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Albert Boime

(b Senlis, Dec 21, 1815; d Villiers-le-Bel, March 3, 1879).

French painter and teacher. A student of Antoine-Jean Gros in 1830–38 and Paul Delaroche in 1838–9, he demonstrated precocious ability in drawing and was expected to win the Prix de Rome. He tried at least six times between 1834 and 1839, but achieved only second prize in 1837 (entry untraced). Disgusted with the politics of the academic system, Couture withdrew and took an independent path. He later attacked the stultified curriculum of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and discouraged his own students from entering this institution. He first attained public notoriety at the Paris Salon with Young Venetians after an Orgy (1840; Montrouge, priv. col., see Boime, p. 85), the Prodigal Son (1841; Le Havre, Mus. B.-A.) and the Love of Gold (1844; Toulouse, Mus. Augustins). These early canvases are treated in a moralizing and anecdotal mode; the forms and compositional structures, like the debauched and corrupt protagonists, are sluggish and dull. Yet what made his work seem fresh to the Salon audience was his use of bright colour and surface texture derived from such painters as Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps and Eugène Delacroix, while his literary bent and methodical drawing demonstrated his mastery of academic tradition. The critics Théophile Gautier and Paul Mantz (...

Article

Patricia Condon

(b Montauban, Aug 29, 1780; d Paris, Jan 14, 1867).

French painter. He was the last grand champion of the French classical tradition of history painting. He was traditionally presented as the opposing force to Delacroix in the early 19th-century confrontation of Neo-classicism and Romanticism, but subsequent assessment has shown the degree to which Ingres, like Neo-classicism, is a manifestation of the Romantic spirit permeating the age. 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. For this reason, all works cited in this article are identified by catalogue raisonné number: Wildenstein (w) for paintings; Naef (n) for portrait drawings; and Delaborde (d) for history drawings.

His father, Jean-Marie-Joseph Ingres (1755–1814), a decorative painter and sculptor as well as an amateur musician, taught him the basics of drawing and also the violin. 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, Rubens, Watteau and Boucher; none of these copies survives. The earliest known drawings, some signed ...