Volume 21, Issue 2 | Summer 2022

The First Retrospective Exhibition of the Drawings of J.-A.-D. Ingres (1861)

by Andrew Carrington Shelton

Scholarly Article|Appendix

According to Henry Lapauze (1867–1925), the first great modern scholar of the life and work of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867), whenever the painter was asked about exhibiting his drawings he always refused, predicting that “no one would look at anything else.”‍[1] Although this anecdote might well be apocryphal—Lapauze, who gives no source for his assertion, seems to have been operating on the basis of hearsay—it nevertheless proved prophetic, as generations of critics and historians during the hundred years following the artist’s death consistently demonstrated a marked preference for Ingres’s drawings as opposed to his paintings—a handful of nudes and portraits excepted.‍[2] What I propose to examine in this essay is the event that could well be regarded as inaugurating this essentially modernist appreciation of Ingres as a draftsman—namely, the first large-scale exhibition of his drawings, which took place in Paris in the winter and spring of 1861. Although the paucity of scholarship on the history of exhibitions devoted solely to drawings makes claims regarding this topic hazardous, I feel relatively confident in asserting that this display constituted one of the first major retrospective exhibitions ever devoted to the drawings of a living artist whose reputation was based primarily on his or her work in another medium.‍[3]

Although mentioned sporadically in the literature on Ingres, this 1861 drawings exhibition has never, to my knowledge, been the object of sustained scholarly scrutiny, with the result that the identity of the organizers, the number of works on display, and even the location of the venue in which it took place, have all been variously reported.‍[4] Much of my effort here will be devoted to setting the record straight. No less significantly, I also seek to demonstrate how the critical response to the exhibition introduced an important new dimension to the appreciation of Ingres as an artist. When confronted with an unprecedentedly large and representative sample of his drawings, critics came to see dessin (drawing) less as a primarily theoretical component of the artist’s achievement—Ingres as the “personification of drawing”—than as an important element of the material production of his art.‍[5] As a result, critical analyses of the artist’s drawings tended to dovetail not only with long-established tenets of the connoisseurship of drawings—tenets that were much less concerned with standards of correctness or adherence to academic orthodoxy than with originality and individuality of expression—but also with an emerging modernist critical discourse that likewise centered artistic accomplishment on the achievement of truth to nature and truth to self—“a corner of the world viewed through a temperament.”‍[6]

The Organizers

The persons who seem to have been primarily responsible for organizing the 1861 exhibition were Henri Delaborde (1811–99), Émile Galichon (1829–75), and Jacques-Edouard Gatteaux (1788–1881). Delaborde, a former painter of a decidedly conservative bent, was head curator of the Département des Estampes in the Bibliothèque Impériale in Paris. He was also a prolific critic and art historian and would eventually be elected as a free member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, which he ended up serving as secrétaire perpétuel from 1874 until shortly before his death in 1899. The ultimate artistic insider, Delaborde is perhaps best remembered today for the monograph he published on Ingres in 1870.‍[7] Galichon (fig. 1) was a critic, art historian, and collector, primarily of works on paper (including some drawings by Ingres); from 1863–72 he owned the Gazette des beaux-arts, which, as we shall see below, acted as the principal promoter of—one is almost tempted to say propagandist for—Ingres’s 1861 exhibition among the press.

figure 1
Fig. 1, Achille Isidore Gilbert (draughtsman) and Smeeton Tilly (wood engraver), after Henri Lehmann (painter), Émile Galichon, 1875. Wood engraving. Published in L’Art, January 10, 1875, 211. Artwork in the public domain; available from: Gallica.
figure 2
Fig. 2, Paul Flandrin, after Hippolyte Flandrin, Portrait of Édouard Gatteaux, Medal Engraver, 1862. Oil on canvas. Musée Ingres-Bourdelle, Montauban (on long-term loan from the Musée du Louvre, Paris). Artwork in the public domain; available from: Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Perhaps the most important personage behind the exhibition was Gatteaux (fig. 2; see also Appendix, cat. 58 and ser. 2.35), a medal engraver long forgotten today but of sufficient renown during his lifetime to have been elected a member of the Institut. According to most accounts, Gatteaux and Ingres first met around 1810 as fellow pensionnaires (residents) at the French Academy in Rome.‍[8] Gatteaux would go on to become one of Ingres’s closest friends and most trusted advisors. He was also one of the painter’s most tireless promoters; in addition to spearheading the 1861 drawings exhibition, he apparently helped orchestrate the publication of a massive illustrated catalogue of Ingres’s works by Albert Magimel (1799–1877) exactly one decade earlier.‍[9] Not incidentally, given his prominent role in the organization of the 1861 exhibition, Gatteaux was also the most important collector of Ingres’s drawings during the artist’s lifetime; by the time of Ingres’s death in 1867, Gatteaux had amassed a collection of over seventy of his drawings, the majority of which were preparatory studies and sketches as opposed to the more highly finished compositional studies and repetitions of paintings preferred by most other early collectors.‍[10] Many—but by no means all—of these drawings perished in the fire that engulfed the Gatteaux family home at 41, rue de Lille, in May 1871 during the suppression of the Commune; among the surviving works were a number that had been exhibited in 1861.‍[11]

In addition to other friends and supporters who may have played more ancillary roles in the organization of the 1861 exhibition, there can be little doubt that Ingres himself weighed in on the matter.‍[12] It is hard to imagine that he did not on some level approve the selection of works on display; he probably also helped negotiate loans from individual owners and collectors, many of whom were close personal friends. Moreover, my research reveals that a considerable number of works exhibited in 1861 came from the artist’s own collection. That none of these loans are identified as such in any of the publicity generated by the exhibition suggests some uneasiness over this fact on the part of the artist himself and/or his supporters who organized the exhibition. That Ingres would go on to sell a number of the drawings from his collection that were exhibited in 1861 to the art dealer and supplier Étienne François Haro (1827–97) in 1866 might suggest that the artist was attempting to use the exhibition to somehow gauge the commercial value of his drawings.‍[13] All that being said, however, it should perhaps be stressed that the 1861 exhibition seems not to have been conceived primarily as a commercial venture—it was a show, not a sale; as far as I know, not a single work changed hands as the immediate result of its having been included.

The Venue

The venue for the exhibition was the Salon des Arts-Unis, headquarters of the Société des Arts-Unis, which was an association of artists and amateurs established in 1860 by an otherwise obscure figure named Alphonse Jame, who had previously founded a similar arts organization in his hometown of Lyon.‍[14] These premises were unambiguously posh. Located in one of the most fashionable districts of Paris at number 26, rue de Provence, the Salon des Arts-Unis was just steps from the Opéra and the ever-popular boulevard des Italiens. It occupied a hôtel (townhouse) that had been built in the waning years of the ancien régime for one of the tax farmers of Louis XVI (fig. 3); earlier in the nineteenth century, the building had served as the home of the famous Austrian-born prima ballerina Fanny Elssler (1810–84). The main exhibition space (fig. 4), which commentators in the press described as comparable in scale to the Salon Carré of the Musée du Louvre, was a glass-ceilinged structure specially erected in the hôtel’s garden; in addition to its abundance of natural light during the day, this gallery was also equipped with artificial illumination, allowing it, uniquely among exhibition spaces in Paris at the time, to remain open in the evenings.‍[15] The hôtel proper housed meeting rooms and lounges as well as an art library, all of which were reserved for the use of the society’s members.‍[16] It was in one or more of these smaller rooms that the exhibition of Ingres’s drawings was installed, the main exhibition space being reserved for the display of a collection of around two hundred contemporary paintings and sculptures.‍[17]

figure 3
Fig. 3, Charles Maurand (engraver) after Félix Thorigny (draughtsman), Hôtel de la Société des Arts-Unis (Headquarters of the Société des Arts-Unis), 1860. Engraving. Published in the Gazette des beaux-arts 6, no. 6 (June 1, 1860): 261.
figure 4
Fig. 4, Provost, Salle d’exposition du Cercle des Arts-Unis (Gallery of the Cercle des Arts-Unis), 1861. Engraving. Published in L’Illustration, January 26, 1861, 52.

The Exhibition

The exhibition of Ingres’s drawings was mounted in two stages. The first was in place when the Salon des Arts-Unis was inaugurated with a gala opening on the evening of January 14, 1861.‍[18] Ninety-five drawings by Ingres as well as a print after his self-portrait of 1835 (cat. 64) were then on display, and while there is no evidence of how these drawings were installed, we are afforded insight into the organizers’ thinking by the precious but slight, self-proclaimed “provisional” livret or catalogue commemorating the exhibition.‍[19] This catalogue, compiled by Galichon, is divided into three sections in accordance with the hierarchy of genres long espoused by the Academy. The first section, entitled “Compositions et croquis pour des tableaux” (Compositional Studies and Sketches for Paintings) included thirteen compositional studies for, or drawn replicas after, some of Ingres’s most well-known paintings (see Appendix, cat. nos. 1, 2, 6–9, 16–22); twenty-three figure studies for individual paintings (cat. nos. 3–5, 10–13bis, 23, 24, 26, 27) and for Ingres’s cartoons for the stained-glass windows for the memorial chapel of the Duc d’Orléans in Neuilly (cat. nos. 31–39) and for the Orléans family chapel at Dreux (cat. nos. 40, 41); two allegorical designs for medals (cat. nos. 29, 30); a late iteration of a design for the unexecuted tomb of Lady Jane Montagu (cat. no. 28); a rather charming watercolor depicting Ingres at work on Romulus, Conqueror of Acron (1812; Musée du Louvre, Paris) in his makeshift studio in Santissima Trinità dei Monti at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome (cat. no. 14); and, finally, two original compositions, one representing Pope Pius VII in prayer (cat. no. 25) and a second depicting Alexander the Great pressing his seal to the lips of his second-in-command and probable lover, Hephaestion (cat. no. 15).

