Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Degas and Ingres

Picture: NG
I recently noticed that the National Gallery is hanging the early Degas Young Spartans Exercising next to Ingres in the room of earlier nineteenth century art, rather than with the impressionists.  That makes a lot of sense, particularly given that the Ingres next to it  (Pindar and Ictinus, above) was owned by Degas and bought by the National Gallery from his studio sale.  The slightly odd thing is that the wall text makes no reference to that.  It's clearly an intentional hang, but it isn't explained.  The NG generally errs on the side of brevity with its wall text, which is probably safer - we go to see paintings, not read essays.  But sometimes a bit more explanation would be useful.

1 comment:

  1. Degas should be very pleased. He started out wanting to be a second Ingres, and his early portraits have an Ingresque drama. Manet told him to paint the everyday but he always believed that was second division stuff compared with grand manner History Painting. A reluctant Impressionist with old school values. I hope he appreciates now how brilliant he was.