Ingres became close with the Lethière family while in Rome. Guillaume Guillon Lethière—the father-in-law and grandfather of the sitters in this work—was director of the French Academy there from 1807 to 1816. Rosa Meli was fifteen when she married his son, Alexandre Lethière, and she gave birth to their daughter the following year. In the drawing, she appears self-possessed as she gazes directly outward while propping the infant Letizia against her knee. Ingres’s refined neoclassical style and graphite technique contribute to the serene quality of the double portrait.
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Title:Madame Alexandre Lethière and Her Daughter Letizia
Artist:Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, Montauban 1780–1867 Paris)
Dimensions:11 13/16 x 8 11/16 in. (30 x 22.1 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Grace Rainey Rogers, 1943
Guillaume de Gontaut-Biron, marquis de Biron; Wildenstein & Co., Inc.; Grace Rainey Rogers(acquired 1940)
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Pierre Rosenberg, Perrin Stein, Elizabeth E. Barker, George R. Goldner, Alain-Charles Gruber, Colta Ives, Asher Ethan Miller, Sabine Rewald, Gary Tinterow The Wrightsman Pictures. Everett Fahy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2005, cat. no. under 81, fig. no. 5, p. 302, ill.
Vincent Pomarède, Stéphane Guégan, Louis-Antoine Prat, Eric Bertin Ingres, 1780-1867. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre, Paris, February 24-May 15, 2006. Paris, 2006, cat. no. 58, pp. 204-206, ill.
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