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Angelica at the Rock (After Ingres), 1878

Georges-Pierre Seurat

French, 1859-1891
Oil on canvas
32-5/8 x 26-1/8 in. (83 x 66.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Jennifer Jones Simon
M.1997.1.4.P
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

One of the most innovative artists of the late nineteenth century, Georges-Pierre Seurat nevertheless spent his early years training within the traditional academic strictures of the École des Beaux-Arts. Like Edgar Degas, Seurat was a great admirer of Ingres, and as a student, he copied his work on a number of occasions. The strong contours in the work draw on Ingres's exquisite sense of modeling, but the younger artist, who copied this work in the Louvre at age 18, also focused his attention on the subject’s context: the foreboding atmospheric qualities reflecting her near death at the hands of a sea monster, and the hint of water at her feet as she awaits her rescue. Seurat copied Angelica’s figure from Ingres’s larger composition on at least two other occasions the year it arrived at the Louvre. The painting clearly made an impact on contemporary Parisian artists, as Degas bought a later version of Ingres’s picture for his own private collection.

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