Hortense Reiset, Madame Reiset (1846) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Hortense Reiset, Madame Reiset - Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres - 1846 - 1847

Artwork Information

TitleHortense Reiset, Madame Reiset
ArtistJean Auguste Dominique Ingres
Date1846 - 1847
MediumOil on Canvas
Art MovementNeoclassicism
Current LocationFogg Museum (Harvard Art Museums), Cambridge, MA, US

About Hortense Reiset, Madame Reiset

The artwork entitled “Hortense Reiset, Madame Reiset” is an oil on canvas portrait created by the renowned artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres between the years 1846 and 1847. This piece is an exemplar of the Neoclassical art movement. The portrait, which falls within the genre of portraiture, is currently housed in the Fogg Museum, part of the Harvard Art Museums located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.

The artwork features a frontal and virtually symmetrical depiction of the sitter, Madame Hortense Reiset. The portrait is framed within an oval, in keeping with a traditional style of formal portraiture. The subject’s presence is conveyed with a subtle interplay of light and shade, which highlights her facial features and the delicate textures of her clothing. Her gaze is calm and direct, engaging the viewer with a serene but potent presence.

Madame Reiset’s hair is styled in two long, spiraling curls that frame her face and drape over her shoulders. Her complexion is rendered with a smooth, almost porcelain quality which was a distinctive trait of Ingres’s technique. She wears a dark dress with a lustrous finish that suggests the sheen of silk, pairing it with a lace collar that adds elegance and texture to her ensemble.

In addition to her attire, the detailing of the chair on which she is seated includes a wooden armrest that provides a sense of depth and context. Ingres’s masterful control of the brush is evident in the folds of the fabric and the intricate lacework, all contributing to an aura of sophistication and grace. This artwork, a testament to Ingres’s skill in capturing both the appearance and essence of his subjects, holds a place of significance in the collection it resides in.

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