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    Sale 7743

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art Evening Sale

    7 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 55

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

    The Borghese Chapel in the Church of S. Maria Maggiore, Rome

    Price Realised  


    Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (Montauban 1780-1867 Paris)
    The Borghese Chapel in the Church of S. Maria Maggiore, Rome
    signed 'Ingres [...]'
    pencil, pen and brown ink, brown and grey wash, watercolour, heightened with white, on light brown paper
    6¾ x 5 3/8 in. (17.1 x 13.6 cm.)

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    Although considered lost, since 1934, this drawing is well known to Ingres specialists. Charles Marcotte had expressed his desire to have a pendant to the Sistine Chapel (now Washington, National Gallery of Art) which Ingres had painted for him in 1813. In a letter dated 15 January, 1823, Ingres had suggested as a subject, 'une seconde chapelle de Rome [...], celle des Borgheses dans la basilique de Ste Majeure à l'époque des 40 heures, c'est à dire éclairée, le soir, de mille feux, ou cierges.' He went on to mention 'un petit dessin qui figurait chez moi et que tous ont toujours loué et louent de nouveau'(Ternois, op. cit., 1999, p. 72). Ingres then sent this drawing from Florence to Marcotte in Paris in April 1824. Ingres' conception of a 'pendant' may appear unusual as the Borghese Chapel is upright and the Sistine Chapel horizontal. This may be one of the reasons he never completed the painting.

    The Borghese Chapel, also called the Paoline Chapel, was commissioned by Pope Paul V from Flaminio Ponzo who built it between 1605 and 1613, copying the Sistine Chapel. The Forty Hours' Devotion referred to by Ingres in his letter to Marcotte, also called Quarant' Ore or written in one word Quarantore, is a Roman Catholic exercise of devotion in which continuous prayers are made for forty hours before the exposed Blessed Sacrament.

    A preparatory study for the present drawing (12.4 x 11.8 cm.) executed only in pencil and annotated by the artist 'chapelle borghese. Ste marie majeure.' is in the Musée Ingres, Montauban (Vigne, op. cit., no. 1024). Although Ingres planned to execute the painting in 1824 and although the 1867 exhibition catalogue indicated that the present drawing was signed and dated 'Ingres 1824 chapelle Borghèse' (an inscription now partly obscured as it has been remounted) it must have been made much earlier, probably around 1808-09.

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    Charles Marcotte, and by descent to the present owner.


    C. Blanc, Ingres, sa vie et ses ouvrages, Paris, 1870, p. 244.
    D. Ternois, 'Ingres aquarelliste', La Revue des Arts, June 1955, no. 5, p. 104 n. 7.
    H. Naef, in Ingres in Rome, exhibition catalogue, Washington, National Gallery of Art, and other locations, 1971, p. 42 under no. 51.
    C. Eisler, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. European Schools excluding Italian, Oxford, 1977, pp. 368, 372 n. 20.
    P. Condon, 'J.A.D. Ingres: les dessins historiques', Bulletin du Musée Ingres, no. 67-8, 1995, no. 53.
    G. Vigne, Dessins d'Ingres. Catalogue raisonné des dessins du musée de Montauban, Paris, 1995, p. 185, under no. 1024.
    P. Condon, 'Les dessins historiques achevés de J.-A.-D. Ingres (deuxième partie)', Bulletin du Musée Ingres, no. 69, 1996, pp. 8, 23.
    D. Ternois, Lettres d'Ingres à Marcotte d'Argenteuil, Nogent-le-Roi, 1999, p. 30.
    D. Ternois, Lettres d'Ingres à Marcotte d'Argenteuil. Dictionnaire, Nogent-le-Roi, 2001, pp. 75, 77 n. 79, and fig. 29.


    Paris, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Ingres, 1867, no. 232 as 'chapelle Borghèse dans l'église de Ste Marie Majeure, le soir des prières des quarante heures'.
    Paris, Hôtel de la Chambre Syndicale de la Curiosité et des Beaux-Arts, Ingres, 1921, no. 160.
    Paris, Galerie Jacques Seligman, Exposition de portraits par Ingres et ses élèves, 1934, no. 546.