Part Two

By the middle of his artistic life, Ingres had reached the pinnacle of his career as the ruler of the Academy in France. Although the artist claimed to uphold the principles of classical art, his approach to the favorite subject of the day—the female nude—was idiosyncratic to say the least. After the Salon of 1824, Ingres made classical content less important to his oeuvre and  his artistic content was divided between escapist fantasies and the fashions of the day. Ingres represented the French taste for the exotic in his dreams of the Orient, while at the same time reflecting the new imperialism in the Middle East. Closer to home, the fashion-obsessed painter scrupulously crafted the conspicuous consumption of High Capitalism in mid-century France. The master of Academic art and the ruler of the Academy, Ingres was also one of the great portrait artists of the nineteenth century. It is through is paintings of the rich and powerful that we can glimpse the beginning of the era of “conspicuous consumption.”

Also listen to: “The French Romantics: Gros and Girodet, Part One” and “The French Romantics: Gros and Girodet, Part Two” and “French Romanticism, Ingres, Part One,” and “French Romanticism, Delacroix, Part One” and “French Romanticism, Delacroix, Part Two”

Also read: “French Romanticism: The Historical Context” and “The French Academy: Painting”  and “French Romanticism: Subject Matter and the Artist” and “French Romanticism and the Avant-Garde”

If you have found this material useful, please give credit to Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed.
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