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Large odalisque

Painting, 1814, 91×162 cm

Description of the artwork «Large odalisque»

"The big odalisque" – order of Queen Caroline of Naples. While Ingres painted a picture, Napoli went into decline, the husband of Caroline king Joachim Murat refused the throne, and the Royal couple was not to art. In 1819 it was removed from the Salon because of "anatomical discrepancies." The hand is really too long, too flexible (Ingres is often criticized that the women in his paintings "without bones"). And this a great spin! Meticulous critics predicted that artist a few vertebrae obviously added... However, the chorus of excited voices was louder than the claims of the detractors. Sense of style, perfect play of light and colour, graceful lines, a masterful combination of different textures into a single entity – all this could not remain unnoticed.

"The bulge of muscles, bumps and depressions, dimples and curves – everything here is perfection"that was an assessment of the odalisque by Ingres gave Charles Baudelaire. The girl turned back. To the female spin Ingres harbored insurmountable weakness (1, 2). It seems that the brush caressed every inch of the canvas, and the result was this perfect creation.

In rich Oriental entourage placed his heroine Ingres. Odalisque at the same time – a typical European appearance: clear forehead, large eyes, light brown hair. The combination of features of the Eastern harem – heavy silk, Smoking hookah, a fan of peacock feathers, the softness and lightness which seem physically tangible, and relaxed, with cool composure and undoubted confidence in their beauty European women produced the effect of a blast wave. The eroticism and exoticism of the picture cared and didn't let myself.

Heavy satin curtain of deep blue on the right creates a sense of intimacy taking place, of intimacy. In the foreground, in front of a naked odalisque can be considered a luxury belt buckle – this worn concubines of the Sultan. Separate pleasure – sleek feet, they are visible to us in all its glory. Sleek, well-groomed, perfectly smooth body especially stands out clearly against the background of luxurious fabrics. Claude Roger-Marx said odalisca Ingres: "Do not occur at the sight of his odalisques feeling that he was pierced with desire and his own strain of full bliss?". Perhaps, there is.

Odalisque Ingres began to write not "suddenly". Oriental motifs were worried about European artists, but most of them, including Ingres, was the idea of what is happening in the harems of the myths and legends, the entrance to a there was ordered. But the main opponent of Ingres – Eugène Delacroixin this sense, was more fortunate. He spent in the East six months, and captured what he saw in his famous "Algerian women". Ingres and Delacroix were United by the confrontation between them as artists, between and behind them the directions, classicism and romanticism. And if you analyze their approach, you notice that they were much closer to each other than they thought (by the way, a female back in the execution of Delacroix also will not leave anyone indifferent). Their interest towards each other was hostile, but definitely interest. "False prophet" called Ingres to Delacroix. He did not remain in debt, calling the leader of the classicists "about esthete" and even quipped that "maybe the music would have been more talented". And it is based on "Ingres violin" ("violin" read more in biography)!

Also among brought the "East to West" plays a significant John Lewislived in Cairo for 10 years and this is reflected in his watercolors. A few odalisques of Ingres later inspired Matisse on extensive dialogue with him, embodied in a series of odalisques.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Nude

Style of art: Classicism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1814

Size: 91×162 cm

Artwork in selections: 57 selections