The second section of the catalogue was devoted to portraits and encompassed thirty-two independent portrait drawings (cat. nos. 42–46, 48–61, 63–69, 71–76) along with two preparatory studies for Ingres’s painted portraits of Napoléon I (cat. no. 70) and Charles X (cat. no. 47) as well as a copy of Hans Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII (cat. no. 62). The final and smallest section of the catalogue was devoted to “Études sans destination connue” (Independent Studies); it consisted of twelve figure and drapery studies (cat. nos. 77–85, 87, 88, 91),‍[20] a copy of several figures from a painting by Andrea del Sarto (cat. no. 86), and (despite this section’s title), a drapery study for the portrait of the Princesse Albert de Broglie (cat. no. 90) as well as four separate hand studies for the portraits of Louis-François Bertin, Comte Louis-Mathieu Molé, and Ferdinand-Philippe-Louis-Charles-Henri, Duc d’Orléans (cat. no. 89).

This inaugural exhibition remained on view until early March and was sufficiently successful to prompt its organizers to stage a second exhibition of Ingres’s drawings, which opened in early April and remained on view through late May.‍[21] Although there was no catalogue for this second exhibition, its contents can be identified from the second of two long articles on the exhibitions published in the Gazette des beaux-arts, again by Galichon.‍[22] This second exhibition was roughly half the size of its predecessor, consisting of forty-eight drawings as well as a photograph of Ingres’s large watercolor depicting the Birth of the Muses (1859; Musée du Louvre, Paris), which decorated the miniature Greek temple that the architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorff (1792–1867) (see cat. no. 63) had executed two years earlier for Prince Napoléon. Galichon again divided the contents of this exhibition into three sections. The first consisted of three compositional studies for existing or projected paintings (see Appendix, ser. nos. 2.1, 2.9, 2.12); sixteen figure or drapery studies for individual paintings (ser. nos. 2.2–2.8, 2.10, 2.11, 2.13–2.15) and stained-glass cartoons (ser. nos. 2.16–2.19); two studies for the portraits of Amédée-David, Comte de Pastoret (ser. no. 2.20) and Baronne James de Rothschild (ser. no. 2.21); and, finally, two architectural drawings, one representing Raphael’s birthplace in Urbino (ser. no. 2.22) and the other the Basilica of Saint Praxedes in Rome (ser. no. 2.23). The second section of the second installation was again devoted to portraits and consisted of twenty-one drawings (ser. nos. 2.24–2.43),‍[23] which Galichon listed in alphabetical order by the names of the sitters, just as he had in the catalogue of the first exhibition. The final section consisted of four figure studies not related to any known compositions (ser. nos. 2.44–47). Thus, all in all, 143 original drawings by Ingres—plus one photograph and one reproductive print—were placed on display in the rooms of the Salon des Arts-Unis in 1861; they encompassed virtually every graphic medium in which the artist worked and represented every phase of his long career, the earliest drawing dating from 1798 (ser. no. 2.29) and the latest being the final version of Ingres’s unexecuted project for the tomb of Lady Jane Montagu, which is signed and dated 1860 (cat. no. 28).

figure 5
Fig. 5, J.-A.-D. Ingres, Portrait of Madame Ferdinand Hauguet, née Jane Lucy Agnes Cole Martin, 1849. Graphite on paper. British Museum, London. Artwork in the public domain; image courtesy of the British Museum.

All the drawings on display came from private collections, with Gattaeux, not surprisingly, being the most generous lender. He is identified by Galichon as the owner of forty-eight works on display,‍[24] thus roughly a third of the total number of exhibits. The second most generous lender to the exhibition was Ingres himself, who can be credited with at least twenty-one loans and possibly as many as thirty-one.‍[25] Other notable lenders included Madame Ferdinand Hauguet (1791–1869) (fig. 5), who lent six works, mostly highly finished presentation drawings that Ingres had made in the 1820s for her brother-in-law Louis-Joseph-Auguste Coutan (1779–1830), a personal friend of the artist and enthusiastic collector of his work,‍[26] and Frédéric Reiset (1815–91), curator of drawings and future director of the Louvre, who lent five drawings, including the portraits of his father-in-law, Louis, and his daughter, Marie, who is shown cradling a King Charles spaniel (cat. nos. 71, 72).‍[27] Indeed, virtually all the portrait drawings included in the exhibition came directly from the sitters themselves or members of their families, including no fewer than ten portraits representing members of the extended Marcotte clan, whose loans were undoubtedly arranged by one of Ingres’s closest friends and supporters, Charles Marcotte (1773–1864).‍[28]

The Critical Response

Perhaps because of the sheer novelty of the occasion as well as the relatively exclusive nature of the venue in which it took place, the exhibition of Ingres’s drawings elicited only sporadic reaction in the general press.‍[29] The opening and closing of the two phases of the exhibition were noted in several of the leading dailies.‍[30] More extensive—but still rather brief—coverage of the exhibition also appeared in Le Siècle, the Journal des débats, and Le Figaro, among the major newspapers, as well as in the popular weekly Le Monde illustré and the more obscure, short-lived literary review La Jeune France.‍[31] In addition to the extensive coverage devoted to the exhibition in the Gazette des beaux-arts, a long article was dedicated to it in the erudite and more specialized Revue nationale et étrangère politique, scientifique, et littéraire.‍[32] As had long been the case with critical writing on Ingres, the gamut of opinion in 1861 varied widely, ranging from unalloyed adulation on the part of the commentators for the Gazette des beaux arts, the Journal des débats, and the Revue nationale et étrangère politique, scientifique, et littéraire (all of whom, it must be pointed out, appear to have been personally connected to the artist) to begrudging admiration laced with ridicule and hostility on the part of the writers for La Jeune France, Le Figaro, and Le Siècle. Of greater importance than this characteristic variety of critical opinion, however, were the differing grounds upon which Ingres’s supporters sought to justify their admiration, which ranged from seeing his drawings as embodiments of academic orthodoxy to regarding them as evidence of the intensity, the originality, and the individuality with which the artist confronted and processed the visible world.

Ingres would have expected to receive favorable coverage from the Journal des débats, the resident art critic of which, Étienne-Jean Delécluze (1781–1863), was a longtime friend and vocal supporter of the artist. Delécluze, whose portrait drawing by Ingres was actually hanging in the exhibition (cat. no. 49), devoted the bulk of his short article on the opening gala of the Salon des Arts-Unis to the drawings by Ingres, which he regarded as highlighting the power, vivacity, and even the speed with which the artist was able to capture and convey his perceptions. “Perhaps no work [i.e., no painting] by the celebrated master makes as apparent the power with which he imparts life to his imitations of nature as well as the superior intelligence with which he interprets all delicacies of form,” Delécluze declares. “Freed from the difficulties presented by the deployment of color, M. Ingres, with his pencil as the intermediary of his thinking, conveys it with such immediacy that all its power and vivacity are preserved.”‍[33] In making such an assertion, Delécluze was almost certainly attempting to use the evidence provided by Ingres’s drawings to dismantle one of the criticisms that had been leveled most consistently against his paintings: namely, that Ingres’s notoriously slow and ponderous working method, combined with his overdependence on art historical precedent, invariably imparted a sense of coldness, stiltedness, and general lifelessness to his works.‍[34]

