press release

At a time when the Musée Picasso pays tribute to the relationship between the Protean 20th-century artist and Ingres, whose influence upon Picasso was particularly strong in the period following World War I, the Louvre presents a large number of drawings by Ingres (1780-1867) from its own collection.

The artist not only left an extraordinary series of portrait drawings in pencil which span six decades and constitute a veritable "Human Comedy" mirroring Balzac's oeuvre, but also numerous studies and preparatory drawings for his large-scale history paintings and nude compositions from Oedipus and the Sphinx to his famous Turkish Bath. The collection of Ingres' works in the Department of Graphic Arts reflects these two aspects of the art of one of the greatest draughtsmen of all time, famed for the probity of his sinuous, melodious line that illustrates the qualities specific to French drawing from Jean Fouquet to Fernand Léger. Comprised of both generous donations, often from the heirs of his sitters, and courageous purchases made throughout the 20th century, the Louvre owns one of the world's foremost collections of Ingres drawings as far as portrait drawings are concerned. It also testifies to the artist's constant search for perfection and to the way he returned again and again to his most celebrated compositions, such as Ossian's Dream, The Triumph of Romulus over Acron and The Apotheosis of Homer. According to Baudelaire, even the smallest drawing by Ingres "naturally" attained "the ideal". How right he was. Pressetext

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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres - The Louvre Drawings
Kurator: Louis-Antoine Prat
Denon Wing, 1st floor