Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867)
Study for La Grande Odalisque
Samuel Courtauld Trust, purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund and V&A Purchase Grant Fund, 1995
This nude is a preparatory study for Ingres's painting La Grande Odalisque, commissioned by Queen Caroline Murat of Naples for her private apartments, now in the Louvre. When the painting was exhibited in Paris in 1819, critics attacked the figure for having "neither bones, nor muscles, nor blood, nor life." In this study, however, the artist concentrated on the weight and mass of the model's back, buttocks, and thigh, creating an almost sculptural sense of volume.