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Jean Auguste Dominic Ingres born August 29, 1780 in the city of Montauban near Toulouse. It is not surprising that among the paintings of the future classic of European academism, you can find a drawing made by him at the age of nine.
The artist received further training in Toulouse, at the local Academy of Fine Arts. Being rather financially constrained, the young man made a living by playing in the orchestra of the Capitol Theater in Toulouse. At the end of the training course at the Academy, the seventeen-year-old Ingres leaves for the capital, where Jacques-Louis David becomes his teacher. A recognized follower and one of the leaders of classicism, David had a strong influence on the views and creative style of his talented student. But Ingres quickly moved away from the blind inheritance of the manner of the classics and his mentor, gave the classic system a new breath, expanded and deepened it, making it much closer to the demands and requirements of a changing era.
Each year, one of the young Parisian artists was traditionally awarded the Grand Roman Prize, whose laureate could continue his studies in painting at the French Academy of Rome for four years. Ingres very much dreamed of receiving it, but at the insistence of David, another student of his received the 1800 prize. There was a serious quarrel between Ingres and his mentor, the result of which was the departure of the young artist from the workshop of his teacher.
Persistence and an undoubted growth in the skill of the young painter allowed him to achieve in the next 1801 the awarding of the coveted prize for the painting “Agamemnon’s Ambassadors of Achilles”. But the dream to travel around Italy and spend four years at the academy in Rome then could not come true - the artist had serious financial problems. Staying in Paris, he attends private art schools to save on sitters. Attempts to earn money by illustrating books were not particularly successful, but painting portraits on order was a very profitable task. But the soul of the wide nature of Ingres did not lie with the portraits, and he claimed to the end of his life that these orders only interfere with his real work.
In 1806, Ingres was still able to move to Italy, lived a long 14 years in Rome and another 4 - in Florence. Then returning to Paris, he opens his school of painting. After some time, the 55-year-old master receives the post of director of the Roman French Academy and again finds himself in the Eternal City. But already in 1841 he will return to Paris forever, where on top of fame and recognition he lives to see his death in 1867.