Such attacks were not lacking in 1861. The obscure François Alexandre Brasseur Wirtgen, who alluded to the display of Ingres’s drawings in his coverage of the inaugural exhibition of the Salon des Arts-Unis for Le Siècle, argued that when Ingres copied nature simply, the results were admirable. As evidence of this, the critic pointed to the artist’s portraits, several of which, he contended, “could stand comparison to those of Raphael.” But the moment that Ingres deploys his “magisterial drawing to capture subjects of the imagination,” Brasseur Wirtgen asserts, “he frequently lapses into exaggeration and bad taste, not to mention grotesqueness.”‍[35] To illustrate this point, Brasseur Wirtgen abandons reference to Ingres’s drawings altogether and turns instead to his paintings, indicating the “physical vulgarity and contorted movement” of the figure of Paolo in Francesca da Rimini (fig. 6); the “dislocated” head of an undignified king of France down on all fours in Henri IV Receiving the Spanish Ambassador (fig. 7); and, finally, the figure of the muse—“this fat blond girl . . . [who] could not make herself accepted as a muse unless it were as the muse of the pot-au-feu”—in the portrait of Luigi Cherubini (fig. 8).‍[36]

figure 6
Fig. 6, J.-A.-D. Ingres, Francesca da Rimini (Francesca of Rimini), 1819. Oil on canvas. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Angers. Artwork in the public domain; available from: Wikimedia Commons.
figure 7
Fig. 7, J.-A.-D. Ingres, Henri IV recevant l’ambassadeur d’Espagne (Henri IV Receiving the Spanish Ambassador), 1817. Oil on canvas. Musée du Petit Palais, Paris. Artwork in the public domain; available from: Wikimedia Commons.
figure 8
Fig. 8, J.-A.-D. Ingres, Cherubini et la muse de la poésie lyrique (Cherubini with the Muse of Lyric Poetry), 1842. Oil on canvas. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Artwork in the public domain; available from: Wikimedia Commons, by Sailko, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Other critics did not have to resort to Ingres’s paintings to find evidence of his failings. Not unlike Delécluze, the Belgian critic and art historian Jean Rousseau (1829–91), writing in Le Figaro, expressed surprise at the “spirit, the zeal, or, better yet, the unprecedented facility” characterizing Ingres’s portrait drawings, especially given the artist’s reputation as such a slow and methodical painter.‍[37] Yet he also could not resist pointing out that many of the sitters in Ingres’s portraits appeared cross-eyed and wondered aloud if this were not the result of some misguided attempt on the part of the artist to idealize his figures—to render them more Raphaelesque.‍[38] This opinion was echoed by one Nonce Rocca (1837–81) in La Jeune France. For even though Rocca recognized Ingres as “perhaps the greatest draftsman of our age,” he could not help pointing out that “among so many portrait drawings worthy of the masters, there are only a few that are spared the strabismus that the eminent artist has always persisted on inflicting, one does not know why, upon even his most graceful of models.”‍[39] And while this observation is pretty much the extent of Rocca’s commentary on the exhibition, Rousseau also takes exception to the display of so many preparatory drawings, which he characterizes as “unbecoming little sketches, study pieces without importance, little scribbles and doodles,” the public exhibition of which the mere signature of a celebrated artist could hardly justify.‍[40] Such a reaction suggests that one important aspect of the connoisseurship of drawings as it had emerged and developed over the course of the eighteenth century—the notion that the appreciation of sketchily executed drawings was the exclusive province of cultivated connoisseurs—extended well into the second half of the nineteenth century.‍[41]

Given the difficulty associated with the proper appreciation of all but the most highly finished of drawings—drawings for people who did not really like drawings—it is perhaps not surprising that the most extensive appraisals of Ingres’s exhibition occurred in the highly specialized intellectual and art press. Ernest Vinet (1805–78), antiquarian and professor of art and aesthetics who was soon to be placed in charge of the library at the École des Beaux-Arts—and who, not incidentally, was almost certainly an established ally of Ingres—penned the review of the exhibition for the Revue nationale et étrangère politique, scientifique et littéraire.‍[42] The conservative nature of Vinet’s taste can be gleaned from the rather jaundiced eye he cast on the collection of paintings and sculptures displayed in the main gallery of the Salon des Arts-Unis. While admitting in principle the potential benefit of such expositions secondaires (secondary exhibitions), which had the advantage over the Salon of presenting the public with far fewer works at much shorter intervals, Vinet ultimately attributes the rise of these types of initiatives to a “spirit of revolt against the jury” as well as the desire on the part of some artists to see the public overturn the verdict that had been so justly handed down against them by members of that august body.‍[43] The results of such misguided motivations were entirely predictable for Vinet: “sparkle, vulgar facility, little in the way of ideas, zero drawing, not the least bit of style, no sentiment for grand beauty, trivial genre, trivial paintings.”‍[44]

Predictably, Vinet’s assessment of Ingres’s drawings—“the diamonds of this exhibition”—is altogether different.‍[45] “Yes, Monsieur Ingres has opened his portfolios,” the critic exclaims, almost breathlessly. “Splendid projects, fiery sketches, lively drawings, numerous portraits—he has delivered them all to us. They are all there, awaiting examination—these testaments to the hidden labor through which an artist of genius—but of a patient genius—has managed to achieve his beautiful designs.”‍[46] As his emphasis on labor and patience would indicate, Vinet’s approach to assessing Ingres’s drawings will be much more conventional than that of the quasi-revisionist Delécluze; and, indeed, what Vinet predicts retracing the artist’s “ardent quest for truth and beauty” through his drawings will ultimately reveal is nothing less than the “noble offspring of the Old Masters and antiquity.”‍[47]

Just as Vinet characterizes Ingres as essentially a perpetuator of the Grand Tradition, so too his analysis of the drawings themselves gets rooted in another theoretical cornerstone of academic orthodoxy, namely the supremacy of line over color. With regard to Ingres’s portrait drawings, Vinet professes not to know what to admire more—their science or their sentiment, their breadth of execution or the intensity of their characterizations of the sitters. “What was required of Monsieur Ingres to capture so profoundly the character of each person, and to bring out so forcefully that which the human passions have stamped on their foreheads or in their eyes?” the critic asks. “Nothing but four strokes of the pencil.”‍[48] And where does true art lie, Vinet goes on to wonder—“Is it in techniques as simple and as efficient as these? Or is it through the infinite complications of color and effect, through the gamut of nuance, through juxtapositions of tonalities, through all the deceptions of brush and palette that one achieves the same results, when one succeeds at all?”‍[49] Similarly, Vinet declares the preparatory drawings in the exhibition—“these arms, these feet, these hands, these unfinished torsos”—to have nothing to offer those who conceive of painting primarily as a means of achieving brilliant tonalities. “But for those who believe that the genius for color, when separated from the genius for form, gives birth to nothing but monstrosities—these people will find in the studies of Monsieur Ingres everything that could captivate them.”‍[50] Thus, far from the insignificant scribbles and doodles condemned by Rousseau, Vinet sees the preparatory studies as capturing the essence of Ingres’s genius, albeit a genius conceived in the narrowest, most sectarian of terms. As for Ingres’s achievement as a draftsman more broadly, Vinet sees this not only as providing the means through which “Monsieur Ingres has placed himself on a level with the great masters of the sixteenth century” but also as constituting the arena in which “he defies any sort of rivalry.”‍[51]

More nuanced and decidedly less orthodox appreciations of Ingres’s drawings are contained in the series of articles published in the Gazette de beaux-arts, a journal with which the artist had been closely affiliated since its founding in 1859; indeed, in his monograph on Ingres published in 1870, Charles Blanc (1813–82), the journal’s inaugural editor, claimed that it had actually been created under the auspices of the master.‍[52] And the overall goal of these articles, which should probably be regarded as collectively constituting the official, fully authorized statement on the exhibition on behalf of its organizers as well as its subject, was decidedly not to perpetuate Ingres’s increasingly untenable reputation as the embodiment of line and academic orthodoxy à la Vinet; rather, commentators for the Gazette des beaux-arts sought to reconcile the undeniably conservative, classicizing tendencies in Ingres’s art with other, less reactionary ideals uniquely revealed by his drawings.

Blanc set the tone for the journal’s treatment of Ingres’s exhibition with the fawning comments he included on it in his article on the gala opening of the Salon des Arts-Unis. “Everything has come together to lend to this collection of drawings an inestimable amount of interest,” the critic exclaims, “the rarity of the occasion, the name of the great master, the scenes and the individuals portrayed, the intimacy of the studies, the curiosity of the variants, and, finally, their quality and their number.”‍[53] Not unlike Vinet, Blanc goes on to credit Ingres’s preparatory drawings—or his “sketches made after nature”—with displaying a finesse equal to that of the most illustrious artists of the Renaissance—but not simply or even primarily because of their linear purity; rather, Blanc sees in these sketches the results of a kind of seasoned improvisation—“an invention searched for at the tip of the pen, one [situated] between the good and the better, between the individual and the type, between life that stirs and palpitates, and style that soothes and refines it.” There is an “indescribable charm everywhere,” Blanc exclaims, “each pentimento is a lesson, each variation a ray of light.”‍[54] Similarly, and no less hyperbolically, Blanc regards the portrait drawings as proving definitively to photography—which the critic introduces into the conversation rather abruptly—“that art is, when it wants to be, more exact than science, more precise than mathematics, more penetrating than chemistry, more sensible than collodion, more subtle than chloride, more clairvoyant than light and, finally more truthful than the truth.”‍[55] Ingres could hardly have asked for more effusive praise than this.

