The Princesse de Broglie Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This portrait of Princess Albert de Broglie was completed by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres over the period of 1851–53. For any commission to spread over several years, it is likely that he produced many study drawings and lower detail oil paintings in order to prepare for the final piece.

One of Ingres' best skills within his portraiture work was an ability to pervay the real personality of each model. This required both subtlety with the brush but also an understanding of the person themselves before commencing the piece. For example, you will see the brilliance with which he captured the self-confidence and warmth of his friend, Monsieur Bertin, in an equally significant portrait painting. Whilst that is claimed to be his finest portrait of a male, this portrait of Princess Albert de Broglie is also very impressive. The composition found here is fairly similar, a neutral background with the model accompanied only be a small chair in the foreground.

Ingres was both a portrait painter and also a history painter of great note. At different times in his career he would bias more toward one or the other, depending on which was more highly regarded at the time as well as which brought in more money. History paintings would often lead this battle, but also often involved larger, more complex compositions that would eat up more of his time and resources. Commissioned portraits, however, were easier to organise and could be worked on over time from his studio once the initial sittings and study work had been completed. Ingres was famous for the beautiful detail and also the accuracy of the clothing on his models, and in this painting the princess' outfit is truly stunning. He would perhaps spend less time concerning himself with the body frame of his model, though.

Ingres' Princess Albert de Broglie can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. This extraordinary venue holds one of the finest collections of western art in the world and its collection goes way beyond just the Ingres paintings that can be seen on display here. Related artists that can be found here include Nicolas Poussin, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn and El Greco. With regards Ingres, they also own a portrait by him of Joseph-Antoine Moltedo, one of Madame Jacques-Louis Leblanc plus also Jacques-Louis Leblanc. It is likely that, considering the close connections of some of these pieces, that they would have been gifted together as one to the institution through a generous bequeth.