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Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

the Turkish bath


To recycle  our own ideas

naked and  those generous hips , it's not the first

time that Ingres  painted them. More than 50 years ago,

          so  that he was a young boarder at the Academy

          mie from France to Rome, he  already staged

          this  woman, alone, in a pose almost

          identical,  in a work titled

          Bather Valpinçon .  And 20 years later,  

          freshly decorated with the Legion of Honor and

          elected to the Academy of Fine Arts , he represented it   

          felt again on a  cloth  smaller

          format, called the Little Bather - Interior

          of harem , where she appeared in company

          other women in the vapors of ham-mam. From the chaste solitary bather of her debut to the lute player surrounded by languorous slaves of her old age, Ingres summoned this woman several times without ever repeating herself.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was already 82 years old when he finished this work  depicting the interior of an oriental harem. No less than twenty women

naked, languid in lascivious poses

provocative, expose themselves shamelessly

in the eyes of the viewer. The table, whose

sensuality will fascinate as much as it will shock

the  contemporaries of the painter, will finally be

acquired by former Turkish diplomat Khalil Bey,

great collector of erotic paintings.

Among all these women, a carnivorous body

slightly more matte than the others,

stand out in the foreground. Wearing a turban, the oda-

lisque plays the lute with his back to us. She is the only one whose face is concealed from us, and yet it is towards her that our gaze is directed. But this back 

The Valpinçon Bather , 1808

What we can take away:

When an idea is good, it deserves to have several lives. Even when we seek to renew ourselves or innovate, it is sometimes useful to remember our past projects. Because once materialized, these ideas remain available to be taken up, diverted, transformed, transposed, deepened or extended... even years later.

Related theme: Creativity
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