The second individual to weigh in on the exhibition for the Gazette des beaux-arts was the journal’s soon-to-be owner and director, Émile Galichon. This critic regarded himself as working primarily for future as opposed to contemporary admirers of Ingres. His lengthy two-part article therefore assumes a decidedly documentary air, providing detailed descriptions of every drawing in the exhibition, including medium and (approximate) size, and identifying the current owner of most, but for propriety’s sake apparently, not all of the drawings. And indeed, it is primarily due to Galichon’s close attention to the material characteristics of the drawings that I have been able to identify with relative certainty all but around a dozen of the 143 works on display. The cataloguer’s editorializing comments are kept to a minimum, but they are always brimming with praise. He says, for instance, of one of the most widely commented-upon drawings in the exhibition, the portrait of Madame Destouches from 1816 (cat. no. 51), that it displays such “ease of drawing that it almost seems as if Ingres allowed his hand to run randomly over the paper; and yet what profound calculation was required in order to make such a masterpiece!”‍[56] Similarly, Galichon credits Ingres with so thoroughly capturing “life on the paper” in the portrait of his fellow artist Guillaume Lethière (1760–1832) (cat. no. 66), that the sitter’s “half-open mouth seems to speak.”‍[57]

The individual ultimately entrusted by the Gazette des beaux-arts with giving the longest and most authoritative assessment of the exhibition of Ingres’s drawings was Delaborde.‍[58] It is also in his essay that we encounter the most sustained effort to reconcile Ingres’s status as the embodiment of artistic officialdom in the form of an imperious and uncompromising chef d’école (leader of the school) with other less orthodox characteristics of his achievement as revealed by this unprecedented display of his drawings.

figure 9
Fig. 9, J.-A.-D. Ingres, La Source (The Source), 1856. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Artwork in the public domain; available from: Wikipedia.

Delaborde begins his essay by recalling the major impression produced upon him by the retrospective exhibition of Ingres’s paintings six years earlier at the Exposition Universelle. “The sentiment that one felt before those noble works,” Delaborde recalls, “was not simply one of admiration for the incomparable abilities of the master, but also a sentiment of profound respect for the fixity of his beliefs.”‍[59] And while Delaborde claims (falsely) that the “obstinance of this great talent,” was now universally applauded, he is quick to note that it had not always been so.‍[60] Rather, the glory in which Ingres presently basks was paid for early on by “agonizing battles and isolation”; indeed, at one point in his career, Delaborde contends, “Monsieur Ingres, confident enough in himself to await proudly his day of justice, had to content himself with being practically alone on the side of righteousness against the rest of the world.”‍[61] Now, according to Delaborde, Ingres’s superiority is no longer contested, with his stature as the undisputed master of the contemporary school having been newly consecrated by the recent unveiling of his latest masterpiece, La Source (The Source; fig. 9), which Delaborde does not shrink from describing as “the most beautiful painting of a single figure that the French School has ever produced.”‍[62]

Turning to Ingres’s drawings, Delaborde predictably claims to find in them the same “constancy of principles” and “virile obstinance of genius” that he perceived in the master’s paintings.‍[63] Yet the artist’s works in this medium have something different to offer as well. Grounding his analysis in one of the most fundamental tenets of the connoisseurship of drawings, Delaborde credits Ingres’s drawings with revealing a more private and personal side of his talent.‍[64] “Perhaps,” the critic muses, “in confiding, so to speak, only in himself, in seeking merely to sketch out the promise of beauty that he hopes to flesh out elsewhere,” Ingres expresses more powerfully in his drawings “the sovereign originality of his sentiment and the sincerity of his manner; perhaps here the lively and entirely personal emotion, the frankness, the stylistic verve appear all the more fully in that the means of execution are simpler, and the prodigious facility of the hand is neither impeded by the slowness of the material process, nor subordinated to the ulterior motives of absolute correction and completion.”‍[65] Delaborde declares the same to be true of the drawings of the greatest old masters, citing a red-chalk drawing by Raphael in the Louvre as allowing viewers to “penetrate more deeply into the privacy of his genius” than his finished paintings; in such works, as in all preparatory studies, “the moral intention openly predominates and affirms itself,” and succinctly transcribed forms “express less the exact image of a fact than the souvenir of a received impression.”‍[66]

Delaborde declares Ingres’s drawings to be devoid of either timidity or bombast; rather, they are “profoundly true, but of this truth that never becomes complicit with the ugliness of reality.”‍[67] Ingres’s drawings also contain an originality that, as in the works of all truly great masters, can be disconcerting—thus “this so-called bizarrerie [bizarreness] with which some have dared to reproach the manner of Monsieur Ingres.”‍[68] Delaborde again declares the public’s apprenticeship with respect to Ingres to be long over, and posits the simultaneous display of nearly one hundred of the artist’s drawings as an unprecedented opportunity for it to appreciate a heretofore undisclosed side of his achievement—“the physiognomy and the private nature of a talent about whom we have yet to know only the public side, the official acts.”‍[69]

In turning from such generalities to the individual drawings themselves, Delaborde identifies Ingres’s compositional sketches as providing evidence of his break from the lifeless and overly conventional style of his teacher Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) in favor of a manner in which knowledge derived from the great monuments of the past is combined with “an ardent love of natural truth, a perfect sincerity before the lessons of reality.”‍[70] As the ultimate example of this, Delaborde points to a drawing recreating, with significant variations, Ingres’s painting of Romulus, Conqueror of Acron (cat. no. 9). Noting the exactitude with which Ingres describes every single detail of the composition, Delaborde nevertheless declares a gulf to exist between the kind of scrupulousness displayed there and “minute curiosity and quibbling”; between such eloquence and “mindless, grammatical verbiage”; between such ease and amplitude of execution and the mere fruits of inexhaustible patience.‍[71]

Delaborde regards the essence of Ingres’s achievement as a portraitist to reside in a similar reconciliation of seemingly divergent tendencies. “This combination of extreme facility and firm exactitude, this calculated lack of finish in certain parts that makes the precise execution of others stand out—in a word, this perfect harmony between the approximate and the precisely defined—that is what gives the portraits drawn by Monsieur Ingres their particular character and charm.”‍[72] Delaborde goes on to compare Ingres’s achievement in this arena to a number of old masters who produced portrait drawings (e.g., Raphael, Leonardo, Lorenzo di Credi, Albrecht Dürer, Holbein, and so on) and finds a worthy rival only in the etchings after Sir Anthony van Dyck, an artist whose painterly flamboyance makes him a decidedly unexpected bedfellow for Ingres. Yet the graphic portraits of both these artists, Delaborde contends, are uniquely stamped with an equal degree of originality and variability—none of their portraits look alike and yet their personal authority is palpably apparent in every one of them.‍[73]

Yet for Delaborde, as for Blanc, it is in the preparatory drawings and sketches that Ingres’s powers as a draftsman are most stunningly revealed. “If any nonbelievers remain,” the critic opines, “who persist in seeing in Monsieur Ingres not a natural-born artist [un artiste de race] but an illustrious parvenu who owes his reputation entirely to patience and study, then one need only place these doubters before several of the sketches on display at the Salon des Arts-Unis to disabuse them of this opinion.”‍[74] “Is it only by work that one acquires such boldness, such conviction of sentiment and style?” the critic asks. “Is it by recalling the works of others, by purely scientific experimentation and through a spirit of competition and calculation that one achieves such ease, such majesty of touch, such quickness to divine the true nature of things and to capture them in such conclusive terms? No. However adept the hand of Monsieur Ingres may be, it is above all else naively inspired; however well-informed it may prove itself to be with regards to rules and the Grand Tradition, it acts less out of a sense of parti-pris [partisanship] to champion a particular doctrine, than of the need to capture and convey an impression.”‍[75] And if Ingres, as a draftsman, can stand comparison to any other master from any other school, it is because “he has more faith than science, more enthusiasm for the creations of God than confidence in the works of his fellow human beings; in a word, it’s because he deploys art not as a learned language but as a means of expression acquired through revelation.”‍[76]

It would be easy to dismiss the praise that was heaped upon the 1861 exhibition of Ingres’s drawings in the pages of the Gazette des beaux-arts as hopelessly uncritical, sycophantic drivel—as empty words directed by a cabal of cultural conservatives towards an equally reactionary idol. And indeed, this is precisely how many of Ingres’s most ardent supporters had been portrayed in the press since at least the early 1840s—as priests worshipping blindly at the altar of an imperious god.‍[77] However, like many of the artist’s most skillful and persuasive defenders during this period, the writers for the Gazette des beaux-arts ultimately sought to disrupt, if not entirely to dismantle, caricatures of Ingres then in circulation as the living embodiment of conservative aesthetics and artistic officialdom. As we have seen, the material evidence of the drawings allowed the writers to recognize speed and facility of execution—even improvisation—where so many critics of the paintings saw only timidity and ponderousness. Similarly, critics believed that the most summarily executed preparatory drawings gave them special access to the inner workings of the artist’s mind, allowing them to speak of such concepts as “genius” and “originality,” where so many critics of Ingres’s paintings saw only mechanical imitation and mindless pastiche. To a certain extent, what these critics were doing was simply applying long-established truisms of the connoisseurship of drawings to Ingres: his sketches were deemed difficult to appreciate but well worth the effort, as they revealed the most intimate and unique aspects of his manner, characteristics that often got obscured or suppressed by the laborious execution of more highly finished works.

Ingres as Impressionist?

