(Montauban 1780 - Paris 1867)
The Gatteaux Family
Signed, dated and dedicated Ingres à Son / Excellent ami / Gatteaux 1850 in pencil at the lower right.
442 x 609 mm. (17 3/8 x 24 in.)
Ingres has here assembled three lithographs by Claude Marie François Dien after his own earlier portrait drawings of Nicolas-Marie Gatteaux (1751-1832), his wife Louise-Rosalie Gatteaux, née Anfrye, and their son Edouard Gatteaux. These engravings were carefully laid down by Ingres onto a much larger sheet, to which he added in pencil the standing figure of Paméla de Gardanne (Mme. Edouard Brame), the granddaughter of Nicolas-Marie Gatteaux, as well as drawing most of the lower half of the seated Edouard. Ingres also drew the interior setting, as well as the figure of Edouard’s cousin, Mme. Anfrye, in the background at the extreme left.
The three original portrait drawings by Ingres of M. and Mme. Gatteaux and Edouard Gatteaux - drawn in 1825, 1828 and 1834, respectively – belonged to Edouard Gatteaux and were destroyed in a fire in the Gatteaux home in 1871, during the fighting in Paris at the time of the Commune.
is interesting to note that, in this large composite drawing of The Gatteaux Family, Ingres was creating an imaginary family group. In 1850, when the drawing was made, Nicolas-Marie Gatteaux had been dead for eighteen years and Louise-Rosalie Gatteaux for three, while Edouard Gatteaux, seen here as a young men, was aged sixty-two. The two drawn portraits of Paméla de Gardanne and Mme. Anfrye, however, would seem to correspond to their proper ages at the time the drawing was made.
The present sheet has long been admired as one of Ingres’s most significant works on paper. Extensively published and widely exhibited since 1881, the drawing remained in the collection of the Gatteaux family and its descendants until 1931. As early as 1863 it was described by one writer as the finest drawing in the Gatteaux collection, ‘a marvelous work, the sight of which brings great pleasure.’ In 1932, this drawing was acquired by the bibliophile and collector Douglas H. Gordon, Jr. (1902-1986), in whose collection it remained for over fifty years.
A student of Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres won the Prix de Rome in 1801, although due to a lack of government funding he was unable to take up his scholarship at the Académie de France in Rome until 1806. Although his pension expired in 1810, he remained in Rome for a further ten years. The city was at this time ruled by the French, and Ingres received commissions for paintings to decorate both the Villa Aldobrandini, the official residence of the French Lieutenant-Governor of Rome, and Napoleon’s palace at Monte Cavallo. He also found patrons among the French officials in the city, whose portraits he painted, as well as members of the royal court in Naples, led by Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat and her husband Joachim, rulers of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. With the French withdrawal from Rome in March 1814 and the fall of Napoleon, however, Ingres found himself bereft of official commissions, and turned to making portrait drawings of French and foreign visitors to the city. These pencil portraits, drawn with minute detail as autonomous works of art, proved very popular and served to confirm Ingres’s reputation, allowing him to survive his difficult, penurious years in Rome.
In 1820 Ingres received a commission for a large canvas of The Vow of Louis XIII, intended for the cathedral of his native Montauban. Painted in Florence and sent to Paris to be exhibited at the Salon of 1824, it won Ingres considerable praise and established his reputation as a painter. He then spent a period of ten years in Paris, where he consolidated his reputation as a history painter and began receiving portrait commissions. This was followed in 1834 by an appointment as director of the Académie de France in Rome, Ingres remaining in the post until his final return to France in 1842. The last fifteen years of his career saw Ingres firmly established as an influential and highly respected figure in artistic circles, and one of the foremost artists in France. For many years an influential professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Ingres received the honour of a retrospective exhibition at the Exposition Universelle of 1855.
The husband of his niece, Edouard Brame, Paris, until 1888
His son, Paul Brame, Paris, until 1908
Mme. Paul Brame, Paris
Her son, Henri Brame, Paris
Galerie Hector Brame, Paris, by 1931
Galerie Paul Cassirer, Berlin, in 1931
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, in 1931
Purchased from them in 1932 by Dr. Douglas Huntly Gordon, Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland (Lugt 1130a)
Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 6 July 1987, lot 55
Masataka Tomita, by February 1988
Acquired from him by Jan Krugier and Marie-Anne Poniatowski, Geneva.