OIL PAINTING: The Grande Odalisque, 1814
The effects in Ingres paintings largely depend on drawing and linearity, but he also used colour to supremely calculated effect. The cold turquoise of the silk curtain with its decoration of red flowers intensified the warm flesh tone of The Grande Odalisque. This nude was painted in 1814 for Napoleon's sister, Queen Caroline Murat. Unlike the realism of Goya's Maja, Ingres' nude is hardly intimate, the eroticism here emerging slowly from the reserve and the questioning, assessing glance of the naked woman. This is a tradition that goes back to Giorgione and Titian, but Ingres has painted a living woman and not an allegory of Venus. Nevertheless, the realistic intimacy is lessened by setting the scene in the distant world of the Orient.