But something else seems to be going on in these assessments of Ingres’s drawings as well. The critics were clearly using the drawings to establish a certain intimacy between Ingres and nature, albeit one that did not devolve into the direct transcription of base reality. Yet, Delaborde’s reassurance that Ingres’s art never trafficked in vulgarities of the real world notwithstanding, for him and for most of the other critics who wrote favorably of the 1861 exhibition, Ingres’s interaction with nature seems not to have been a matter of simple idealization. Rather, the drawings reveal the artist to have been engaged in the process of actively interpreting nature—and not necessarily in accordance with the prototypes handed down from classical antiquity or the Renaissance, but, to requote Delaborde, in accordance with “the sovereign originality of his sentiment and the sincerity of his manner.” For the most astute assessors of the 1861 exhibition, Ingres’s drawings were above all else powerfully inflected with his individuality; characterized by authenticity far more than accuracy or correctness, they were ultimately the result of nothing more than the artist’s compulsion to—again in Delaborde’s words—“capture and convey an impression.”

In this respect, the appreciation of Ingres’s 1861 exhibition has less to do with established conventions of the connoisseurship of drawings than with some of the central arguments and assumptions informing one of the most important early pieces of modernist art criticism, namely Émile Zola’s review of the 1866 Salon. There, in the process of defending the work of Édouard Manet (1832–83) and the future impressionists, Zola (1840–1902) makes the following declaration: “A work of art is a corner of the world seen through a temperament.”‍[78] And while this definition would appear to give equal weight to nature and temperament, Zola had made it perfectly clear in an earlier installment of his review that the latter was by far the more crucial element. “Be true to life,” he writes, “and I will applaud, but above all be personal and vivid, and I will applaud louder.”‍[79] In the process of defending this fundamentally “temperamental” notion of art, Zola even has recourse to the same theoretical bogeyman—the same “defining other”—as Blanc in his panegyric to Ingres as a draftsman: photography. “If there were no such thing as temperament,” Zola argues, “no painting could ever be more than a photograph.”‍[80]

My purpose in drawing attention to these unexpected points of convergence between the critical reception of Ingres’s 1861 drawings exhibition and Zola’s review of the 1866 Salon is not to claim for the neoclassical master the hallowed status of impressionist; that would be absurd. What I do want to emphasize, however, is the extent to which the appreciation of Ingres’s sketchily executed drawings could be defended on surprisingly similar grounds as the sketchily executed paintings of Manet and his controversial followers just a few years later. That this was the case is indicative of the willingness of Ingres’s most ardent defenders to wander from the path of academic orthodoxy to promote their hero—something I believe that they did not do cynically or opportunistically but out of a true sense of flexibility of thought and spirit. Indeed, if the unexpected overlap of perspectives of two critics as seemingly diametrically opposed to one another as Henri Delaborde and Émile Zola can teach us anything, it is to question yet again the frequently challenged but still very much entrenched histories of late nineteenth-century French art that continue to be structured around the absolute polarities of academic and avant-garde.


I would like to thank Dr. Britany Salsbury for organizing the symposium on nineteenth-century French drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art and for providing invaluable commentary on an early draft of this essay. I would also like to thank the entire editorial staff of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide for their patience, expertise, and guidance throughout the lengthy process of composing this essay and assembling its extensive appendix. Publication of this essay was supported by faculty research funds from the Division of Arts and Humanities and the Department of History of Art, both located in the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University; I thank Associate Dean Dana Renga and Chairman Karl Whittington for their ongoing support and encouragement of all my scholarly endeavors. Finally, I would like this essay to serve as a personal tribute to the enduring legacy of two of the greatest scholars of Ingres’s drawings and exhibition practices, Professors Hans Naef and Daniel Ternois.


Unless otherwise indicated, all translations are my own.

[1] “‘On ne regarderait pas autre chose,’ répondait-il d’ordinaire, se rendant bien compte que l’austérité de son oeuvre peint réclamait une initiation qui était inutile devant les débauches de couleur des romantiques échevelés.” Henry Lapauze, Ingres, sa vie et son oeuvre (1780–1867) (Paris: Georges Petit, 1911), 526.

[2] Much of the credit for rehabilitating Ingres as a painter can be given to Robert Rosenblum, who identified as one of the principal goals of his 1967 monograph on the artist to prove that “Ingres’s paintings, on the whole, remain qualitatively higher and aesthetically richer than his drawings.” Robert Rosenblum, Ingres (1967; repr., New York: Abrams, 1985), 7.

[3] For a general survey of the exhibition of drawings in Paris during the last third of the nineteenth century, see Debra J. DeWitte, “Public Exhibitions of Drawing in Paris, France (1860–1890): A Study in Data-Driven Art History” (PhD diss., University of Texas at Dallas, 2017). DeWitte focuses on group exhibitions, either in official venues, such as the Salon, or in the exhibitions organized by artist collectives, such as the impressionist exhibitions. She mentions the 1861 exhibition of Ingres’s drawings only in passing (7–8), erroneously asserting that the event was financed by the French government. I would like to thank my fellow symposiasts in Cleveland for calling my attention to DeWitte’s study.

[4] As recently as 2001, the usually impeccably informed Daniel Ternois erroneously reported that the exhibition opened in the Galerie Martinet on the boulevard des Italiens on January 25, 1861. Daniel Ternois, “Lettres d’Ingres à Marcotte d’Argenteuil: Dictionnaire,” special issue, Archives de l’art français, new per., 36 (2001): 212.

[5] “Aujourd’hui, M. Ingres est sur le piédestal qu’il s’est si laborieusement construit. Il est deveneu un mythe; c’est la personnification du dessin, comme Decamps est celle de la couleur.” Théophile Gautier, “Salon de 1833,” La France littéraire, no. 6 (1833): 152.

[6] On this famous definition of art issued in 1866 by Émile Zola, see the final section of this essay.

[7] Henri Delaborde, Ingres: Sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine, d’après les notes manuscrites et les lettres du maître (Paris: Plon, 1870).

[8] On Gatteaux’s biography and his relationship with Ingres, see the indispensable chapter devoted to the Gatteaux family in Hans Naef, Die Bildniszeichnungen von J.-A.-D. Ingres (Bern: Benteli Verlag, 1978), 2:485–502, as well as Daniel Ternois, “Une amitié romaine: Les lettres d’Ingres à Edouard Gatteaux,” in Actes du colloque Ingres et Rome (Montauban: Musée Ingres, 1986), 17–61, and, more recently, Ternois, “Dictionnaire,” 105‍–‍7.

[9] [Albert Magimel], Oeuvres de J. A. Ingres, membre de l’Institut, gravées au trait sur acier par Ale Réveil, 1800–1851 (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, 1851). On Gatteaux’s role in the genesis of this publication, see Ternois, “Dictionnaire,” 139. Ingres’s portrait of Magimel’s wife was included in the 1861 exhibition; see Appendix, cat. no. 68.

[10] Seventy-six drawings exhibited in Ingres’s memorial exhibition at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1867 are identified in the catalogue as belonging to Gatteaux; see Catalogue des tableaux, études peintes, dessins et croquis de J.-A.-D. Ingres, peintre d’histoire, sénateur, membre de l’Institut, exposés dans les galeries du Palais de l’École impériale des Beaux-Arts (Paris: Imprimerie de Ad. Lainé et J. Havard, 1867). Interestingly, it is not known through what means Gatteaux amassed his collection of Ingres’s drawings—as gifts or through purchases (or a combination of both). According to one contemporary source, Ingres had entrusted Gatteaux with a cache of drawings when he embarked upon a journey while the two men were living in Rome. Years later he asked for the drawings’ return, but Gatteaux refused, declaring to the artist: “Tu n’auras jamais ces études! Car entre tes mains elles s’éparpilleraient, et je veux qu’après toi et après moi, elles aillent toutes au musée du Louvre, dont elles seront une des richesses!” Cited in Jules Lecomte, “Courrier de Paris,” Le Monde illustré, February 23, 1861, 115. The journey mentioned by Lecomte (1810–64), a well-connected writer and popular journalist, could be a reference to Ingres’s extended sojourn in Naples in the spring of 1814; however, it would appear that Gatteaux had returned to Paris by this date. Whatever journey Lecomte may have been referencing, that it occurred near the end of Gatteaux’s stay in Rome would help explain the no fewer than ten preparatory studies in his possession relating to Romulus, Conqueror of Acron, which Ingres had completed for the newly installed imperial residence in the Palazzo del Quirinale in 1812 (see Appendix, cat. nos. 8, 10–13bis; ser. nos. 2.5–2.8). On Gatteaux’s preference for preparatory sketches as opposed to more highly finished drawings, see Patricia Condon, “J.-A.-D. Ingres: Les dessins historiques achevés,” pt. 2, Bulletin du Musée Ingres 69 (1996): 12–14.

