This small oil painting depicts an interaction between the artist Tintoretto and the literary critic and satirist Pietro Aretino, two cultural figures of sixteenth century Venice. The episode, real or apocryphal, was originally documented by Carlo Ridolfi in his Life of Tintoretto (1642). Ingres portrays the moment when Tintoretto feigns violence towards Aretino, whom he had invited to his studio to sit for a portrait. Aretino, shown in the pose of the martyr St. Francis receiving the stigmata, momentarily fears danger before recognizing the gesture as Tintoretto’s playful revenge for Aretino’s criticism of his work.
Painted in 1848 for Marcotte Genlis, this picture is Ingres’s second version of the subject, the original dating to 1815. Ingres frequently copied his own paintings in an effort to improve upon his representations of often unconventional narratives.
Signature: Signed and dated (lower left): Ingres. 1848.
Marcotte Genlis, Paris, by 1855; Marcotte Genlis sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 17-18, 1868, lot 20; Marcotte de Quivières; Marcotte de Quivières sale [M. M….de Q….sale], Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 24, 1875, lot 12; Untitled sale, June 12, 1900, lot 24; Bessonneau d'Angers collection, by 1928; Bessonneau d'Angers sale, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, June 15, 1954, lot 46; acquired by Robert Lehman, New York, 1954.
Artist: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, Montauban 1780–1867 Paris)Date: between 1818–31Medium: Counterproof strengthened with graphite and white chalk on tracing paperAccession: 43.85.10On view in:Not on view