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on February 10, 2000
I have been waiting for a first-rate work on Ingres portraits for many years and now it is finally here! This book is a MUST HAVE for anyone who admires Ingres. The book was published in conjunction with the wonderful exhibition of Ingres portraits which played in London, New York, and Washington DC. I attended the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and this book does justice to what I saw in person. Since not every work of art was seen at each venue, the book provides reproductions of several works which were not made available for viewing in the United States (such as the great Rothchild portrait). I have the books on Ingres by both Robert Rosenblum and Georges Vigne. Although both of those books were good, this new book surpasses them due to the quality of the writing and the superb reproductions. There are enlightening essays by both the exhibition curators together with outside experts such as Rosenblum and Vigne. The reproductions are plentiful and very good quality. In addition to the oil paintings, there are dozens of high quality reproductions of the superb portrait drawings. Each portrait is accompanied by an essay together with the provenance and exhibition history of the work. The book also deals with the thorny issue of collaborators. Although the book is fairly expensive, it is well worth the money. Perhaps one day we will have similar books published on other great portrait painters such as Holbein, Moroni, and Bronzino. Anyone in the museum or publishing world listening?
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on November 6, 1999
I saw the exhibit in NY today, and had a chance to review the book as well. It's been a long time waiting for a book of this magnitude depicting these great portraits.The uncluttered detail of this neo-classical giant is staggering.His ability to paint cloth is incredible. He and Sargent rank as my personal favorites. His teacher David would be proud to see his treatment of the human being with pristine classical beauty combined with personal insights into an individuals character. His later portraits including the last two self portraits reveal the soul of this devoted artist. The volume traces fashion and history, and the many greats he depicted. Essays are excellent. Ingres is beauty truth and human elegance.
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on January 23, 2001
Always my favorite painter, I was lucky enough to see an exposition of his work at the National Art Gallery in London in 1999 and his more famous works on constant display the Louvre in 2000. While his historical and allegorical paintings are impressive, his talent with portraiture is unmatched. I am particularly struck by the detailed imagery. It feels like you are looking at a photography, the realism is so intense. Yet as the book demonstrates, numerous studies were done before each painting, trying to determine how best to capture the subject.
The book is a large format, with numerous full color, full plate images. Personally, I did not find the accompanying essays particularly interesting but thought that the notes on each specific work more compelling. The choices of artwork included in the book is primarily restricted to portraits, but not only paintings but paper drawings and minatures also.
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on January 4, 2001
Portraits By Ingres: Image Of An Epoch showcases odalisques and dramatic historical scenes painted by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) and are justifiably considered to rank among the master-pieces of nineteenth-century French art. The superbly reproduced paintings are enhanced with informative contributions on Ingres' life and work by Philip Conisbee, Rebecca A. Rabinow, Christopher Riopelle, Robert Rosenblum, Andrew Carrington Shelton, Gary Tinterow, and Georges Vigne, as well as drawing entries by Hans Naef. With its photographs of the artist and his sitters (and caricatures from contemporary journals) Portraits By Ingres is a seminal, scholarly, beautifully presented, landmark publication that will secure Ingres in his proper place for students of art history.
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on November 17, 2011
first off: i just received this book today and i've only skimmed through it as yet. now, my complaint is that i'm a student of portraiture and i bought this book for the portrait drawings which i was assuming would be reprinted in their actual size (most of the 300+ original drawings are no larger than 10"x 12") so i could see the detail and make some copies. sadly, however, nearly all the portrait drawings in this book have been shrunken down to next to worthless for my purpose. i suppose all the words that take up so much space in the book are important, but more important than the actual works themselves?? disappointing. what really rankles is that even shrunken down the portraits still sing, only now they're just too small to make out how. ARRGHH!! :P
nice book tho. hence the three stars...
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on July 30, 2015
'THE' BOOK ON INGRES.....hundreds of paintings and more importantly many prep drawings...jaw dropping in immensity and importance to any artist or art book collector...get it while you can at current reasonable prices, you will not regret it, a very important work.
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on November 11, 2006
If you want to know all the details about Ingres' paintings, read this book. It has pages of resources and details about the artist's subjects. Frankly, more than I want to know. If you want to see beautiful reproductions of Ingres' work, buy this book! He's one of my favorite portrait painters and the book is loaded with great images. I enjoyed the comparison between Ingres's work and other painters. Also, the binding on this book is top quality.
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VINE VOICEon May 10, 2008
I just spent a fortune on art books and this was one of the best of the batch. There was one reviewer on here who really slammed the book--almost made me not get it--and I strongly disagree with his grievances.
The plates are somewhat low-contrast, which I have noticed in other Metropolitan museum volumes; this preserves the subtle middle tones of the artwork, although it may sacrifice a bit of the "leaping off the page" feeling some might be used to. The images are tack-sharp and clear, and you can see all the delicate nuances of Ingres' brush and pencil work. None of the plates are blown-out, oversaturated or out of focus. The majority of the reproductions are of drawings, but there are a lot of paintings--I counted 67. Most of the paintings are presented full-page, and there are many close-ups of details, as well as preparatory sketches. "Cherubini and the Muse of Lyric Poetry" was the one annoying goof-up I saw--they included a nice color detail, but the full painting was a small black-and white image. The drawings vary from about 1/4 to full page. There are 206 color images in all.
I did not notice any signifacant cropping, although it's hard to tell without the paintings in front of me. Perhaps that reviewer was confused by the detail plates? This is a serious art book that was put together with love and respect for the artist-- a rare thing, believe me! And the price right now is a steal.
My only complaint is: if you're going to go to this much trouble over Ingres, why not just make a good monograph that covers all his work? The market sorely needs one!
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on September 19, 2007
If you like classical oil portraits, this is the book you need to have. I would like to add two points to the following reviews:

1) the reproductions are as good as it could be as prints. No reproductions are comparable to originals and those in the books are among the best available with the current printing technology in the market. There are whole compositions as well as details. As a painter who has seen many of those originals, I really think the book is a great resource for study.

2) the book is entitled as Portraits by Ingres, so some complaints of why some major works by Ingres are not included are irrelevant.
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on March 15, 2007
For the price, this book is a real giveaway! Indispensable for every portrait artist or any painter, it gives a deep insight not only in the technique, but also in the lives of J.D.Ingres and of his sitters. It contains all (or almost all) portraits and drawings for portraits, as well as independent portrait drawings Ingres made. I spend hours just looking at the beautiful drawings!
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