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Two years later, at the Salon of , Ingres exhibited his most ambitious history painting to date, The Apotheosis of Homer. A kind of pan-historical group portrait of cultural luminaries influenced by Homer , this picture came to function as a manifesto for the increasingly embattled Neoclassical aesthetic. It also helped establish Ingres as a standard-bearer of cultural conservatism. Critics saw that he was defending the tenets of the waning tradition of French academic Classicism: namely, an unwavering faith in the authority of the ancients, an insistence upon the superiority of drawing over colour, and a commitment to the idealization as opposed to the mere replication of nature.
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Delacroix advocated the use of often violent, Byronic subject matter as well as sensuous, rich colour. The tension between advocates of Classicism and Romanticism would heighten over the following decades. In he produced the Portrait of Monsieur Bertin , a pictorial paean to the tenacity of the newly empowered middle class. By this time, however, the artist had begun to be accused of artistic imperialism—of attempting to impose his personal style on the entire French school of painting.
Such charges dominated the critical discourse in , when Ingres exhibited the Martyrdom of Saint-Symphorien at the Salon.
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Deeply wounded by the lack of universal approbation , the notoriously hypersensitive artist announced that he intended never again to exhibit at the Salon. During his six-year stint there, he completed only three major canvases: the so-called Virgin with the Host , Odalisque with Slave , and Antiochus and Stratonice Encouraged by this success, in Ingres made a triumphant return to Paris, where he dined with the king and was publicly feted at a banquet attended by more than political and cultural dignitaries.
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Early life and works Ingres received his first artistic instruction from his father, Jean-Marie-Joseph Ingres, an artistic jack-of-all-trades of modest talent but considerable professional and social pretensions. Start Your Free Trial Today. Load Next Page.
The man who created Paris
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French Studies: A Quarterly Review
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