Mademoiselle Jeanne Gonin, 1821, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780–1867), oil on canvas
The most important exponent of the neoclassical style in 19th-century French painting, Ingres spent 18 years abroad in Rome and later Florence, Italy, where this demure, intimate half-length portrait of a young Swiss Calvinist woman was painted. This painting may have been commissioned to celebrate her engagement. The sitter is conservatively dressed, wearing fewer jewels and a less revealing costume than most of the other women painted by the artist. A close friend of the engaged couple’s families, Ingres was esteemed for his masterful draftsmanship and elegant lines, as seen in his treatment of her prominent crossed hands, gold chain, and white lace collar.