Odalisque in Grisaille

Artist: 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


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.