Portrait of Mme Adolphe-Marcellin Defresne, née Sophie Leroy
Signed and dated in graphite at lower left, Ingres. Del. 1826.
During his second Parisian period, from 1824–34, Ingres often made drawings in pairs, sketching the portrait of a woman to accompany that of her husband, or vice versa. The present sheet depicts Sophie Leroy, the young wife of Adolphe-Marcellin Defresne. As she sits elegantly posed with book in hand, every sausage-shaped curl of her coiffure is as carefully rendered as the details of her elegant day dress with its high cinched waist, lace collar, satin puffed sleeves, and ruffled skirt. Having married at age fifteen, she died at twenty in 1831—five years after sitting for this portrait.