Camesasca inL'opera completa di Ingres. Milan, 1968, p. 108, no. 131b, ill.
Hans Naef. Die Bildniszeichnungen von J.-A.-D. Ingres. Vol. 2, Bern, 1978, p. 519.
Patricia Condon, Marjorie B. Cohn, and Agnes Mongan. Ingres, In Pursuit of Perfection: The Art of J.-A.-D. Ingres. Ed. Debra Edelstein. Exh. cat., J. B. Speed Art Museum. Louisville, 1983, pp. 136, 245–46, 248, 251, 253.
Georges Vigne. Dessins d'Ingres: Catalogue raisonné des dessins du Musée de Montauban. Paris, 1995, p. 63, ill., under nos. 269–70.
Georges Vigne. Ingres. New York, 1995, pp. , , 337, no. 217, publishes Ingres's Cahiers IX and X.
Gary Tinterow inPortraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Philip Conisbee. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1999, pp. 357, 375 n. 29.
Daniel Ternois. "Lettres d'Ingres à Marcotte d'Argenteuil." Archives de l'Art français, nouvelle période, 35 (1999), pp. 30, 32, 154 n. 6 (under letter 87), p. 249.
Daniel Ternois. "Lettres d'Ingres à Marcotte d'Argenteuil: Dictionnaire." Archives de l'Art français, nouvelle période, 36 (2001), pp. 229–31 nn. 19, 28–33, fig. 40, suggests that Ingres gave this picture to Madame Marcotte in gratitude for her role in his marriage to her niece, Delphine Ramel.
Gary Tinterow inA Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University. Ed. Stephan Wolohojian with the assistance of Anna Tahinci. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2003, p. 196, under no. 76.
Stéphane Guégan inIngres: 1780–1867. Ed. Vincent Pomarède et al. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2006, p. 332.
Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2005–2006." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 64 (2006), p. 48, ill. (color), calls it the first of five variants of the Pushkin composition; notes that it was made for Ingres's close friend, Louise Marcotte, with the Russian saints replaced by French ones "who must have had a special significance for Madame Marcotte".
Gary Tinterow inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 23, 221, no. 5, ill. (color and black and white).
This is the first of five variants based on the painting executed on commission for the Russian czarevitch, the future Alexander II, in 1841 (Wildenstein 1956, no. 234; State Pushkin Museum, Moscow). The remaining four were completed in 1854 (W 276; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; begun in 1851); 1859 (W 289, whereabouts unknown); 1860 (W 296; sold, Sotheby's, New York, October 26, 2004, no. 61); and 1866 (W 325; Musée Bonnat, Bayonne).
There are two known preparatory studies for the painting (both Musée Ingres, Montauban, inv. nos. 867.2340 and 867.2341).