Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was a renowned French Neoclassical painter known for his portraits. One of his most notable works is the portrait of Madame Frederic Reiset, also known as Augustine-Modeste-Hortense Reiset, which he painted in 1846. The portrait depicts a conscious resemblance to the daguerreotype, an early form of photography.
Hortense Reiset’s portrait displays Ingres’ mastery of portraiture. Her expression and posture exude grace and elegance, giving her an air of sophistication. Ingres paid particular attention to detail by accurately capturing the delicate features of Hortense’s face, including her soft eyes and gentle smile.
The portrait is part of the collection at the Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum. Because it was completed almost two decades after Ingres’ departure from Rome, it showcases how his style had evolved over time. This particular painting’s subdued color palette and impressionistic brushwork mark a significant change from the more strict classicism that characterized earlier works like ‘Napoleon on His Imperial Throne.’
In summary, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres masterfully captured Hortense Reiset’s elegance and charm in a portrait that exhibits both classism and modernity. The artwork continues to inspire art enthusiasts many years after its creation and remains an essential part of Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum’s collections.