what italian influences can be seen in ingres’ “grande odalisque”
Ingres repeated the Oriental setting in his harem picture, The Turkish Bath (1862, Louvre), which contained far more nudity than Manet’s Olympia (1863, Musee d’Orsay) of the following year, but which – unlike Manet’s painfully real composition – was deemed to be perfectly acceptable owing to its fantasy setting.
La Grande Odalisque is a more explicit nude than the restrained Valpincon Bather, so Ingres transposes it to an orientalist setting, and significantly elongates the figure’s torso, in order to demonstrate that this is a fantasy woman in a fantasy picture, not a real nude woman. (Note: Research shows that the figure was drawn with curvature of the spine, a distorted pelvis, five extra lumbar vertebrae, and one arm – the left – shorter than the other. This was done not because Ingres was ignorant of anatomy, but purely for stylistic effect.) In 1819, however, the year that the Odalisque was submitted to the Paris Salon, neither the French Academy nor the critics understood Ingres’s style. As a result they criticized him for distorting anatomical reality.
La Grande Odalisque was appropriated by the feminist art group Guerrilla Girls for their first color poster and most iconic image. The 1989 Metropolitan Museum poster gave Ingres’s odalisque a gorilla mask and posed the question “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?”. The poster used data from the group’s first “weenie count” and drew attention to the overwhelming number of female nudes counted in the Modern Art sections of The Met. The poster was rejected by the Public Art Fund in New York and was run in advertising space on New York City buses until the bus company cancelled the lease arguing that the image was “too suggestive and that the figure appeared to have more than a fan in her hand.”  
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.
Grande Odalisque attracted extensive criticism when it was first exhibited. It became renowned for the elongated proportions and departure from the restrictions of anatomical realism. This work signified Ingres’ break from Neoclassicism and shifted towards exotic Romanticism. Ingres favored long lines to convey curvature and sensuality and the very skillful use of light and shadow to sculpture proportions.
“Grande Odalisque” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres depicts an odalisque. An odalisque was a chambermaid in the sequestered living quarters used by wives and concubines in the Ottoman sultan’s household.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, La Grande Odalisque, 1814, oil on canvas, 91 x 162 cm (Louvre, Paris)
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, The Valpinçon Bather, 1808. oil on canvas, 57 x 38.4 cm (Louvre, Paris)
La Grande Odalisque,
Department of Paintings: French painting