fbpx
Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Painting Of The Week: J. A. D. Ingres, Paolo and Francesca

Paolo and Francesca, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1856-60, private collection, detail

Painting of the Week

Painting Of The Week: J. A. D. Ingres, Paolo and Francesca

Paolo and Francesca is painting by the French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, produced in seven known versions between 1814 and 1819. The story of Paolo and Francesca is derived from Dante’s Inferno. Today we are going to discuss one of them.

Here we have them both – Paolo kisses Francesca. Francesca was a daughter of a nobleman from Ravenna who had been wed in a politically arranged marriage to a much older man, Giovanni Malatesta, who was physically deformed and wholly absorbed by his continual wars. In Dante’s retelling of the tale, the poet encounters Francesca and Paolo in the second circle of hell, where they have been condemned to fly through the whirlwind in a meaningless embrace for all eternity because of a moment of carnal love. Francesca explained she had spent her time in reading with Giovanni’s attractive younger brother, Paolo; and one day, seduced by the romance of Lancelot and Guinevere, the young Italians were prompted to a trembling kiss. At just that moment, Giovanni happened upon his wife and brother and killed them both.

Paolo and Francesca, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1856-60, Hyde Collection

Paolo and Francesca, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1856-60, private collection

The important French neo-classical artist (and one of my favorite ones) Ingres, painted many medieval and Renaissance subjects. He developed a simplified style of strong silhouettes and bright colors based on early Renaissance artists. This manner was designed to fit the historical period of his subjects. When Ingres took up the story around 1814, a new translation of Dante’s masterwork made the Divine Comedy more accessible to French audiences, and the story of Paolo and Francesca in particular quickly became one of the Paris public’s favorite tragedies.

This style of this painting can be called a Troubadour Style – it was for French historical painting of the early 19th century with idealised depictions of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It can be seen as an aspect of Romanticism and a reaction against Neoclassicism. In painting, the troubadour style was represented by history painting portraying edifying historical episodes, usually in a form of quiet intimate anecdotal moments.

 

Find out more:

      

 

Art Historian, founder and CEO of DailyArtMagazine.com and DailyArt mobile app. But to be honest, her greatest accomplishment is being the owner of Pimpek the Cat.

Comments

More in Painting of the Week

  • Ancient Egypt

    Painting of the Week: Judgement Scene from Book of the Dead of Hunefer

    By

    Death continues to be one of the greatest fears of human society. Since the dawn of recorded history through the centuries of plague, pestilence, and meeting our own modern global pandemic, death has always been a worry. It marks the end of life and forces cosmic...

  • 19th Century

    Painting of the Week: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

    By

    A Bar at the Folies-Bergère is considered Edouard Manet’s last major painting. Presented in the Salon of 1882, just a year before the artist’s death, its theme as well as the execution unsettled the prudish Parisian society. Manet and the Parisian Salon Manet’s relationship with the...

  • Chinese art

    Painting of the Week: Venerable Celestial Bodhiruma

    By

    Imperial Chinese art has a long history stretching through many dynasties and many centuries. Many social, political, and economic factors have caused Chinese art to evolve and change over the millennia. However, one of the strongest factors with few exceptions was the ruling Emperor or Empress...

  • Frederic Church, Heart of the Andes cover Frederic Church, Heart of the Andes cover

    19th Century

    Painting of the Week: Heart of the Andes by Frederic Edwin Church

    By

    Heart of the Andes is one truly impressive landscape painting. Frederic Edwin Church‘s crowning achievement depicts scenery he saw during his two visits to South America. However, one of the painting’s most important features doesn’t appear on the canvas at all – the pioneering scientist who...

  • 19th Century

    Painting of the Week: Eastman Johnson, A Ride for Liberty

    By

    The cool morning dew blew against their warm sweaty skin as the horse led them towards the free North. Stories of another life, a free life, penetrated the South and gave hope to millions of black souls bound by bondage, slavery, and suffering. Four such souls...

To Top