Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


Jean Dominique Ingres

Nationality: French
Date of birth: 1780.08.29
Place of birth: Montauban
Date of death: 1867.01.14
Place of death: Paris
Category: painter


Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was a French classical history painter. His father Jean-Marie-Joseph Ingres (1755-1814) was a decorative painter, sculptor and amateur musician.


When Whistler arrived in Paris in November 1855 he had the opportunity to view the works of Ingres that were being exhibited at the Exposition Universelle. In 1857 Whistler painted a Copy after Ingres's 'Roger délivrant Angélique' y011 (theis copy is now in The Hunterian).

Whistler wrote to Henri Fantin-Latour declaring that he wished that he had been a pupil of Ingres and that 'Courbet and his influence was disgusting!' [May/June 1867], originally dated [September 1867], GUW #08045.There was an Ingres retrospective in Paris during the summer of that year that may well have fired Whistler's enthusiasm, together with the growing influence of Albert Moore.

Whistler's Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl y052 has been related to Ingres' portrait of the Comtesse d'Haussonville (1845; Frick Collection).

Many years later Whistler expressed different views, objecting to George Moore's praise of Ingres in 1893, writing to Moore: ''What possessed you to do that pas seul of quite carnal & uncalled for excitement before Ingres "Source"? - a short legged knobbly kneed ill begotten wench! - Why now draw attention to this unholy sort of Bank holiday passion for her? - so ... out of date too, even for a pioneer - and why call her "Greek"! so near the Goddess on the staircase.'Whistler to G. Moore, 3 December 1893, GUW #04176.


Cogniet, R., (ed.), Ingres, écrits sur l'art: Textes recueillis dans les carnets et dans la correspondance d'Ingres, Paris, 1947; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Monneret, S., L'Impressionisme et son époque, Paris, 1978-79; Brumbaugh, T. B., 'A group of Ingres Letters', John Walters Art Gallery, vol. 42-43, 1984-85, pp. 90-96; Wildenstein, D., The Paintings of of J.-A.-D. Ingres, London, 1954; Condon, Patricia, 'Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy.