The bather of Valpinçon – Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – 1808

The bather of Valpinçon - Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - 1808

The bather of Valpinçon - Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - 1808

Ingres, despite having a ridiculous amount of dashes in his name, was the favourite disciple of Jacques-Louis David, the official painter of the French revolution. Like him, Ingres considers himself a conservative, a dogmatic against the innovative romantic style that won many followers at that time.
After winning the Prix de Rome (Prize of Rome), Ingres moves to Italy, as was usual for the winners of that title. The bather of Valpinçon was his first work completed there. The painting shows a woman that has just finished taking a bath.
This work is, in a way, experimental, for the serious and formal Ingres as he usually paints people up front; but in here, she is with her back to us, making impossible to identify her. In the lower area of the composition, we see some kind of faucet and we notice part of the bathtub. It is curious that a bed is right next to it, but I guess that that may be a custom in that time. In any case, I am convinced that we see an upper class woman: her skin is extremely uniform and soft, flawless; and the smooth light just makes her more beautiful.
Some people think of a symbolic interpretation of this painting because the sheets, the bed, and the woman’ skin are immaculately white; and the curtains that gives the bathtub privacy, in the left corner of the work, has all dark tones. The act of bathing suggest not only the cleansing of the body, but of the soul. This symbol is inherited of the christian concept of baptism, where the believer is put under the water in order to be washed from sins and to be reborn as a new individual.
Or as well it can be an over-symbolization and there is just a woman, a bed and a curtain. 

~ by Álvaro Mazzino on July 6, 2010.

8 Responses to “The bather of Valpinçon – Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – 1808”

  1. Just thought I’d pop in and add that Ingres didn’t really add any kind of narrative to the bather. She’s more of a motif – kind of emblematic of femininity and whatnot(bathing, undressing, etc). Since she’s completely non-narrative (unlike David’s heroic male nudes), the objects around the room speak for her. Especially that fold of fabric just under her rear, that seems to mimic its shape 😛

  2. You have made some good points there. I checked on the web for more information about the issue
    and found most people will go along with your
    views on this website.

  3. Appreciate a great writeup.. No Hands SEO Report This task once were the activity accounts this. Glimpse complicated to be able to extra provided acceptable from you! Having said that, exactly how should we keep up a correspondence?

  4. gscraper

    The bather of Valpinçon – Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – 1808 | ::: silver and exact :::

  5. […] The bather of Valpinçon – Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres – 1808 […]

  6. Could she be waiting for the tube to be filled from the faucet BEFORE taking a bath?

Leave a Reply to Jean Van Loan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Gravatar Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: