Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was born on Aug 28th, 1780. He became one of Jacques-Louis David’s most famous and successful students. During Ingres period working with David, and eventually turning away from him, he became a part of the Neo-Classicism motion; leaving behind, but not forgetting the Romanticism methods. Neo-Classicism is definitely the 18th century restoration of tradition rules which lead Ingres to become one of the most popular draftsmen. Ingres was a very precise and talented person of his time and was most famous to get his portraits; especially his portraits of female nudes.


In the year 1814, Ingres made one of his most famed masterpieces, La Grande Odalisque. It was created in Paris and still is still there in the museum named The Musee du Loure. The piece of art is well-known for its subject matter of illusion and desire; she was obviously a passive, strange and a mystery being towards the Western world, which in turn made her audience really miss answers.

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During Ingres lifestyle he made many items of work.

In his well ahead years, Ingres ongoing to color and shock his faultfinders. He ultimately ended up on top, being considered as “one of the greatest living artists in France during that time. (Rifkin 15) He left behind a large number of fans although no apprentices to carry on the Neoclassicism historical past. Ingres painted many historic, mythological, and religious themes; however , he is probably looked upon for his portraits and feminine nudes. Ingres’s style features skilful formations, along with smoothly decorated surfaces, and intensely thorough drawings. “In 1814, he made one of his many well-known masterpieces, Grande Odalisque. It can be 91 cm in height and 162 centimeter in length (35. 8 × 63. almost 8 in).  (Peirce 50) It is an petrol painting on canvas, using a subject of make-believe and sexuality. The painting was commissioned by Queen Caroline Murat of Naples, Napoleon’s sister. It was painted in the Neoclassicism movements in Rome, along numerous of his other works.

This one especially is of a nude girl, who transpires to be an odalisque. “An odalisque was a female servant in an Ottoman seraglio, especially the Imperial Harem of the sultan.  (Peirce 54) La Grande Odalisque was formed by simply Ingres using some of David’s ideas and creating a female nude, within a bizarre and unfamiliar approach. To the Western world she was nothing like that they had ever viewed before, which in turn caused misunderstandings but a desire to would like to know everything about her; “In the mind of an early nineteenth century French male viewers, the sort of person pertaining to whom this image was performed, the odalisque would have created not just a harem slave, itself a false impression, but a set forth concerns and needs.  (Shelton 75) This is mainly because from the way in which The european countries considered Islamic Asia; they will viewed the people there because unique, barren and reckless. To experts she was located in a make-believe world, much just like how American culture viewed the Eastern side worldwide; fantasized.

At that time it was ignominious for its physical wrongness; in specific, “the nude woman was considered to have three lumbar vertebrae too many. (Shelton 78) It was an impression stressed by simply art experts, but was under no circumstances challenged or proven. When it had finally been studied, they found something from the regular, “we measured the length of the back associated with the pelvis in human being models, indicated the mean values with regards to head level, and moved them to the painting.  (Peirce 81) The pourriture was located to be more than what had been presumed originally; “La Grande Odalisque experienced five, instead of three, further more lumbar vertebrae(Peirce 81). Basically, she is structurally impossible; her pose is definitely one that would be impossible to mimic. Seeing that Ingres mixed rationality and realism in his artwork some authorities believe the deformation might possibly exist deliberately and are a symbol of an psychological motive.

The way in which the woman’s mind is placed and just how it the length it is far from her pelvis suggests, “the artist could have been marking the gulf between her thoughts and her social role (Shelton 79) The face of the woman is definitely where the observer’s eyes are attracted. Her appearance is secluded, care-free and mysterious; supplying her a secret stuffed feel about her. Her function as a harem is not to think of feeling; she is generally there only for the goal of pleasure. “This theme is consistent with the role of women in the nineteenth-century thoughts about female male or female roles ” “public girls,  we. e., prostitutes, fulfilled a vitally important interpersonal role as repositories of male sexual desire.  (Siegfried, Rifkin, Willey 34) Her gaze brings viewers in to her unknown world; records and traps. The main reason on her existence should be to wait upon a man, although not just any kind of man; her husband.

With knowing that her husband is a only guy to ever see her with this state, the viewer is definitely pulled in and knowing they are going to never be able to experience her, “she was part of the sultan harem, your woman was there to satisfy the carnal delights of the sultan, despise what she might feel or perhaps want. The lady reflects a womans profound thoughts, complex emotions and feelings. (Peirce 48) Her gaze tortures the audience into searching and makes hard to appearance away. This piece is included with sensuality, puzzle and romanticism. The woman is surrounded by a dark history; black with many different shades of blue. Her and her body are actually the only aspect of the painting holding any kind of light colors.

With this, she be noticeable to the viewer; making her more striking than ever. In spite of her imperfections she is blessed with faultless skin, shoulder muscles, legs, biceps and triceps and hands. The items local her, the peacock supporter, the turban, and the pearls suggest a new place; a great exotic place. At her feet lies a shisha, which may come to the visitors as a surprise; it’s designed for tobacco but instead opium. The harem will come off to observers while irrational, unaggressive and drugged, which makes more desire to know what she actually is about. Luxury? offering this, or luxury? just large? That is a issue that will never be solved, a question that will bring the viewers’ attention.

La Grande Odalisque is what Western society believes a harem would appear like. She is of the unknown in a way it becomes familiar. Since this is what the American part of the universe imagines and fantasizes about Islamic Asia, it makes them believe they are really superior to exactly what is in front of them. Ingres conveyed his subject of wants and desires by painting La Grande Odalisque, and having the Western portion of the world notice it; you desire what you aren’t have. That is one way in looking at it, another is usually: “Some art historians have suggested that colonial politics also played a role.  (Shelton 81) Either way, Ingres combined the fact that was happening towards the world about him, two places therefore unfamiliar colliding together, using what the , the burkha wanted to discover; what is in fact happening is actually a completely different story than what one wants to believe is happening.

La Grande Odalisque is recognized for the subject of desire for the unknown; her gaze, her pose, as well as the inferior, however exotic, products surrounding her are the actual her thus incredible about what people consider the norm. This lady has deficiencies nevertheless her overall look is perfect; she actually is nothing like her observers, that makes her extra wanted; it’s a conflict between La Enorme Odalisque and the viewer. Culture, even today, can be scared of the unfamiliar. Put into effect situations, occasions and even the tiny parts in life that we happen to be unsure of and turn that into something which can be confronted, even if it’s not reality; it’s what human beings do to feel safe from what we consider the abnormal. The actual this art work so one of a kind is that people critique the way viewers find her, rather than the way the girl sees us; she is a great unacquainted around, as we happen to be with her.

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