Sexy Beast

 

 

 

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres ( maybe)

This is an oil I found in in a brocante - a flea market in Toulouse, in southwest France. The man who sold it to me said, with great conviction,  that it was “Apres Ingres,” meaning attributed to, or “after” the great painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. I laughed. “Yes, well after, I'm sure,” I said, then managed to beat the price down to 450 euros.  Expensive enough for a picture with a tear in it. 

But now I think it may well be from the school of Ingres –– who, by the way, was born in Montauban,  a town just fifteen minutes from my chateau in France and where a museum is dedicated to him.  

Ingres was fascinated with the Orient –  as were many French in the 1800’s –  the exotic world of the Near East and the Turkish harem.

The Turkish Bath -women in a harem - 1862

The Turkish Bath -women in a harem - 1862

A relative of Napoleon 111 bought this (above), but his wife deemed it unsuitable and had it removed immediately.

"Odalisque" is from the Turkish odalik and means a woman who served in the harem of the Sultan. 

Ingres: Odalisque with a Slave - 1839

Ingres: Odalisque with a Slave - 1839

Below, one of Ingres most famous paintings: La Grande Odalisque.  Note that she radiates disinterest - either that, or she's a clever concubine.

La Grande Odalisque- 1814 - Louvre

La Grande Odalisque- 1814 - Louvre

Later, Matisse,  traveling to Morocco, was also influenced by the eroticism of the harems.

Odalisque with red trousers1921                                  Paris. Centre George Pompidou

Odalisque with red trousers1921                                  Paris. Centre George Pompidou