Portrait of Mlle Joséphine Nicaise-Lacroix
Signed, inscribed, and dated in graphite at the lower left, Ingres 1813 Rome.
10 1/8 x 7 7/8 inches (259 x 200 mm.)
Ingres frequently sketched his circle of friends and family, documenting their personalities and fashions in loving detail. Here, standing gracefully and shown in three-quarter length, is his future wife's cousin, Joséphine Nicaise-Lacroix (d. 1865). Joséphine stands against a Doric column while casually holding a small book in her left hand. Is her dreamy expression the effect of the novel that she has just been reading? Her otherwise idealized, moon-shaped face incorporates several highly naturalistic accents, such as a small blemish below her lip. This portrait remained in the sitter's family for over a hundred years before entering the Morgan in 1942.