Overview

When his friend Marcotte first suggested that Ingres paint Ines Moitessier, the wife of a financier and jurist, he demurred. Ingres changed his mind after being struck by her "terrible et belle tête" (terrible and beautiful head.) The author Théophile Gautier described her as "Junolike," and Ingres presents her with the imposing remoteness of a Roman goddess. Her stance is severe and strongly silhouetted, her monumental shoulders stark ivory against the somber, restricted colors around her.

Ingres insisted on painting every detail from life, so he could achieve, in his words, "the faithful rendering of nature that leads to art." With minute accuracy he has recorded the light–absorbing darkness of her lace and velvet costume, the gleam of gold jewelry, the gloss of her elaborate coiffure. The emphatic reality of these details contrasts with her unfocused gaze, contributing to the sense that she is somehow removed from life.

Ingres began to pose Madame Moitessier in the 1840s, but the work languished. This second attempt was begun after the aging artist—he was 71—had been roused from depression by the prospect of his remarriage in 1852.

Inscription

lower center left: I.A.D. INGRES P.XIT ANO 1851; upper right: M.E INES MOITESSIER / NÉE DE FOUCAULD.

Marks and Labels

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Provenance

The sitter, Marie-Clothilde-Inès, née de Foucauld [1821-1897], and her husband, Paul Sigisbert Moitessier [1799-1889]; their elder daughter, Clothilde-Marie-Catherine, comtesse de Flavigny [1843-1914], by 1911;[1] her sister, Françoise-Camille-Marie, vicomtesse Taillepied de Bondy [1850-1934], by 1921;[2] probably her son, François,[3] comte Taillepied de Bondy [b. 1875]; sold 1935 to (Paul Rosenberg & Co., London, New York, and Paris); sold 1945 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1946 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1855
Exposition universelle, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1855, no. 3366
1921
Exhibition Ingres, Association Franco-Américaine, Chambre Syndicale de la Curiosité et des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1921, no. 44, repro.
1936
Exhibition of Masters of French 19th Century Painting, Anglo French Art & Travel Society, New Burlington Galleries, London, 1936, no. 2
1937
Chefs-d'oeuvre de l'art français, Palais National des Arts, Paris, 1937, no. 351
1938
Honderd Jaar Fransche Kunst, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1938, no. 137, repro.
1939
La Peinture Française au XIX siècle, Musej Kneza Pavla (Museum of Prince Paul), Belgrade, 1939, no. 67, repro.
1939
La Pintura Francesa de David a nuestros días, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, 1939, no. 76
1939
La Pintura Francesa de David a nuestros días, Salon Nacional de Bella Artes, Montevideo, 1939, no. 13, repro.
1940
Exposiçao de Pintura Francesa, seculos XIX e XX, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janiero, 1940, no. 56
1940
The Painting of France since the French Revolution, M.H. De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, December 1940-January 1941; November 1941-January 1942, no. 59
1941
Loan Exhibition of French Painting Presenting a Survey of the Develpment of Modern Art, The Fine Arts Gallery, San Diego, 1941, no. 1
1941
Masterpieces of French Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1941, no. 85
1944
Loan Exhibition of Great Paintings in Aid of Allied Merchant Seamen, The Art Gallery of Toronto, 1944, no. 36, repro.
1946
Recent Additions to the Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1946, no. 882.
1999
Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch, National Gallery, London; National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1999-2000, no. 133, as Madame Paul-Sigisbert Moitessier, née Marie-Clotilde-Inès de Foucauld, Standing.
2006
Ingres 1780-1867, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2006, no. 160, repro.

