Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Quotes Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

The directly attributable quotes located in this section allow us to get deeper into the mind of the creative genius that was Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

Famous Quotes by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Anti-classic art, if it may even be called an art, is merely theart oftheidle.It isthe doctrine ofthosewho desireto produce without working, to know without learning.

As long as you do not hold a balance between your seeing of things and your execution, you will do nothing that is really good.

Better gray than garishness.

Draw for a long time before thinking of painting. When one builds a solid foundation, one sleeps peacefully.

Drawing includes three and a half quarters of the content of painting... Drawing contains everything, except the hue.

Drawing is the probity of art. To draw does not mean simply to reproduce contours; drawing does not consist merely of line: drawing is also expression, the inner form, the plane, modeling. See what remains after that.

Fine and delicate taste is the fruit of education and experience. All that we receive at birth is the faculty for creating such taste in ourselves and for cultivating it, just as we are born with a disposition for receiving the laws of society and for conforming to their usages. It is up to this point, and no further, that one may say that taste is natural.

If I could make musicians of you all, you would thereby profit as painters. Everything in nature is harmony; a little too much, or else too little, disturbs the scale and makes a false note. One must teach the point of singing true with the pencil or with brush quite as much as with the voice; rightness of forms is like rightness of sounds.

Is there anyone among the great men who has not imitated? Nothing is made with nothing.

It takes 25 years to learn to draw, one hour to learn to paint.

Let me hear no more of this absurd maxim: 'We need the new, we must follow our century, everything changes, everything is changed.' Sophistry - all of it! Does nature change, do light and air change, have the passions of the human heart changed since the time of Homer? 'We must follow our century': but if my century is wrong? Because my neighbor does evil, am I therefore obliged to do it also? Because you are ignorant of virtue as well as beauty, I must be ignorant in turn, I must imitate you!

Make copies, young man, many copies. You can only become a good artist by copying the masters.

Muscles I know; they are my friends. But I have forgotten their names.

One must keep right on drawing; draw with your eyes when you cannot draw with a pencil.

Raphael was not only the greatest of painters: he was beauty, he was good, he was everything!

The chief consideration for a good painter is to think out the whole of his picture, to have it in his head as a whole... so that he may then execute it with warmth and as if the entire thing were done at the same time.

The exhibition has now become no more than a bazaar where mediocrity spreads itself out with impudence. The exhibitions are useless and dangerous... they ought to be abolished.

There are not two arts, there is only one: that which has as its foundation the beautiful, which is eternal and natural. Those who seek elsewhere deceive themselves, and in the most fatal manner.

[on Titian]... There is true color, there is nature without exaggeration, without forced brilliance! He is exact.

The way good inventions are made is to familiarize yourself with those of others. The men who cultivate letters and the arts are all sons of Homer.

To really succeed in a portrait, first of all one has to be imbued with the face one wants to paint, to reflect on it for a long time, attentively, from all sides, and even to devote the first sitting to this.

What do these so-called artists mean when they preach the discovery of the'new'? Is there anything new? Everything has been done, everything has been discovered.

You have to observe flowers in order to find the right tones for the folds of clothes.

Quotes by Art Historians and Fellow Artists about Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Great works of art, catching in a miracle of talent features, poses, costumes, atmosphere and character, the people are real. They breathe and exist solidly on earth.

Art historian Stephen Longstreet, describing Ingres' drawings

His drawings are distinguished by their careful containment of form, perfect lines, and subtle shadings. I've never seen anyone who could do outlines as well as he could. I think the word talent comes into play here. His contour lines are extraordinary. Despite the fact that so many people could draw well then, his works were livelier and much more delightful to look at—spontaneous and fresh. For Ingres, drawing was contour, with very simplified color and very simplified form. ...We talk in classes a lot about the 'lost and found line,' the 'lost and found edge' and the 'open form' versus the 'closed form'. Botticelli and Ingres are thought of as 'closed-form' artists, they enclosed everything in line; whereas Delacroix and Rembrandt are examples of 'open form' — their drawings explode over the edge of the contours. You can't even find the line in some of their drawings. With Ingres, though, it’s really all about the containment of form with lost and found line.

Phillip Wade, painting instructor at the Austin Museum of Art, Texas

Ingres was a miraculous technician. He was one of the most remarkably assured draftsmen who ever lived. When he put a line on, he did it with such certainty. How did he draw with such authority? It’s one of the things you can’t teach about Ingres, but you can be aware of. We are sometimes not aware that the people who are great are the people who are willing to spend more painstaking time on a piece. Whereas someone less great would knock it out and be satisfied and stop, a person like Dürer or Raphael or Ingres would actually bring more humility to the task... He was excellent at gesture, but contour held that musicality for him. If you have light coming from the side, it emphasizes the sculptural effect. But front lighting emphasizes the edges, the arabesque line that Raphael, who was Ingres' god, involved himself so much with. Raphael did a lot with the curves of the form, the edges of the form. Raphael, Ingres, and others knew when to interrupt the line, to allow the light to come in, so the line is not continuous. They let it be broken to show the saturation of the form in light, or be bolder on the other side to show the form is turned away from the light. Of course he was always emphasizing or deemphasizing the appearance of line. He sometimes used a minimal line and drew little niches to give the illusion that the form was rich. He did brilliant lines. He often challenged his own brilliance to keep his drawing alive.

Frank Wright, painter and professor of art at The George Washington University

Ingres draws with a more subtle and various line than any of his contemporaries. Shading is sometimes done with fine hatching; sometimes by smoothing with a stump, and there is an occasional discreet touch of wash. But these types of modeling are kept to a minimum. Line is supreme. With a graphite line that is constantly and finely adjusted—now narrow, now thick, pressing firmly or more swiftly—he defines contours with a remarkable range of modulations. Form is described above all by such calibrations of contour as well as by direction of a line.

Agnes Mongan, Director at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The stages were: studying from life, wrenching truth from experience, squaring, enlarging, transporting onto canvas, going back, if necessary to the model for this or that detail. Asking the Count de Pastoret for his gloves or going back to Madame Moitessier's left arm, drawing it life-size so as to transpose it directly onto canvas, going back to it again and again. This is when Ingres got bogged down. It was an over-elaborate—almost obsessive—proceeding, the aim of which was to get nearer to the truth of the matter... He always drew with a sharp point, sometimes even in a 'chisel-shaped point,' which enabled him to vary the thickness of the line and to shift from sharp to broad, as in music.

Avigdor Arikha