[11] On the fate of Ingres’s drawings in the 1871 conflagration, see Marie-Jeanne Ternois and Daniel Ternois, “Les Oeuvres d’Ingres dans la collection d’Édouard Gatteaux,” in Art, objets d’art, collections: Études sur l’art du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance sur l’histoire du goût et des collections: Hommage à Hubert Landais (Paris: Blanchard, 1987), 212–19. The best overall documentation of Gatteaux’s collection remains Collection de 120 dessins, croquis et peintures de M. Ingres, classés et mis en ordre par son ami Édouard Gatteaux, reproduits en photographies par Ch. Marville, photographe des Musées nationaux, 2 vols. (Paris: République Française, Ministère de l’Instruction Publique, des Cultes et des Beaux-Arts, 1875). Copies of the original unbound edition of this publication are exceedingly rare; there is one in the library of the Louvre, on deposit from the Cabinet des Dessins. The various undated editions produced by the publisher Armand Guérinet are incomplete, with reproductions of inferior quality to the originals. See Ternois and Ternois, “Oeuvres d’Ingres,” 218n30.

[12] Lapauze reported seeing a copy of Galichon’s catalogue accompanying the first installation of the exhibition (see note 19, below) “annoté de la main de Ingres” (annotated by Ingres’s own hand), and takes this as evidence that the artist “s’intéressa personnellement” (became personally involved) in the exhibition; see Lapauze, Ingres, 526. Similarly, the greatest American scholar of Ingres’s drawings, Agnes Mongan, believed that the 1861 exhibition “surely had the blessing of the master himself” and that it was “inconceivable” that specific drawings “could have been exhibited in his presence without his approval.” See Agnes Mongan, “Introduction,” in Ingres: Centennial Exhibition (1867–1967), exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA: Fogg Art Museum, 1967), ix.

[13] The contract for this sale, which was initially signed on October 13, was first published in Lapauze, Ingres, 552–53; it included thirty-one paintings and fifty-four drawings. For an analysis of the transaction, which was undertaken to provide for Ingres’s widow after his death and which netted the artist 50,000 francs, see Condon, “J.-A.-D. Ingres,” 14; and, more recently and exhaustively, Georges Vigne, “Le peintre aux ciseaux d’acier,” Invitation No. 4 (Montauban: Musée Ingres, 2000), 3–6. On Ingres’s relationship with Haro more generally, see André Joubin, “Haro entre Ingres et Delacroix,” L’Amour de l’art 17, no. 3 (March 1936): 85–93.

[14] The Société des Arts-Unis seems to have largely escaped the attention of modern art historians. It is discussed briefly in Jean-Paul Bouillon, “Sociétés d’artistes et institutions officielles dans la second moitié du XIXe siècle,” Romantisme 54 (1986): 93; Martha Ward, “Impressionist Installations and Private Exhibitions,” The Art Bulletin 73, no. 4 (December 1991): 603; and Kristiane Pietsch, “Charles Blanc (1813–1882): Der Kunstkritiker und Publizist” (PhD. diss., Heinrich Heine University, 2004), 180–83. Most of these accounts rely heavily on articles published on the organization in the Gazette des beaux-arts by Charles Blanc: “La Société des Arts-Unis,” Gazette des beaux-arts 6, no. 6 (June 1, 1860): 257–65, which includes a (presumably) partial list of founding members of the society who were artists; and “Le Salon des Arts-Unis,” Gazette des beaux-arts 9, no. 3 (February 1, 1861): 189–92, which reproduces the society’s founding “program.”

[15] On the size of the main exhibition space as well as its novel system of illumination, see Ch. B. [Charles Blanc], Gazette des beaux-arts 8, no. 6 (December 15, 1860): 374.

[16] According to F., “Chronique, documens, fait divers,” Revue universelle des arts, no. 12 (October 1860–April 1861): 365, membership fees for the Société des Arts-Unis were one hundred francs per year, with new members being required to commit for a minimum of three years.

[17] For the contents of the main exhibition space, see M. Falconi, Livret du Salon des Arts-Unis (Paris: Salon des Arts-Unis, 1861). The Salon des Arts-Unis was originally conceived by the founders of the Société des Arts-Unis as a means of complementing or supplementing the official Salons, providing artists with a “permanent” exhibition space through which they could maintain continuous contact with collectors. See Blanc, “Salon des Arts-Unis,” 191–92. However, in late April 1861, newspapers were reporting that artists disgruntled over the rigors of the Salon jury had come to terms with the administration of the Société des Arts-Unis to organize what would have effectively been an exhibition of rejected works on its premises. See “Fait divers,” Journal des débats, April 28, 1861, where this news item is acknowledged as having been copied from Le Siècle. Nothing seems to have come of this initiative, and indeed, in early 1862, the Salon des Arts-Unis had to shutter its doors altogether, having lost the lease on its premises, which had to be razed to accommodate the lengthening of the rue Le Peletier.

[18] This gala immediately preceded the opening of the Salon des Arts-Unis to the public at 11 a.m. on January 15. For announcements of the exhibition’s opening, see “Faits divers,” La Presse, January 12, 1861; “Faits divers,” Journal des débats, January 13, 1861; “Faits divers,” Le Pays, January 13, 1861; and “Nouvelles diverses, Paris, 13 janvier,” Le Constitutionnel, January 14, 1861.

[19] [Émile Galichon] Catalogue de dessins tirés de collections d’amateurs et exposés dans les Salons des Arts-Unis, 26 rue de Provence (Paris: Renou et Maulde, 1861). Galichon states that the catalogue “n’est que provisoire” (is only provisional) in his brief preface, n.p. That the catalogue only contains ninety-one entries is explained by the following factors: the inclusion of cat. no. 13bis; the inclusion of four separate drawings under cat. no. 89; and the apparent inclusion hors catalogue of Ingres’s 1825 portrait drawing of Madame Ducloz-Marcotte, which is described in the first of two articles Galichon would publish on the 1861 exhibition in the Gazette des beaux-arts (see note 22, below; the portrait of Ducloz-Marcotte is mentioned on p. 357).

[20] In the first of his two articles for the Gazette des beaux-arts (see note 22, below), Galichon connects four of these drawings—cat. nos. 78, 81–83—to L’Âge d’or (The Golden Age), Ingres’s unfinished mural for the Duc de Luynes’s château at Dampierre. Moreover, cat. no. 88 can be identified as a study for Le Martyre de saint Symphorien (The Martyrdom of Saint Symphorian).

[21] On the imminent closing of the first exhibition, see “Nouvelles diverses, Paris 1er mars,” Le Constitutionnel, March 2, 1861; and “Faits divers,” Journal des débats, March 3, 1861. On the recent opening of the second exhibition, see “Nouvelles diverses, Paris, 8 avril,” Le Constitutionnel, April 9, 1861; on its imminent closing, see “Faits divers,” Journal des débats, May 18, 1861.

[22] Emile Galichon, “Description des dessins de M. Ingres exposés au Salon des Arts-Unis,” Gazette des beaux-arts 9, no. 6 (March 15, 1861): 343–62; and “Dessins de M. Ingres (deuxième série),” Gazette des beaux-arts 11, no. 1 (July 1, 1861): 38–48.

[23] Two separate drawings were included under ser. no. 2.25.

[24] Cat. nos. 2, 3, 8, 10–13bis, 15, 22, 24, 29–41, 56–58, 78, 83, 85, 86, 88; ser. nos. 2.3, 2.5–2.8, 2.11, 2.14, 2.16–2.19, 2.25 a and b (two drawings), 2.35, 2.45, and 2.46. Although not recognized as such by Galichon, Gatteaux was almost certainly the owner of cat. no. 82 at the time of the 1861 exhibition, bringing the total number of his loans to 49.

[25] Drawings that Ingres almost certainly lent to the 1861 exhibition include those that he subsequently sold to Haro in 1866: cat. nos. 4, 5, 25, 27, 47, 62, 79, 89 (four drawings); ser. nos. 2.4 and 2.23; and possibly cat. nos. 18, 26, 77, and 81; those that were subsequently included in the artist’s studio sale in 1867: cat. nos. 18 and 28; those that were subsequently owned by his widow, Delphine Ingres: cat. nos. 14, 65; ser. no. 2.15; and those that were bequeathed by the artist to the Musée Ingres in Montauban: ser. nos. 2.20–2.22; and possibly cat. no. 26. However, if all the drawings for which Galichon does not identify the owners and for which no owner can reasonably be surmised from circumstantial evidence belonged to the artist himself (cat. nos. 80, 87, 90; ser. nos. 2.12, 2.13, 2.44, and 2.47, the vast majority of which appear to have been preparatory studies as opposed to the more highly finished drawings prized by most nineteenth-century collectors), then Ingres could have been responsible for lending up to thirty-one of the drawings exhibited in 1861.

[26] Cat. nos. 1, 7, 17, 19, 20, 54, all of which are now in the Louvre. On the Coutan-Hauguet collection, see Condon, “J. A. D. Ingres,” 17–23, and Ternois, “Dictionnaire,” 85–86. On Ingres’s friendship with the Coutans and the Hauguets more generally, see Naef, Bildniszeichnungen 3:413–16.

[27] Cat. nos. 6, 16, 71, 72; ser. no. 2.10.

