Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique

BORN 29 Aug 1780, Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne - DIED 14 Jan 1867, Paris: 11 quai Voltaire
CAUSE OF DEATH pneumonia
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 23, ligne 07, Q, 18)

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was the son of a father who painted miniatures, worked as sculptor and a stonemason and was an amateur musician. His early education ended when the French Revolution caused his school to closed in 1791. His father took him to Toulouse where he studied at the Académie Royale de Peinture Sculpture et Architecture under J.P. Vigan, J. Briant and J. Roques. He also received lessons from the violinist Lejeune.

After winning a first prize in drawing he went to Paris in 1797. There he was a pupil of J.L. David and he worked in his studio. In 1799 he went to the École des Beaux-Arts where he won the Grand Prix the Rome in 1801 for "Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the tent of Achilles". He continued to work in Paris where he was selected as one of five painters to make large portraits of Napoleon. In 1806 he was engaged to Marie-Anne-Julie Forestier, a painter and musician. In September of that year he finally received funds to go to Rome, leaving just before his portrait of Napoleon I was shown at the Salon.

In Rome he read the negative reactions of the critics to his painting and he was outraged. He refused to return to Paris and his engagement was broken. He worked at the Villa Medici and painted portraits as well as history scenes. In 1813 he proposed to Madeleine Chapelle without having met her. She accepted him and it became a happy marriage. Meanwhile, the paintings he sent to France still received bad reviews. In 1814 he went to Naples to paint Queen Caroline and other members of her family. When the Napoleontic empire fell he was left without patronage and made a living by drawing the portraits of tourists.

In Italy he befriended Paganini and other musicians and frequently played the violin. In 1820 the sculptor Bartolini, a fried from Paris, invited him to Florence. He received a commission to paint the vow of Louis XIII for the Cathedral of Montauban and spent four years on this painting. In 1824 he accompanied it to Paris, where it was exhibited at the Salon. Finally he received positive reactions in France. He was famous overnight and in 1825 he received the Cross of the Legion of Honor. During the same year he was elected into the Académie des Beaux Arts, receiving one vote more than Horace Vernet.

The following years he was very busy working in his studio in Paris, but after a critical review of "Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien" in 1834 he returned to Rome where he succeeded Horace Vernet as the director of the École de France. His painting "The Stratonice" was received very well in France and in 1841 he returned to Paris. On June 5th, 1841 he dined with king Louis Philippe in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

On July 27, 1849 he was devastated by the death of his wife. In 1852 he married Delphine Ramel, who was 28 years his junior. This marriage was a success as well. Napoleon III created him grand officer of the Legion of Honour and personally handed him his Medal of Honour of the Exposition Universelle of 1855. In 1862 the emperor awarded him a seat in the Senate. He was able to continue working until he died of pneumonia in 1867.

• Wife: Ramel, Delphine (1852-1867, Versailles, Yvelines)

Related persons
• was a friend of Alaux, Jean
• was teacher of Amaury-Duval, Eugène-Emmanuel
• was admired by Bachmann, Otto
• was teacher of Chassériau, Théodore
• was teacher of Chenavard, Paul
• painted Cherubini, Luigi
• was pupil of David, Jacques-Louis
• was teacher of Janmot, Louis
• painted Murat, Laetitia Josephine
• painted Napoleon I Bonaparte
• drew Paganini, Niccolò
• painted Ramel, Delphine

25/6/1825Ingres is elected into the Académie des Beaux Arts. He received one more vote than Horace Vernet and he replaced Vivant Denont, who had been general director of the French Museums. [Denon, Vivant][Vernet, Horace]
5/7/1834Ingres becomes the director of the Académie de France in Rome. He replaced Horace Vernet. [Vernet, Horace]
5/6/1841Ingres dines with king Louis-Philippe. The king had shown him his new museum at Versailles and afterwards they dined at Neuilly-sur-Seine. 
15/11/1855Ingres receives a honourable medal from Napoleon III in person. Ingres was disappointed that he had to share the medal of the Exposition Universelle with nine others. Because it was feared that he wouldn't show up at the ceremony he was made grand officer of the Légion d'Honneur on 14 Nov 1855. The next day he received the medal from the emperor himself. [Napoleon III Bonaparte]
25/5/1862Ingres is awarded a seat in the Senate by Napoleon III. Art critics praised the government because this was a sign that art was a matter of national interest. [Napoleon III Bonaparte]
17/1/1867Ingres is buried at Père Lachaise. The ceremony was held at the Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin church. Watched by a large crowd the funeral procession crossed the Place de Vendôme on its way to Père Lachaise. 


The grave of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (19 Nov 2006)


Plaque for Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in Rome.
Picture by Androom (03 Mar 2015)


"Madame Moitessier".
(London: The National Gallery)

"Odalisque in Grisaille".
(New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art)

"Paolo and Francesca".
(Birmingham: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts)

"Napoléon I on His Imperial Throne".
   (1806, Paris: Musée de l'Armée)

"Napoleon Bonaparte, Premier Consul".
   (1814, Liège: Musée de l'Armée (on deposit; collection of the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain de la Ville de Liège))

"Queen Caroline Murat".
   (1814, [private collection])

"Comtesse d'Haussonville".
   (1845, New York: Frick Collection)

"Madame Moitessier".
   (1851, Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art)

"Madame Clément Boulanger", née Marie-Elisabeth Blavot, later Madame Edmond Cavé.
   (c1830, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art)

• Tinterow, Gary & Philip Connisbee (eds.), Portraits by Ingres, Image of an Epoch, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1999
Wikipedia (EN):

Invernizio Quinterno, Carolina Maria Margaritta

Published: 16 Nov 2007
Last update: 05 Apr 2022