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Odalisque in Grisaille

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, Montauban 1780–1867 Paris) and Workshop

Date:
ca. 1824–34
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
32 3/4 x 43 in. (83.2 x 109.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
38.65
  • Gallery Label

    This painting is an unfinished repetition, reduced in size and much simplified, of the celebrated Grande Odalisque of 1814 (Musée du Louvre, Paris), a work that was central to Ingres’s conception of ideal beauty. Ingres cited it in a list of works he executed in Paris between 1824 and 1834, a period bracketed by lengthy sojourns in Italy. Paintings in shades of gray—en grisaille—were often made to establish variations in tone as a guide to engravers of black and white reproductive prints. As this work has not been linked definitively to known reproductions of the Grande Odalisque, its intended purpose remains uncertain.

  • Provenance

    the artist, Paris (until his d. 1867; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 27, 1867, no. 7, as "Odalisque," to Ingres); the artist's widow, Mme Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, née Ramel, Paris (1867–at least 1870); her brother, Albert Ramel, Paris; Mme Albert Ramel, Paris (by 1921); her daughter, Mme Emmanuel Riant, née Ramel, Paris (until 1937); [Jacques Seligmann, Paris and New York, 1937–38; sold to MMA]

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Hôtel de la Chambre Syndicale de la Curiosité et des Beaux-Arts. "Exposition Ingres," May 8–June 5, 1921, no. 24 (as "Odalisque couchée," by Ingres, lent by Mme Albert Ramel).

    New York. World's Fair. "Masterpieces of Art: European & American Paintings, 1500–1900," May–October 1940, no. 236 (as "Odalisque [Grisaille]," by Ingres).

    Art Gallery of Toronto. "The Classical Contribution to Western Civilization," December 15, 1948–January 31, 1949, not in catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Classical Contribution to Western Civilization," April 21–September 5, 1949, not in catalogue.

    Birmingham, Ala. Birmingham Museum of Art. "Festival of the Seven Arts," January 25–February 22, 1953, no catalogue.

    New York. Wildenstein. "Nude in Painting," November 1–December 1, 1956, no. 20 (as "Odalisque" [Grisaille], by Ingres).

    University of California at Los Angeles Art Galleries. "French Masters: Rococo to Romanticism," March 5–April 18, 1961, no cat. number.

    Rice Museum. "Gray is the Color," October 19, 1973–January 19, 1974, no. 62 (as "Odalisque in Grisaille").

    Athens. National Pinakothiki, Alexander Soutzos Museum. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Memories and Revivals of the Classical Spirit," August 15–November 15, 1979, no. 85 (as "Odalisque").

    Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. "Orientalism: The Near East in French Painting 1800–1880," August 27–October 17, 1982, no. 54 (as "Odalisque in Grisaille").

    Neuberger Museum, State University of New York at Purchase. "Orientalism: The Near East in French Painting 1800–1880," November 14–December 23, 1982, no. 54.

    Louisville. J. B. Speed Art Museum. "Ingres, In Pursuit of Perfection: The Art of J.- A.- D. Ingres," December 6, 1983–January 29, 1984, no. 51.

    Fort Worth. Kimbell Art Museum. "Ingres, In Pursuit of Perfection: The Art of J. -A. -D. Ingres," March 3–May 6, 1984, no. 51.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ingres at the Metropolitan," December 13, 1988–March 19, 1989, no catalogue.

    Yokohama Museum of Art. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century," March 25–June 4, 1989, no. 77.

    Athens. National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. "From El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 13, 1992–April 11, 1993, no. 37.

    Musée de Cambrai. "Fantasme d'Ingres: Variations autour de la Grande Odalisque," June 26–October 30, 2004, no. 2 (as "La Grande Odalisque en grisaille").

    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 4.

    Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19.Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

    Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Picasso et les Maîtres," October 8, 2008–February 2, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 330).

  • References

    M. Gresle. Inventory after the Death of J. A. D. Ingres, April 26, 1867. April 26, 1867, no. 6, as "Odalisque, grisaille, ébauche".

    Henri Delaborde. Ingres: Sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine. Paris, 1870, p. 236, under no. 75, attributes it to Ingres; calls it a repetition in grisaille of the "Grande Odalisque" in the Louvre and notes that it belonged to Mme Ingres.

    Henry Lapauze. Les Dessins de J.-A.-D. Ingres du Musée de Montauban. Paris, 1901, pp. 235, 248–49, publishes Ingres's Cahiers IX and X, which include several mentions of odalisques that may refer to the MMA painting, especially a "petite odalisque en grisaille" under the heading "Paris, 1824".

    Emmanuel Riant. Letter. November 5, 1937, gives a complete history of the ownership of this painting.

    Louise Burroughs. "Odalisque en Grisaille by Ingres." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 33 (October 1938), pp. 222–25, ill., states that this painting was made by Ingres as a study for the "Grande Odalisque" in the Louvre commissioned by Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, in 1813; mentions that this is the only known grisaille by Ingres.

    James W. Lane. "Notes from New York." Apollo 28 (December 1938), pp. 301–2, dates it 1814; compares it to the Louvre painting.

    Walter Pach. Ingres. New York, 1939, pp. 49, ill. opp. p. 67.

    Dietrich von Bothmer. "The Classical Contribution to Western Civilization." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 7 (April 1949), p. 215, ill.

    Georges Wildenstein. The Paintings of J. A. D. Ingres. 1st ed. 1954, pp. 170–71, 178–79, 181, 210, 213, 230–31, no. 226, fig. 56.

