The Source (1856) by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

The Source - Ingres, Jean-Auguste-Dominique - 1856 - 2

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Source
ArtistJean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions163 x 80 cm
Art MovementNeoclassicism
Current LocationLouvre, Paris, France, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
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About The Source

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s masterpiece, ‘The Source’ is a representation of an idyllic portrait of a young lady contemplating her reflection in a spring-like fountain. Ingres painted the artwork between 1820 and 1856, measuring approximatly 160cm by 80cm. The beautiful artwork currently resides in the Musee d’Orsay.

Ingres used neoclassical drapery to frame his subject, as he typically did in his works, by having his model boldly stand out against the subtle background. This method highlights the possible contradictions between grace and strength infused in the woman’s identity. A strong distinction can be observed between sharp contours used for painting her face and soft faded brushstrokes for creating the surrounding atmosphere which opposes the moment of rest depicted on canvas.

Speaking of restfulness, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres also painted ‘The Artist and His Wife’, another beautiful artwork completed in 1830. In this painting, we can see Ingres himself with his wife Louise Dansefortx posing for an animated portrait featuring tranquil scenes rich with visual details such as embellished interiors and vivid settings that capture their happy moments together. Both of these works display Ingres’s masterful ability to create evocative figures sitting on nature with authentic movement while perfecting naturalism and clearness on canvas like few other artists did before him.

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