Portrait of Marcotte Genlis
Signed, inscribed, and dated at lower left, J Ingres Del / 1852; at lower right in graphite, à son ami / M. Marcotte Genlis.
Graphite, heightened with white chalk, on light brown paper
14 x 11 1/4 inches (355 x 285 mm.)
During the course of his first Roman sojourn, Ingres met another young Frenchman, Marcotte d'Argenteuil, and began a lifelong friendship that was to provide the artist with opportunities for numerous portraits of the young man's family. At least twenty-one such portrait drawings are extant, including this one featuring Marcotte d'Argenteuil's younger brother, Marie-Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Marcotte Genlis (1781–1867), a high official of the French government and patron of the arts. Marcotte Genlis commissioned several paintings from Ingres, including Venus Anadyomene and The Source, and at least two portrait drawings, including the present sheet. This grandiose effigy was executed in Paris fifteen years before the death of both the artist and sitter. As was common in his drawings from the 1850s, Ingres used white chalk highlights on brown paper to draw the viewer's attention to certain areas of fabric or light.