Baron Joseph-Pierre Vialetès de Mortarieu
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780-1867)
On View

This portrait was painted just before Ingres’s departure for Rome in September 1806. The bust-length likeness of the baron is carefully described within a triangular silhouette that descends from the soft curls of the subject’s head to his blue-black coat. Within this outline, one sees Ingres’s unswerving attention to detail and local color tempered subtly by his attempt to idealize the subject, who makes a vivid impression with his gaze. The sinuous rhythms defined by the multiple white collars and the cravat provide additional animation. As in other portraits of this early period, Ingres shows the impeccably attired baron standing before a vast sky punctuated with soft and airy clouds, a romantic conceit with precedents that date back to the Renaissance, but which serves here as a foil to the calm and secure expression of the subject.

Baron Vialètes was an avid collector and patron of the arts. Elected mayor of Montauban, Ingres’s hometown in southwest France, his appointment may have occasioned this portrait. In 1843 the baron founded the city museum, which later became the Musée Ingres.


  • Artist Name: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780-1867)
  • Title: Baron Joseph-Pierre Vialetès de Mortarieu
  • Date: 1805-1806
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 24-1/8 x 19-3/4 in. (61.2 x 50.2 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1983.03.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Baron Joseph Vialètes de Mortarieu (1768-1849), Montauban, by inheritance to;
His heir, sold c. 1905 (to a dealer in Biarritz, presumably);
[Delas, Biarritz], in 1929, or [Dufor-Quercy, Montauban and Biarritz];
Private Collection, France by 1956;
[Galerie Schmit, Paris/Sarec, S.A., Geneva by 1979, sold 10 December 1981, though E. V. Thaw, to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Exposition des beaux-arts

  • Montauban, Hôtel de Ville, 1862-05 to
Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1,
Vigne, Georges, Ingres, fig. 31 p. 48
Delaborde, Henri, Ingres. Sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine, no. 159
Museo Nacional del Prado, Ingres, fig. 77 p. 134
Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch, nos. 32-34, 52, 56, 58, 69, 546, fig. 52 pp. 33-34, 43
Lapauze, Henry, Le roman d'amour de M. Ingres, p. 150
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 1706 p. 438
Bajou-Charpentreau, Valérie, Monsieur Ingres, fig. 33 p. 62
Lapauze, Henry, Ingres, sa vie et son oeuvre (1780-1867) d'aprés des documents inédits, pp. 41, 47, 54
Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 111
Wildenstein, Georges, Ingres, no. 39, fig. 24
Constant, Benjamin, Adolphe, Oxford World's Classics, cover (detail)
Radius, Emilio and Ettore Camesasca, L'opera completa di Ingres, no. 39 p. 90
Pomarède, Vincent; Stéphane Guégan and Louis-Antoine Prat, Ingres 1780-1867, ill. 78 pp. 84, 105, 129
Gazette des Beaux-Arts, no. 192 p. 31
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form