Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780–1867): The Death of

4/5/2021, 6:39:11 PM
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780–1867): The Death of Leonardo da Vinci, 1818, Oil on canvas, 40 x 50,5 cm, Musée du Petit Palais, Paris 'The Death of Leonardo da Vinci' by Ingres shows the great master dying, with Francis I of France holding his head. It was commissioned by the Pierre Louis Jean Casimir de Blacas, ambassador of Louis XVIII and an influential figure during the Restoration. The work has a troubadour feel and was freely inspired by French history seen from the angle of an edifying anecdote. We know that Leonardo, who had come to France at the invitation of Francis I, died in Amboise in 1519. The undoubtedly fictitious story of his death in the presence of the king comes from The Lives by Vasari, which appeared in 1550. Ingres used various famous paintings exhibited at the Louvre Museum as models to represent the characters in the scene. The use of iconographic citation can be clearly seen in the face of Francis I, transposed from the portrait painted by Titian in 1538. The figure of the dying Leonardo is a typically “Ingresque” creation on the other hand, with the expressive contortion of the neck and subtle colour scheme. In the style of Romantic theatre, in one scene Ingres combined the sublime emotion inspired by the death of the hero with a diversion provided by more anecdotal characters, who restore the picturesque quality of en era.

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