Here I am returned to my writing. I was unable to write last night. A rock and roll concert was enjoyed and hard decisions were made.
13) La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres 1780-1867 I have departed from the great Italians and am skipping forward a couple of centuries to Ingres. I am putting him in next, not because of a ranking of historical importance but because he was so strongly influenced by the Italians of the renaissance . Compare this figure with the Titian "Venus of Urbino that I posted about a week ago.I have always found this piece bewitchingly beautiful. Much has been made of the elongation of the figure and I suppose that she has about thirty extra vertebra, but fashion drawings are often elongated and runway models often have preposterously attenuated figures. The clarity and elegant style of this painting are what I like.
Here is an example of a drawing by Ingres. The confident outline and suppressed modeling are part of a deliberately "retro" style that he developed based on his study of Raphael, who he revered.
14) The death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)
As long as we are in French classicist neighborhood lets get David in here too. Born with a facial tumor that affected his speech David lived through tumultuous times. As an active participant in the French revolution David was one of the national convention and voted for the execution of the king. His wife, a loyalist left him over that.
This painting is in the met in New York and represents Socrates who was ordered after a trial on trumped up charges to drink poison which he did with defiance and dignity in 390 B.C.
(14) The death of Marat, also by David
Marat was another French revolutionary stabbed to death in his bath. He was immortalized by David. The figure is influenced again by renaissance art. I am showing these two not because they are more important that some other paintings but because I want to highlight the enduring legacy of the great Italian painters.