The Turkish Bath (1862) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

The Turkish Bath - Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres - 1862

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Turkish Bath
ArtistJean Auguste Dominique Ingres
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions(108 cm)
Art MovementNeoclassicism
Current LocationLouvre, Paris, France

About The Turkish Bath

“The Turkish Bath,” created in 1862 by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, is a powerful example of Neoclassical art. Executed in oil on canvas, the artwork is a genre painting with a focus on the nude form, reflecting the standards and tastes of Neoclassicism. The circular artwork spans 108 centimeters in diameter and currently resides at the Louvre in Paris, France.

The artwork presents an idealized scene set within a Turkish bath, a theme that fascinated many 19th-century European artists. The composition is filled with a multitude of female figures lounging and engaging in various states of repose. The figures are rendered with a palpable softness, showcasing Ingres’s mastery of form and his interest in the sensuality of the female body. Despite the real subject matter of a Turkish bath, the figures are imbued with a classical sense of beauty and stillness that belies the potential for movement and life in such a setting.

Ingres’s use of the tondo format—a circular frame—provides a sense of intimacy and enclosure, drawing the viewer’s gaze into the languid atmosphere. The intricate detailing of jewelry and fabric contrasts with the smoothness of the subjects’ skin, while one figure in the foreground, whose back is turned to the viewer, plays a stringed instrument, adding a cultural and auditory dimension to the visual experience.

The dreamlike quality of “The Turkish Bath,” combined with its rich texture and color palette, exemplifies Ingres’s ability to blend the real with the ideal, offering a window not only into the orientalist fascinations of the time but also into the continuing dialogue between the past and the present in art.

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