Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ painting ‘Madame Philibert Rivière’, created in 1806, is of a high-ranking government official in the Napoleonic Empire, Marie Françoise Blot de Beauregard, who later became Madame Philibert Rivière de L’Isle when she married her husband. She is thought to be portrayed as Venus because of the blue drapery surrounding her; blue is a color often associated with this Roman goddess. Also known as ‘Madame PhilebertRivière’, it was first exhibited at the Salon of 1806 and there are several versions of this painting in existence.
The beautiful structure and anatomy make it stand out from other paintings. Ingres demonstrates that he mastered the technique by using light and shadows to create volume and forms on his canvas. Despite what the painting conveys visually, Ingres was still able to bring out the strength and beauty of Marie Françoise Blot de Beauregard’s persona. This painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres marks an important milestone in his career and reminds us of his captivating artwork. Another similar artwork from Ingres includes ‘Mademoiselle Caroline Riviere’ which was also painted in 1806. He successfully carries through another masterpiece which is reminiscent of neoclassical elements that were very popular during this era.