Bibliography

1852
Galimard, Auguste. "Un portrait de M. Ingres." Revue des Beaux-Arts III (1852): 49-50.
1855
About, Edmond. Voyage à travers l'exposition des Beaux-Arts. Paris, 1855: 134.
1855
Lacroix, Paul. "M. Ingres à l'Exposition Universelle." Revue Universelle des Arts 2 (1855): 207.
1867
Merson, Olivier. Ingres, sa vie et ses oeuvres. Paris, 1867: 119.
1868
Blanc, Charles. "Ingres, sa vie et ses ouvrages." Gazette des Beaux-Arts sér. 1, vol. 23 (1868): 536-537.
1870
Blanc, Charles. Ingres, sa vie et ses ouvrages. Paris, 1870: 168.
1870
Delaborde, Henri. Ingres, sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine. Paris, 1870: 255-256.
1877
"Tribunal civil: M. Ingres et le portrait de Mme. Moitessier." La Chronique des Arts et de la Curiosité (15 December 1877): 368-369.
1904
Momméja, Jules. Ingres. 1904: 103.
1909
Boyer d'Agen, A.-J. Ingres d'après une correspondance inédite. Paris, 1909: 379, 387-388.
1911
Lapauze, Henry. Ingres, sa vie et son oeuvre (1780-1867) d'après documents inédites. Paris, 1911: 440-446, 452-461.
1921
"L'Exposition Ingres." La Renaissance de l'Art Français et des Industries de Luxe 4 (May 1921): 251, repro.
1924
Fröhlich-Bum, Lili. Ingres, sein Leben und sein Stil. Vienna and Leipzig, 1924: 53, pl. 58.
1928
Hourticq, Louis. Ingres, l'oeuvre du maître. Paris, 1928: 99.
1936
Davies, Martin. "A Painting by the Aged Ingres." The Burlington Magazine 68 (1936): 257-268.
1939
Pach, Walter. Ingres. New York and London, 1939: 11.
1942
King, Edward S. "Ingres as Classicist." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 5 (1942): 82.
1943
Malingue, Maurice. Ingres. Monaco, 1943: 53, repro.
1946
Frankfurter, Alfred M. Supplement to the Kress Collection in the National Gallery. New York, 1946: 84.
1950
Alazard, Jean. Ingres et l'Ingrisme. Paris, 1950: 105.
1952
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Great Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1952: 146, color repro.
1954
A. de G. "L'Atelier de M. Ingres." L'Athenaeum Français 3, no. 50 (16 December 1854): 1188-1189.
1956
Wildenstein, Georges. The Paintings of J.A.D. Ingres. 2nd edition. London, 1956: 210, no. 260.
1957
Mongan, Agnes. "Ingres, et Mme Moitessier." Bulletin du Musée Ingres, Montauban 2 (1957): 3-8.
1957
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Comparisons in Art: A Companion to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. London, 1957 (reprinted 1959): pl. 98.
1959
Evans, Grose. French Painting of the 19th Century in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1959 (Booklet Number Two in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.): 14, color repro.
1959
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 377, repro.
1959
Ternois, Daniel. Les Dssins d'Ingres au Musée de Montauban. Vol. 3. Les Portraits. Paris, 1959: unpaginated.
1960
The National Gallery of Art and Its Collections. Foreword by Perry B. Cott and notes by Otto Stelzer. National Gallery of Art, Washington (undated, 1960s): 23.
1961
Baudelaire, Charles. "Exposition universelle de 1855" in Oeuvres completes. Bibliothèque del la Pléiade, Paris, 1961: 965.
1961
Seymour 1961 (Kress), 195, repro. pl. 186-187.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 218, repro.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 70.
1965
Mongan, Agnes. "Un Portrait dessiné d'Ingres." Bulletin du Musée Ingres, Montauban 17 (1965): 3-8.
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 2:406, color repro.
1967
Mongan, Agnes, and Hans Naef. Ingres Centennial Exhibition. Exh. cat. Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1967: nos. 95, 97, fig. 14.
1967
Rosenblum, Robert. Ingres New York, 1967: 156, pl. 43.
1967
Rosenblum, Robert. "Ingres, Inc." Art News Annual 33 (1967): 66, 77, repro.
1968
Camesasca, Ettore. L'Opera completa di Ingres. Milan, 1968: 114, no. 148 (French ed. 1971).
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 62, repro.
1969
Naef, Hans. "New Material on Ingres' portrait of Mme Moitessier." The Burlington Magazine 111 (1969): 149-150.
1971
Clark, Kenneth. "Ingres: Peintre de la Vie Moderne." Apollo 93 (1971): 361-364.
1973
Naef, Hans. "Une Exposition oubliée chez Ingres." Bulletin du Musée Ingres, Montauban 34 (1973): 23-24.
1974
Clark, Kenneth. Another Part of the World: A Self-Portrait. London, 1974: 211.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 180, repro.
1977
Eisler, Colin. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977: 373-380, figs. 337, 338, text fig. 125.
1977
Pope-Hennessy, John. "Completing the Account." Review of Colin Eisler, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, London 1977. Times Literary Supplement no. 3927 (17 June 1977).
1977
Whiteley, Jon. Ingres. London, 1977: 38.
1977
Wilson, Michael. "Madame Moitessier by Ingres." In Painting in Focus Number 7, The National Gallery, London, 1977: unpaginated, fig. 4.
1979
Watson, Ross. National Gallery of Art. London, 1979: 104, pl. 91, color repro.
1980
Ternois, Daniel. Ingres. Milan, 1980: 102-103, repro. 151.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 420, no. 600, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 208, repro.
1987
Wollheim, Richard. Painting as an Art. Princeton, 1987: 272, fig. 264.
1990
Zanni, Annalisa. Ingres. Catalogo completo dei dipinti. Florence, 1990: no. 98, repro.
1991
Ockman, Carol. "Two Large Eyebrows à l'Orientale: Ethnic Stereotyping in Ingres's Baronne de Rothschild." Art History 14, no. 4 (1991): 524, repro.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 178, repro.
1995
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. New York, 1995: 960, fig. 26-44.
1995
Vigne, Georges. Dessins d'Ingres. Catalogue raisonné des dessins du Musée de Montauban. Paris, 1995: 491, repro.
1995
Vigne, Georges. Ingres. Paris, 1995: 278, repro., 328-329, 335-337.
1996
de Roux, Paul. Ingres. Paris, 1996: 19, 79.
1997
Dumas, Ann, et al. The Private Collection of Edgar Degas. 2 vols. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1997: 1:26.
1999
Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch. Exh. cat. The National Gallery, London; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 1999: no. 133, color repro.
1999
Ternois, Daniel. "Lettres d'Ingres à Marcotte d'Argenteuil." Société de l'histoire de l'art français, Archives de l'art français, new period, 35 (1999): 143-147.
2000
Eitner, Lorenz. French Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I: Before Impressionism. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 2000: 300-310, color repro.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 354-355, no. 288, color repro.
2011
Dogramaci, Burcu. Wechselbeziehungen: Mode, Malerei und Fotografie im 19. Jahrhundert. Marburg, 2011: 24, 130, color pl. 2.
2012
Kennicott, Philip. "French Rooms Reopen, With Different Accents." Washington Post 135, no. 55 (January 29, 2012): E25.
2012
Yeide, Nancy H. "The spirit of France: the 1940-46 exhibition of French art in the United States." The Burlington Magazine CLIV (August 2012): 566, n. 19.

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