[28] Cat. nos. 50, 69, 75, 76; ser. nos. 2.31, 2.32, 2.37–2.39, plus the portrait of Madame Ducloz-Marcotte, which appears to have been included in the first installation of the exhibition hors catalogue. On the extensive Marcotte family and the relationships of its various members with Ingres, including his portrait drawings of the family, see Naef, Bildniszeichnungen, 2:503–33; and Paula J. Warrick, “Portraits of a Caste: Ingres, the Circle of Charles Marcotte d’Argenteuil, and the Bureaucratic Image, 1810–1864” (PhD diss., University of Delaware, 1996).

[29] Visitors to the Salon des Arts-Unis, which was open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then again from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., were charged a one-franc admission fee (Fridays were reserved for members of the Société). On the entrance fee, see the announcements of the Salon’s opening listed in note 18, above. For the hours of operation, see “Nouvelles diverses, 20 janvier,” Le Constitutionnel, January 21, 1861.

[30] For these announcements, see notes 18 and 21, above.

[31] [Alexandre-François] Brasseur Wirtgen, “Beaux-arts,” Le Siècle, March 27, 1861; Énne-Jn [Étienne-Jean] Delécluze, “Salon des Arts-Unis,” Journal des débats, February 3, 1861; Jean Rousseau, “Beaux-arts,” Le Figaro, February 3, 1861; Lecomte, “Courrier de Paris”; and Nonce Rocca, “L’Exposition au Salon des Arts-Unis,” La Jeune France, March 3, 1861, 54. La Jeune France was only published from January to June 1861.

[32] On the articles in the Gazette des beaux-arts, see below. Ernest Vinet, “Le Portefeuille de M. Ingres: Exposition du Salon des Arts-Unis,” Revue nationale et étrangère, politique, scientifique, et littéraire, no. 2 (February 25, 1861): 378–83.

[33] “Aucun ouvrage du maître célèbre ne fait peut-être mieux ressortir la puissance avec laquelle il imprime la vie à ses imitations de la nature et l’intelligence supérieure qui lui fait interpréter toutes les délicatesses des formes. Affranchi des difficultés que présente l’usage des couleurs, M. Ingres, avec son crayon pour intermédiaire de sa pensée, l’imprime avec une soudaineté telle, qu’elle conserve toute sa vivacité et sa puissance.” Delécluze, Journal des débats.

[34] Metaphors of coldness, antiquatedness, sickness, and even death were particularly prevalent in the critical reaction to the retrospective display of Ingres’s paintings in the 1855 Universal Exposition; see Carol Ockman, “This Flatulent Hand: Nineteenth-Century Criticism,” in Ingres’s Eroticized Bodies: Retracing the Serpentine Line (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 1995), 85–109; and Andrew Carrington Shelton, Ingres and His Critics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 228–29.

[35] “Quand M. Ingres copie la nature simplement, comme elle se présente d’elle même, il est admirable de pureté de lignes et de réalité. Quelques-uns de ses portraits, par exemple, pouvent être mis à côté de ceux de Raphaël. Mais du moment où il emploie son dessin magistral à retracer des sujets d’imagination, il tombe souvent dans l’exagération et le mauvais goût, pour ne pas dire la grotesque.” Brasseur Wirtgen, “Beaux-arts.”

[36] “la vulgarité physique et le mouvement contorsionné du Paulo”; “un roi de France à quatre pattes en disloquant la tête pour parler au représantant du roi d’Espagne”; “cette grosse fille blonde . . . elle ne peut se faire accepter pour un muse, à mois que ce ne soit la muse du pot-au-feu.” Brasseur Wirtgen, “Beaux-arts.”

[37] “Un chose qui vous frappe tout particulièrement, dans ces petits chefs-d’oeuvre, c’est l’esprit, l’entrain, disons mieux, la facilité inouïe de l’exécution. Qui a dit que M. Ingres passaît dix ans sur un portrait? C’est donc qu’il le fait exprès? Ses dessins prouvent qu’il ne tiendrait qu’à lui de procéder plus lestement; pas un artiste contemporain, peut-être, n’a cette prestesse et cette sûreté de main” (emphasis in the original). Rousseau, “Beaux-arts.”

[38] “Un malheur où M. Ingres tombe encore de propos délibéré—je ne peux plus douter maintenant,—ce sont les yeux louches. Pas un de ses têtes qui ne vous regarde de travers. Est-ce un moyen de leur donner du caractère, à l’imitation de certains types raphaélesques?” Rousseau, “Beaux-arts.”

[39] “Contentons-nous, tout en nous inclinant devant le plus grand dessinateur, peut-être, de notre époque, de regretter que, parmi tant de portraits au crayon, dignes des maîtres, il n’y en ait que quelques-uns affranchis de ce strabisme que l’éminent artiste a toujours persisté, on ne sait pourquoi, à infliger même à ses plus gracieux modèles.” Rocca, “L’Exposition au Salon des Arts-Unis.”

[40] “Le nom du signataire ne suffit pas à rendre curieux certains de ces petits croquis fort mal venus, de ces bouts d’étude sans importance, de ces petits gâchis et de ces petits gribouillages.” Rousseau, “Beaux-arts.”

[41] According to art historian Christian Michel, many of the leading authorities on drawing in the eighteenth century believed that the true appreciation of works in that medium was beyond the capacity of the general public. He notes as well that the preference for highly finished as opposed to sketchily executed drawings was often attributed to semi-connaisseurs (pseudo-connoisseurs). See Christian Michel, “Le goût pour le dessin en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles: De l’utilisation à l’étude désintéressée,” Revue de l’art, no. 143 (2004): 32–33.

[42] As Hans Naef was the first to note, on March 11, 1863, Vinet reported for the Journal des débats on a dinner that Ingres hosted in celebration of the recovery from a grave illness of his former pupil, Hippolyte Flandrin (see cat. no. 52), with whom Vinet seems to have been particularly closely associated. See Naef, Bildniszeichnungen 3:455, where Vinet’s article is reprinted. In 1840, Flandrin executed a portrait of Vinet’s mother (Paris, Musée du Louvre), which created something of a sensation at the 1841 Salon.

[43] “L’esprit de révolte contre le jury, l’entente de quelques artistes, animés de l’espoir de faire casser par le public, au jugement duquel ils se soumettaient, l’arrêt prononcé contre eux par un petit nombre d’hommes compétents, voilà tout simplement l’origine de ces expositions.” Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 578.

[44] “aspect chatoyant, facilité vulgaire, peu d’idées, nul dessin, point de style, absence du sentiment de la grand beauté, petit genre, petits tableaux.” Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 579.

[45] “les diamants de cette exposition.” Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 580.

[46] “Oui, M. Ingres a ouvert ses portefeuilles. Splendides projets, esquisses enflammées, croquis accentués, nombreux portraits, il nous a tout livré. Ils sont là, ils attendent l’examen, ces témoignages du labeur caché par lequel un artiste de génie, mais d’un génie patient, est arrivé à réaliser de belles conceptions.” Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 579.

[47] “Il me tarde de parler de ces précieuses révélations, de suivre dans cette recherche ardente de la vérité et du beau un noble rejeton des maîtres et de l’antiquité.” (At this point in the article Vinet turns his attention back to the paintings and sculptures on display in the main gallery of the Salon des Arts-Unis.) Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 579.

[48] “Pour marquer d’un trait profond le caractère de chaque personnage, et mettre dans un forte saillie ce que les passions humaines ont écrit sur son front, ou dans ses yeux, que faut-il à M. Ingres? quatre coups de crayon.” Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 581.

[49] “Où est l’art véritable? Est-il dans ces procédés si simples et si efficaces? Est-il dans les complications infinies de couleur et d’effet, dans les games de nuances, dans les tons juxtaposés, dans tous les artifices de la brosse et de la palette, qui n’arrivent, après tout, qu’au même résultat, quand cela réussit?” Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 581.

[50] “Ces bras, ces pieds, ces mains, ces torses inachevés qui tapissent l’exposition n’offriront peut-être nul intérêt aux personnes qui font consister la peinture dans les tons éclatants. Mais ceux qui pensent que le génie de la couleur quand il se sépare du génie de la forme n’enfante que des monstruosités, ceux-là trouveront dans les études de M. Ingres tout ce qui peut captiver.” Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 582.

[51] “C’est par ses dessins surtout que M. Ingres s’est placé au niveau des grands maîtres du seizième siècle, et qu’il défie toute espèce de rivalité.” Vinet, “Portefeuille de M. Ingres,” 583.

[52] “Rapproché de M. Ingres depuis la fondation de la Gazette des beaux-arts, que nous avions créée sous ses auspices, nous eûmes plusieurs fois l’occasion de le voir dans son atelier du quai Voltaire.” Charles Blanc, Ingres: Sa vie et son oeuvre (Paris: Vve. J. Renouard, 1870), 199. Blanc’s remark is cited in Peter Benson Miller, “Les derniers feux de Monsieur Ingres,” in Ingres 1780–1867, ed. Vincent Pomarède, Stéphane Guégan, Louis-Antoine Prat, and Éric Bertin, exh. cat. (Paris: Gallimard/Musée du Louvre, 2006), 363.

