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Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique
Studies of Legs / Etude de jambs Studies of Legs / Etude de jambs
unknown date unknown date

In accord with contemporary academic practice, Ingres devoted much of his attention to copying from his father’s collection of prints after such masters as Raphael, Titian, Correggio, and Rubens. He began with quick pen-and-ink sketches of a general idea and then explored all possible artistic prototypes for a specific composition. The current drawing shows the artist trying to depict the body in movement by focusing on the lower half of a male’s body. At the centre of the drawing, Ingres depicts the figure’s right leg stretched out, while the left one curls around the backside of the other one near the kneecap. This exact motion is mirrored near the bottom right side of the image, while studies of each feet can be seen on either side of the central sketch. The chronology of Ingres’s work is complicated by his obsessive perfectionism, which resulted in multiple versions of a subject and revisions of the original. As Ingres once said, “if my works have a value and are deserving, it is because…I have taken them up twenty times over again, I have purified them with an extreme of research and sincerity.”

Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique
Montauban, France 1780–Paris, France 1867 Montauban, France 1780–Paris, France 1867
Studies of Legs / Etude de jambs Studies of Legs / Etude de jambs
unknown date unknown date
Graphite and stumping on paper Graphite and stumping on paper
21.7 x 17.1 cm
Bequest of David McTavish, 2019 Bequest of David McTavish, 2019
62-023.06

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