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    Sale 7743

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art Evening Sale

    7 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 54

    Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (Montauban 1780-1867 Paris)

    Portrait of Joseph Marcotte

    Price Realised  

    Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (Montauban 1780-1867 Paris)
    Portrait of Joseph Marcotte
    signed and dated 'J. Ingres Del. 1849', inscribed 'Portrait de Joseph Marcotte. né le 18 juin 1831' and further inscribed 'à Madame Louise Marcotte. au poncelet'
    pencil on paper, wrapped around its original cardboard support
    12¾ x 9½ in. (32.5 x 24.3 cm.)


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    Ingres executed this portrait of Joseph (1831-1893), the only son of Charles and Louise Marcotte to whom this drawing is dedicated while recuperating at his friends' country house in Chauconin, called Le Poncelet, a few weeks after the death of his first wife in 1849.
    In this study which, according to H. Naef (op. cit., 1958, p. 342), 'ranks among the most beautiful works of Ingres' late period', Joseph, aged eighteen, is represented as a sportsman with rifle and dog, a rare theme in Ingres' oeuvre. The sitter's love of shooting is documented by a letter written by the painter Brascassat to Charles Marcotte: 'Joseph sans doute après le plaisir de la campagne et de la chasse voudra bien essayer de manier le crayon et je crois qu'il le maniera aussi bien que le fusil' (Ternois, op. cit., 1999, p. 25).

    At the age of 32, Joseph married Paule Aguillon who bore him four children. Joseph seems to have lived a quiet life, relying on his considerable inherited wealth, as the announcement of his death makes no mention of any professional or business activity.

    This drawing also provides a rare insight into Ingres' working method. It is still wrapped around its original cardboard. Ingres generally used prepared tablets for his portraits, purchased from an art supply house, much as an artist today might use pre-stretched canvas of a standard size. It conferred to the paper a smooth and resilient surface, allowing a livelier response to the draughtsman's touch. Such a structure also gave the drawing far more presence as a complete and substantial work of art than ever could have been obtained from one on a loose sheet.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Madame Charles Marcotte.
    Joseph Marcotte, and by descent to the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    DRAWINGS BY INGRES AND CALAMATTA FROM THE COLLECTION OF CHARLES MARCOTTE
    Lots 54-56 and Day Sale, 8 July, lots 130-131

    The recently published Lettres d'Ingres à Marcotte d'Argenteuil show the depth of the friendship between the artist and his first patron. The two had met in 1810 in Rome while Ingres was pensionnaire at the Villa Medici, the seat of the Académie de France, and Charles Marcotte (1773-1864), a civil servant, was Napoleon's inspecteur des forêts in Italy. Marcotte commissioned some of Ingres's most famous paintings, including the Odalisque with a slave (Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum), and the Sistine Chapel (Washington, National Gallery of Art), for which Ingres planned to paint a pendant based on a drawing included in the present sale (lot 55) representing the Borghese Chapel in the Church of S. Maria Maggiore which he sent by post to Marcotte in 1824.

    Yet the best evidence of the friendship between Ingres and Marcotte may lie in the drawn portraits, around 20 in total, that Ingres made of his patron and his family. In 1828, at the age of 53, Marcotte married his niece Louise-Marie-Philippine Becquet de Layens (1798-1862). They had three children, Marie born in 1828, Joseph in 1831 and Louise in 1833. In a letter dated 1836 Ingres promised to draw the portraits of the children and to present them to Madame Marcotte. Two of the portraits he promised, executed a few years after the letter was written, are included in the present sale. Joseph, the Marcotte's only son, was drawn in 1849 (lot 54). Three years earlier, a few months before their marriage, Ingres had drawn the portraits of Marie and of her fiancé, Alexandre Legentil (lot 56). An earlier portrait of Marie, aged nine, and drawn by Ingres' collaborator, Luigi Calamatta, is included in the Day Sale (lot 130).


    Literature

    E. Galichon, 'Dessins de M. Ingres', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1 July 1861, p. 47.
    C. Blanc, Ingres, Paris, 1870, p. 238.
    H. Delaborde, Ingres, Paris, 1870, no. 370.
    H. Lapauze, Les dessins de J.-A.-D. Ingres du Musée de Montauban, Paris, 1901, p. 249.
    H. Lapauze, Les portraits dessinés de J.-A.-D. Ingres, Paris, 1903, no. 68, illustrated.
    A. Alexandre, Jean-Dominique Ingres, Master of Pure Draughtsmanship, London, 1905, pl. 24.
    L. Hourticq, Ingres, Paris, 1928, pl. 88.
    M. Dauwen Zabel, 'The Portrait Methods of Ingres', Art and Archaeology, October 1929, p. 111.
    W. George, 'Portraits par Ingres et ses élèves', La Renaissance de l'art francais, Paris, October/November 1934, illustrated p. 197.
    H. Naef, 'Ingres' Portraits of the Marcotte Family', The Art Bulletin, December 1958, pp. 336-45, fig. 17.
    H. Naef, Die Bildniszeichnungen von J.-A.-D. Ingres, Bern, 1977-80, II, p. 525, fig. 17; and V, p. 306, no. 411, illustrated.
    D. Ternois, Lettres d'Ingres à Marcotte d'Argenteuil, Nogent-le-Roi, 1999, pp. 24-5.
    D. Ternois, Lettres d'Ingres à Marcotte d'Argenteuil. Dictionnaire, Nogent-le-Roi, 2001, pp. 184, 185 note 35, fig. 20.


    Exhibited

    Paris, Salon des Arts Unis, Dessins d'Ingres tirés de collections d'amateurs, 1861.
    Paris, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Ingres, 1867, no. 378.
    Paris, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Dessins de l'école moderne, 1884, no. 390.
    Paris, Galerie Jacques Seligman, Portraits par Ingres et ses élèves, 1934, no. 39.
    Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, Le Second Empire, 1957, no. 171.