artwork similar to grand odalisque by xname delacroix
The painting includes several typical devices used by Ingres. Notice, for example, the lack of illusionary depth in the picture which focuses attention on the figure. She herself is, as usual, created with long, sinuous lines, while her skin is bathed in a diffused soft light, with none of the exaggerated chiaroscuro championed by Caravaggio (1573-1610) and his supporters. And as usual, the artist demonstrates his exceptional skill in rendering the different fabrics and surfaces, as well as the fine details of the turban, fan and curtains.
Death of Marat (1793) by Jacques-Louis David.
Are you curious about famous painters whose works shaped art history?
Ingres was one of the most famous painters in France during the first half of the 19th century. His father, a musician, sculptor and painter, permitted 16 year old Ingres to move to Paris and apprentice with Jacques-Louis David, the founder of Neoclassicism.
Some art historians have suggested that colonial politics also played a role. France was at this time expanding its African and Near Eastern possessions, often brutally. Might the myth of the barbarian have served the French who could then claim a moral imperative? By the way, has anyone noticed anything “wrong” with the figure’s anatomy?
Here a languid nude is set in a sumptuous interior. At first glance this nude seems to follow in the tradition of the Great Venetian masters, see for instance, Titian’s Venus of Urbino of 1538 (left). But upon closer examination, it becomes clear that this is no classical setting. Instead, Ingres has created a cool aloof eroticism accentuated by its exotic context. The peacock fan, the turban, the enormous pearls, the hookah (a pipe for hashish or perhaps opium), and of course, the title of the painting, all refer us to the French conception of the Orient. Careful—the word “Orient” does not refer here to the Far East so much as the Near East or even North Africa.
1920s Odalisque with Red Pants by Henri Matisse
In painting, Ingres was somewhat influenced by what he had read. Although his reading list was slightly limited (Homer, Virgil, Dante), a female writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu prompted his fascination with Odalisques. Lady Montagu is today remembered for her letters from Turkey which are described as ‘the very first example of a secular work by a woman about the Muslim Orient‘.
Grande Odalisque attracted wide criticism when it was first shown. It is renowned for the elongated proportions and lack of anatomical realism. The work is owned by the Louvre Museum, Paris which purchased the work in 1899.
Ingres portrays a concubine in languid pose as seen from behind with distorted proportions. The small head, elongated limbs, and cool color scheme all reveal influences from Mannerists such as Parmigianino,  whose Madonna with the Long Neck was also famous for anatomical distortion.