Study for La Grande Odalisque
This study relates to Ingres’s celebrated masterpiece La Grande Odalisque (Musée du Louvre, Paris). The painting was commissioned in 1813 by Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples and sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, and depicts a reclining nude in an exotic harem setting.
The drawing was owned by the Impressionist painter Edgar Degas and later by the collector Samuel Courtauld. Degas admired the precision of Ingres’s confident linear style that sets him apart from his contemporaries. Here the artist skilfully captures the S-shaped curve of the nude whose sensuality is underlined by the unnatural elongation of her spine. Details such as her head or right hand are barely sketched, while much attention is devoted to the shadows cast by her armpit, buttocks and feet.
See more collection highlights
Explore The Courtauld’s remarkable collection of paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture and decorative arts.Explore