Masterpieces from the World’s
Museums in the Hermitage. Portrait of Francois Marius Granet by Ingres from Granet
Museum in Aix-en-Provence
14 November 2008,
the State Hermitage opened a one-painting exhibition “Portrait of Granet
by Ingres from Granet Museum in Aix-en-Provence”, continuing the traditional
series “The Masterpieces of the World Museums in the Hermitage”.
Ingres and Granet studied under Jacques-Louis David and for some
time both of them shared their master’s doctrine of neoclassicism.
Granet stayed in David’s studio only for several months. After that,
he began to work on his own in France and mainly in Italy where he moved
in 1802. Ingres studied under David during the period from 1797 till 1801.
In 1801, he won the Grand Prix de Rome for his “Ambassadors of Agamemnon
in the Tent of Achilles” (School of Fine Arts in Paris). That gave
him the opportunity to take the scholarship and move to Italy for four years.
In Italy Ingres developed his own conception of neoclassicism
that suggested more flexible artistic form and more emotional content
of the images.
Portrait of Granet (1775-1849), painted in 1807 in Rome, belongs to the best
and most soulful works by Ingres of 1800s.
After finishing the portrait, Ingres presented it to Granet who kept
it for the rest of his life. After Granet’s death the portrait was donated
to the local museum in the native town of Granet Aix-en-Provence. Later
the museum was named after Granet. The friendship between the painters
faced the ordeal and withstood periods of quarrels and misunderstanding.
In 1830 Granet wrote to his friend about their stay in Italy together
in 1800s: “those days were the happiest in our life”. The joyous time
in the life of the two painters is reflected in “Portrait of Granet” by Ingres.
The exhibition supervisor is Alexander Babin, a leading research officer
of the Department of West European Art of the State Hermitage and a Candidate
of Science in Art Critisim.
Georgy Vilinbakhov, Deputy Director of the State Hermitage
Georgy Vilinbakhov, Deputy Director of the State Hermitage, and Sergey
Androsov, Head of the Department of West European Art of the State Hermitage,
at the opening ceremony
At the exhibition