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Ingres the unloved
“The Grand Odalisque” is a painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, commissioned by the Queen of Naples, sister of Napoleon I, in 1814. The word odalisque, of Turkish origin, refers to a slave serving the women of the harem. The oriental dimension of the painting is evoked by the accessories: peacock feather chase, turban, jewellery and silk. On the other hand, the face and hairstyle of the young woman are clearly European. Painted in Rome, where Ingres had moved in 1806, the painting was exhibited in Paris at the Salon of 1819, where it was met with nothing but criticism and misunderstanding.
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