    Georges Wildenstein. The Paintings of J. A. D. Ingres. 2nd revised ed. London, 1956, pp. 170–71, 178–79, 181, 210, 213, 230–31, no. 226, fig. 56.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX Century." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, 1966, pp. 7–9, ill., date it 1813–14; have no doubt that the MMA painting is the same one mentioned in Ingres's inventory of 1867 [see Ref. Ingres 1867]; remark that the figure in the "Sleeping Woman" (lost; known through a preparatory drawing in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London) was small in relation to the background, as it is in this painting, concluding that the MMA painting may reflect Ingres's first idea for the pendant; suggest that the original intent might have been to paint a figure awake as a pendant to the sleeping figure.

    Daniel Ternois in Ingres. Exh. cat., Petit Palais. Paris, 1967, p. 103–104, ill., calls it a repetition of the "Grande Odalisque".

    Anne Poulet in "Turquerie." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 26 (January 1968), p. 236, no. 65, ill., posits that Ingres did not originally conceive of the figure as Oriental, citing a preparatory drawing in the Courtauld that shows only a reclining nude.

    Emilio Radius Ettore Camesasca in L'opera completa di Ingres. Milan, 1968, p. 97, no. 82d, ill., dates it 1824–34; calls it a replica in grisaille of the Louvre painting.

    John L. Connolly Jr. "Ingres and the Erotic Intellect." Art News Annual, Woman as Sex Object, Studies in Erotic Art, 1730–1970, 38 (1972), pp. 21, 24 ill. [reprinted as Ref. Connolly 1974], believes that the two rapidly brushed circles in the lower right corner indicate a waterspout, and concludes that this detail is the remnant of a program that would have depicted the five senses, which Ingres changed in the final version in the Louvre.

    Andreas Freund. "Met's 'Odalisque' Termed Genuine." New York Times (February 3, 1973), p. 22.

    John L. Hess. "Metropolitan Finds 'Odalisque' Not by Ingres; will Rehang Painting with a New Attribution." New York Times (January 17, 1973), p. 24.

    John L. Hess. "'Odalisque' Back, Under a Cloud." New York Times (January 31, 1973), p. 26.

    Gray is the Color. Exh. cat., Rice Museum. Houston, 1973–74, pp. 20, 96–97, 165 n. 39–40, no. 62, ill., given the size of the painting, believes it is unlikely to have been made as a sketch for an engraving; notes that the picture contains awkward passages, particularly in the hands and feet, which are inconsistent with Ingres's style; concludes that this painting was either made by Ingres as a young man and assistants, or by Ingres's atelier with the inconsistencies in the work representing various stages of completion.

    "'Odalisque' is Back on View at Met." New York Times (May 10, 1973), p. 54, ill., notes that as a result of its recent cleaning, the painting was attributed to Ingres and his workshop.

    John L. Connolly Jr. "Ingres Studies: Antiochus and Stratonice; The Bather and Odalisque Themes." PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1974, p. 44, pl. XII
    .

    René Jullian. Letter to Monsieur [Everett Fahy]. February 25, 1974, suggests an attribution to Armand Cambon.

    Jacques Foucart. Letter to Mary Ann W. Harris. July 15, 1976, calls it a weak copy.

    Robert Rosenblum. Letter to Mimi Harris. September 30, 1976, believes that it was begun by Ingres and later worked on by one of his students who left it unfinished.

    James David Draper and Joan R. Mertens. Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Memories and Revivals of the Classical Spirit. Exh. cat., National Pinakothiki, Alexander Soutzos Museum. Athens, 1979, p. 226–27, no. 85, ill., attribute it to Ingres and workshop; call it a grisaille reduction with a few touches of color; remark that the features of Caroline Murat can be seen here, and propose that she could have wanted to commission a work similar to Canova's portrait of her sister Pauline Borghese (Galleria Borghese, Rome).

    Donald A. Rosenthal. Orientalism: The Near East in French Painting 1800–1880. Exh. cat., Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. Rochester, N.Y., 1982, pp. 52–53, 157 n. 8, no. 54, ill., dates it about 1813–14, calls it a preliminary version in grisaille, and attributes it to Ingres.

    Patricia Condon, Marjorie B. Cohn, and Agnes Mongan. Ingres, In Pursuit of Perfection: The Art of J.-A.-D. Ingres. Exh. cat., J. B. Speed Art Museum. Louisville, 1983, pp. 126–28, 202, no. 51, fig. 2, colorpl. 51, dates it ca. 1824–34; believes it should be reattributed to Ingres, rather than his workshop, citing the fact that he claimed it as his own in his notebooks, kept it until his death, and bequeathed it to his wife; notes that Ingres was particularly interested in grisaille in the late 1820s.

    Katharine Baetjer et al. in Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art. Tokyo, 1989, pp. 130–31, ill. (color), calls it a repetition.

    Deborah Krohn et al. in From El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. Athens, 1992, pp. 16, 309, no. 37, ill. (color, overall and detail) [catalog section unpaginated], dates it about 1824.

    Véronique Burnod. Fantasme d'Ingres: Variations autour de la Grande Odalisque. Exh. cat., Musée de Cambrai. Ghent, 2004, unpaginated, no. 2, ill. and on cover (both color).

    Vincent Pomarède in Ingres: 1780–1867. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2006, pp. 180, 385, fig. 137 (color).

    Gary Tinterow in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 22, 222, no. 4, ill. (color and black and white).

    Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 12, 264, no. 10, ill. (color and black and white).



  • Notes

    This is a version of the "Grande Odalisque" of 1814 (W93; Musée du Louvre, Paris) commissioned by Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples.

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