[53] “Tout se réunit donc pour donner à ce recueil de dessins un intérêt inestimable: la rareté de l’occasion, le nom du grand maître, les scènes ou les personnnes représentées, l’intimité des études, la curiosité des variantes, enfin la qualité et le nombre.” Blanc, “Salon des Arts-Unis,” 190.

[54] “croquis faits sur nature”; “c’est une invention cherchée du bout de la plume, entre le bien et le mieux, entre l’individu et le type, entre la vie qui palpite et qui remue, et le style qui l’apaise et la rehausse. Partout c’est un charme indéfinissable; chaque repentir est un enseignement, chaque différence un trait de lumière.” Blanc, “Salon des Arts-Unis,” 190.

[55] “ont prouvé à la photographie que l’art est, quand il veut, plus exact que la science, plus précis que les mathématiques, plus pénétrant que la chimie, plus sensible que le collodion, plus subtil que le chlorure, plus clairvoyant que la lumière, plus vrai enfin que la vérité même.” Blanc, “Salon des Arts-Unis,” 191.

[56] “On y trouve une telle aisance de dessin qu’il semblerait que le maître ait laissé courir à l’aventure sa main sur le papier; et cependant quel calcul profond il a fallu pour faire un tel chef-d’oeuvre!” Galichon, “Description des dessins,” 357.

[57] “Le maître, dans ce dessin d’une délicatesse merveilleuse, a su tellement fixer la vie sur le papier, que la bouche entr’ouverte semble parler.” Galichon, “Description des dessins,” 360.

[58] Henri Delaborde, “Les Dessins de M. Ingres au Salon des Arts-Unis,” Gazette des beaux-arts 9, no. 5 (March 1, 1861): 257–69.

[59] “le sentiment qu’on éprouvait en face de ces nobles ouvrages n’était pas seulement celui de l’admiration pour l’habileté incomparable du maître, c’était aussi un sentiment de profond respect pour la fixité de ses croyances.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 257.

[60] “les applaudissements unanimes ont récompensé l’obstination de ce grand talent.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 257.

[61] “les luttes pénibles et l’isolement”; “À un certain moment de sa vie, M. Ingres, assez sûr de lui-même pour attendre fièrement le jour de la justice, a dû se content d’avoir à peu près seul raison contre tout le monde.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 257.

[62] “le plus beau tableau d’une seule figure qu’ait produit l’école française.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 258. La Source was unveiled to a limited public in Ingres’s studio in January 1857, and its reception was little short of rapturous. See Ingres’s comments to this effect in a letter to Luigi Calamatta, cited in Ternois, “Dictionnaire,” 216.

[63] “la constance des principes et ce mâle entêtement du génie.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 258.

[64] With respect to the notion that drawings conveyed the essence of a master’s genius more directly than his paintings, Christian Michel quotes the early eighteenth-century theorist Antoine-Joseph Dezallier d’Argenville (1745): “Un artiste, en peignant un tableau, se corrige, et réprime la fougue de son génie; en faisant un dessin, il jette le premier feu de sa pensée; il s’abandonne à lui-même; il se montre tel qu’il est.” Michel regards such a reconceptualization of drawing, which came to be valued “non pour ce qu’il représente ou pour sa rapport à la nature, mais comme émanation du génie du peintre,” as constituting a transformative moment in the history of the visual arts in France. See Michel, “Goût pour le dessin,” 30. This notion that drawings gave viewers more direct access to the genius of the artist than his or her paintings is also productively explored in Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, “Drawing: Medium, Discourse, Object,” in Drawing: The Invention of a Modern Medium, ed. Ewa Lajer-Burcharth and Elizabeth M. Rudy, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Art Museums, 2017), 11–40.

[65] “peut-être, en se confiant pour ainsi dire à lui seul, en ne voulant qu’esquisser la promesse du beau qu’il songe à définir ailleurs, accuse-t-il plus nettement encore l’orginalité souveraine de son sentiment et la sincérité de sa manière; peut-être ici l’émotion vive et toute personelle, la franchise, la verve du style, apparaissent-elles d’autant mieux que les moyens d’exécution sont plus simples, et que la prodigieuse facilité de la main n’est ni entravée par les lenteurs du procédé matériel, ni surbordonnée à aucune arrière-pensée de correction absolue, d’achèvement.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 258.

[66] “Il semble qu’on prenne plus sûrement Raphaël sur le fait, qu’on pénètre plus avant dans l’inimité de son génie, en raison de ce laisser-aller même et de ces libres allures d’une première pensée”; “à ces travaux préparatoires où l’intention moral prédomine ouvertement et s’affirme, où la forme, surprise au passage et succinctement transcrite, exprime bien moins l’image exacte d’un fait que le souvenir d’une impression reçue.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 258–59.

[67] “profondément vrais, mais de cette vérité qui ne devient jamais complice des laideurs de la réalité.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 259.

[68] “cette prétendue bizarrerie que l’on ne craignait pas de reprocher à la manière de M. Ingres.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 260.

[69] “la physionomie et les caractères privés d’un talent dont nous ne connaissions encore que les côtés publics, les actes officiels.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 261.

[70] “Chez M. Ingres, au contraire, la science acquise en face des grands monuments de l’art s’allie à un ardent amour des vérités naturelles, à une sincérité parfaite devant les leçons de la réalité.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 262.

[71] “Et cependant, qu’il y a loin de ces scrupules à la curiosité minutieuse, aux arguties! Quelle différence entre un pareille correction et la subtilité du faire, entre cette éloquence et le verbiage grammatical de qui n’a pas d’idées à soi! Si châtiées qu’elles apparaissent, les formes du langage pittoresque gardent ici une aisance et un ampleur aussi indépendantes de la simple patience de l’esprit que de l’exiguïté du champ donné.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 263.

[72] “Ce mélange d’extrême facilité et de ferme exactitude, cet inachèvement calculé de certaines parties faisant ressortir l’exécution précieuse de certaines autres, en un mot cette harmonie parfaite entre l’à peu près et la définition absolue, voilà ce qui donne aux portraits dessinés par M. Ingres un caractère et un charme particuliers.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 265.

[73] “Chez M. Ingres . . . comme chez Van Dyck . . . l’originalité du sentiment se décèle à première vue. La manière s’assouplit à toutes les conditions, varie en raisons même de la diversité des modèles, et néanmoins s’affirme partout avec la même autorité.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 266–67.

[74] “Si quelques incrédules se trouvaient encore qui s’obstinassent à voir dans M. Ingres, non pas un artiste de race, mais seulement un illustre parvenu, nous ne voudrions pour les convertir que placer un instant sous leurs yeux quelques-uns de ces croquis d’après nature.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 268.

[75] “est-ce par le travail seulement qu’on peut acquérir un pareille hardiesse, une pareille certitude dans le sentiment et dans le style? Est-ce au souvenir de ce qu’ont fait les autres, à l’expérience purement scientifique, à l’esprit de comparaison et de calcul, qu’on empruntera cette aisance, cette fierté de la touche, cette promptitude à deviner le sens des choses et à le formular en termes concluants? Non: si savant que soit la main de M. Ingres, elle est avant tout naïvement inspirée; si bien informée qu’elle se montre des règles et des grandes traditions de l’art, elle agit moins avec le parti pris de faire prévaloir une doctrine, qu’avec le besoin de traduire et de nous communiquer une impression.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 268.

[76] “M. Ingres a plus de bonne foi encore que de science, plus d’enthousiasme pour les oeuvres de Dieu que de confiance dans les oeuvres humaines: c’est, en un mot, qu’il se sert de l’art, non comme une langue apprise mais comme d’un moyen d’expression révélé.” Delaborde, “Dessins de M. Ingres,” 268–69.

[77] See Shelton, Ingres and His Critics, 87–93, 122–24; and Miller, “Les derniers feux,” 363–64.

[78]Une ouvre d’art est un coin de la création vue à travers un tempérament” (emphasis in the original). Émile Zola, “Mon Salon V. Les Réalistes du Salon,” L’Evénement, May 11, 1866, reprinted in Émile Zola: Salons, ed. F. W. J. Hemmings and Robert J. Niess (Paris: Librairie Minard, 1959), 73. My translations of Zola are taken from the excerpts of “Mon Salon” in Art in Theory (1815–1900): An Anthology of Changing Ideas, ed. Charles Harrison, Paul Wood, and Jason Gaiger (Oxford: Blackwell), 550–54.

[79] “Faites vrai; j’applaudis; mais surtout faites individuel et vivant, et j’applaudis plus fort.” Émile Zola, “Mon Salon, III. Le Moment artistique,” L’Evénement, May 4, 1866, reprinted in Hemmings and Niess, Émile Zola, 61.

[80] “si le tempérament n’existait pas, tous les tableaux devraient être forcément de simples photographies.” Zola, “Mon Salon III. Le Moment artistique,” reprinted in Hemmings and Niess, Émile Zola, 61.