Ingres, or to give him his full name, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, a French Neoclassical painter was born in Montauban in 1780. Ingres after spending some time in Italy returned to Paris in 1834. It was at this time that he began to earn the reputation of being a great portrait artist. His greatest paintings were his portraits, which were both painted and drawn. He is looked upon now as one who embodied the Romantic spirit of his time.
Today’s painting is Louis de Broglie, Countesse d’Haussonville which Ingres painted in 1845 and I was fortunate to see it when I visited the Frick Collection in New York some years ago. Ingres had the ability of expressing the beauty of his subject, none more so than this portrait of the Comtesse d’Haussonville who, despite her reserved and somewhat prim appearance, was an outspoken liberal, author and well regarded intellectual. Note the luxurious opulent folds of her silk dress and the lustre of her red hair ribbon.