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Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867)
Portrait of Mlle Joséphine Nicaise-Lacroix, 1813
Graphite
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.)
Purchase, 1942; III 124b
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

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.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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