La Grand Odalisque is an oil on canvas painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres from 1814. It depicts a reclining nude odalisque or concubine in an exotic harem setting, commissioned by Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples. The artwork drew significant criticism for its strange anatomy and deviation from Neoclassical ideals towards Romanticism.
Ingres continued to paint nudes like La Grande Odalisque as late as the 1860s, suggesting his ongoing attraction towards Romanticism. The idealized nude form echoes classical depictions of Aphrodite in ancient Greece. Additionally, the painting reveals connections between outward and inner properties, with the concubine gazing away from viewers and her left hand reaching out suggestively towards them.
Despite controversy surrounding its anatomical accuracy and stylistic departure from Neoclassicism, La Grand Odalisque remains a masterpiece that represents a shift towards Romanticism’s exotic themes. Notably, artists who influenced or were influenced by this movement include Francisco Goya and Eugene Delacroix.