Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), one of the most important followers of Jean-Louis David, was a pivotal figure in nineteenth-century painting and played a key role in the development of French art. After starting his career as a faithful admirer of the neoclassical style of David, Ingres turned into an extraordinarily eclectic artist, painting in a variety of styles reflecting diverse aesthetic positions during the course of a career lasting over fifty years.
His inventive painting, which often flirted with linear abstraction, and the visual harmony he was able to give the most various subjects, often fell foul of the critics and the general public, as they deliberately ran counter to the fashion of the period.
This monograph includes a detailed biography of the life he led in the artistic circles of Paris and Rome. It places his oeuvre within the context of the artistic movements of the nineteenth century, from his youth during Napoleon's rule right up until the Third Republic. The commentary follows the way his paintings managed to bridge the gap between the expectations of the public and his own aims as a painter. His drawings, portraits, and particularly his nudes are shown to be extraordinarily modern in their approach.