Harry’s advent calendar of paintings, day 6: Ingres

Ah, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, what a lot of names he had. And what a fabulous painter he was. Not in a style which is particularly fashionable these days; Neoclassical history paintings and portraits aren’t the sort of thing that would usually draw huge crowds to a London gallery.

But Ingres is brilliant enough and, I think, just odd enough to transcend fashion. He manages to make his subjects look simultaneously seductive and a bit creepy. If this woman (Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn, princesse de Broglie) turned up in an episode of Doctor Who, you would just know she wasn’t really human. Some kind of hyper-intelligent intergalactic praying mantis disguising herself via a morphobioenergy field, by the looks of her.

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