Ingres's Reading – The Undoing of Narrative

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Ingres's reading of key classical texts, Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1516), Dante's Inferno (1314), and Virgil's Aeneid (19 BC), is regarded as fundamental to understanding his material attempts to visualize his narrative subjects. The essay focuses on three paintings, which represent quite different forms of narrative disunity in his work: Roger Freeing Angelica (disjunction), Paolo and Francesca (excessive unity), and Virgil Reading the Aeneid to Augustus, Octavia and Livia, or Tu Marcellus Eris (a coming apart of classical composition). His paintings' affective relation to the viewer is considered with regard to the sadism of their themes and their fetishized treatment of surfaces.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: University of Leeds

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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