Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: La Grande Odalisque (1814)

(Louvre, Paris, France)


A famous painting by the French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867). The scene depicted here is a so-called 'odalisque'. Historically an odalisque was a female chambermaid (usually they were slaves) in the women's quarters of an Ottoman household, called a seraglio. In the 19th century romantic art odalisque-scene's are usually reclining women in a sometimes Oriental setting. Noteworthy is that the depicted woman is not anatomical correct (her vertebral column is 5 vertebra to long, her head is to small and her left arm is shorter than the right). The painting itself was commissioned by Napoleon's sister, Queen Caroline Murat of Naples. Painting from 1814.

Comments