Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Œdipe et le sphinx (1808-1825) Huile sur toile. Musée du Louvre/A. Dequier - M. Bard

Québec, Canada - Discover masterpieces by French neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, known as a “conservative modernist,” and the influence of his work on later greats including Salvador Dalí, Man Ray et Cindy Sherman. Pablo Picasso said of the 19th-century painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: "He is the master, for us all."  On exhibition from 5 February through 31 May, 2009 at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

Organized with the special collaboration of the Musée du Louvre, the exhibition Ingres and the Moderns will feature some hundred works in Québec City. The Turkish Bath, Oedipus and the Sphinx and other major canvases by Ingres will be shown alongside an imposing selection of pieces by modern (e.g. Picasso, Matisse, Tissot) and contemporary (e.g. Martial Raysse, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney) artists. Together, they will illustrate the widespread influence of this atypical academic painter in the 20th century and still today.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Le Bain turc, 1862. - Toile marouflée sur bois Musée du Louvre, don de la Société des amis du Louvre, avec le concours de Maurice Fenaille, 1911Ingres was the son of a tailor who was also an amateur painter, sculptor and musician. He became a pupil of David, won the Prix de Rome 1801, and studied in Rome and in Florence until 1824. His long absence from Paris, repeated 1834–41 (when he was again in Rome), partly explains his lack of sympathy with French contemporaries, notably Delacroix, who had breathed the atmosphere of Romanticism. Ingres's view of what was classic in art was founded on Raphael rather than David, as seen in the Vow of Louis XIII  (Montauban Cathedral), acclaimed at the Salon of 1824, and the Apotheosis of Homer  1827, commissioned by Charles X for a ceiling in the Louvre.

In subject Ingres was as various as any of his contemporaries, his works including a Romantic, moonlit Dream of Ossian 1813 (Musée Ingres, Montauban), both antique and medieval themes, paintings of ceremonial functions, religious paintings, portraits, and nude compositions oriental at least in the suggestion of the title, such as La Grande Odalisque  and Le Bain Turc  1863 (Louvre, Paris). His quarrel with the Romantics and the nature of his own Classicism could be simply stated as a preference for drawing rather than colour. His pencil portraits, many executed during his first Italian stay, display his drawing skill. In the painted portrait, such as that of M de Norvins (National Gallery, London) or Mme de Sennones (Musée de Nantes), he produced some masterpieces, while the nude paintings of his later years have a sensuous beauty.

The Musée is located in Battlefields Park, also known as the Plains of Abraham. This city park is one of the world’s loveliest, with its 108 hectares of grassy expanses, woodlands and gardens. An oasis of greenery in the city centre, it delights thousands of citizens and visitors every day. Behind the Musée is a superb view of the park and the St. Lawrence River.

Visit the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec at : www.mnba.qc.ca

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