la grande odalisque by ingres
instead of noticing the distorted proportions of her figure as so many others have, what i notice are the sensual fabrics, the texture and colors, the fur she's lying on, the silk curtains, the peacock feather fan and hookah, the pattern and passementerie of her turban, and the jewel in her hair.
i love the original, but i also appreciate how contemporary artists have interpreted this exotic beauty, like the brilliant
photographer rodney smith.
going back in time to the unfinished painting of madame recamier (more on her later) by jacques-louis david, we see what may have inspired ingres to paint his odalisque.
portrait of madame récamier by jacques-louis david
the reason this painting went unfinished is because david learned she had commissioned one of his pupils – gerard – to also paint her.
madame récamier by francois gerard
what especially draws me to these two paintings is the furniture. this type of sofa or day bed or whatever you want to call it is one she liked to recline on, and was ultimately named after her, hence the recamier we know today.
another ingres i love…
the valpinçon bather
and daniel gastaud's homage combining feathers (yes these are feathers. click on the link.) and a photograph on plexiglass.
what i find so interesting is how different artists interpret the same subject. don't you?