Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres


One of Ingres’s largest and most ambitious portrait drawings, this work depicts the Parisian society hostess, writer, and critic the Comtesse Marie d’Agoult and her daughter Claire. Ingres typically produced his portrait drawings without preparation and in a single sitting. This work, in contrast, required at least two sittings and three preparatory studies. The drawing is notable for its evocation of the richly furnished interior of d’Agoult’s home. The artist selectively applied yellow watercolor to enhance objects and added white heightening to the sitters’ dresses to suggest the sheen of silk.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
French, 1780–1867
Comtesse Charles d’Agoult (Born Marie de Flavigny) and Her Daughter Claire d’Agoult, 1849
Graphite, heightened with white opaque watercolor, with touches of yellow watercolor
The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.852
Gray Collection Trust, Art Institute of Chicago
Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department