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Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867)
Portrait of a Boy, ca. 1793–94
Graphite, with red and green watercolor
Signed in graphite, Ingres.
Diameter: 4 3/4 inches (106 mm)
Purchased on the Sunny Crawford Von Bülow Fund 1978; 1982.2
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

Ingres was a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old student at the Académie Royale in Toulouse when he executed this roundel portrait in the manner of eighteenth-century draftsman Charles-Nicolas Cochin ii. With his entry to the Paris studio of Jacques-Louis David in 1797, he would abandon the fine modeling of graphite and sensitivity to minute detail that characterize this drawing.

The boy wears an outlandish hat and jacket resembling that of the Garde Nationale, but he was not necessarily in the military. Before and during the Revolution, civilians also wore uniforms. Ingres added subtle passages of red watercolor to the boy's left lapel and epaulette, in the folds of his bonnet, and around the small ornament on its crown, adding to the costume's precocious charm.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.