Marie-Clothilde-Ines de Foucauld, Madame Moitessier (1851) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Marie-Clothilde-Ines de Foucauld, Madame Moitessier - Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres - 1851

Artwork Information

TitleMarie-Clothilde-Ines de Foucauld, Madame Moitessier
ArtistJean Auguste Dominique Ingres
MediumOil on Canvas
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

About Marie-Clothilde-Ines de Foucauld, Madame Moitessier

Madame Moitessier is a portrait of Marie-Clotilde-Inès Moitessier (née de Foucauld) painted by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in 1851. The portrait is a three-quarter length depiction of Madame Moitessier against a vivid magenta background, showing her wearing an elegant black velvet dress with black lacing and a lace band on top. She also wears a black lace shawl around her middle, which complements the outfit beautifully.

Ingres was initially reluctant to paint Madame Moitessier but changed his mind after meeting her and being struck by her beauty. He insisted on painting every detail from life to achieve the “faithful rendering of nature that leads to art.” This approach reflected in the painting’s attention to detail, such as the bertha collar trimmed with tassels that Madame Moitessier wears.

The painting demonstrates Ingres’s mastery of portraiture through his use of color and composition. The deep red background contrasts sharply with Madame Moitessier’s clothing, creating an arresting visual effect. Besides, Ingres positioned Madame Moitessier at an angle that adds depth to the portrait while highlighting her regal bearing.

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