According particular attention to anatomical correctness in his

According to Art in the Frick Collection: paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, a
book published in association with the museum and written by Charles Ryskamp, Louise de Broglie or the Countess
d’Haussonville was a French princess who married a diplomat and writer at the
age of eighteen (104).  Christopher
Knight of the Los Angeles Times says
that Louise hailed from an important political and liberal family in France.
The many shades of blue exhibited in the painting are thought to be a symbol of
these politics as an ode to “the blues” or the troops of the French revolutionary
government (Knight). She was also a writer and published several biographies
and other books, which implies that she was an educated woman, a characteristic
that was unusual for the society that she lived in. Louise was also extremely
independent and liberal for a woman of her time (Ryskamp 104).

According to Mark Ledbury in Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, the
painter of this portrait, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, was a French painter
who worked during the time of the Romanticism epoch, but stuck to classicism in
opposition to the style that inundated his time. In addition to classical
features such as idealization and balance that his pieces included, Paul
Lagasse writes in The Columbia
Encyclopedia that Ingres’ paintings were also known for an immense
attention to detail and linear composition. He was considered to be an
exceptional draftsman and would meticulously obsess over the perfection of a
work (Ledbury). Ingres took three years to finish Comtesse d’Haussonville. In this time, he frequently restarted the
portrait, sketched numerous preparatory drawings, and completed full scale
studies of individual parts of the painting including the reflection, her left
arm, and her head (Ryskamp 104). According to Jed Perl of The New Republic, Ingres considered himself to be a historical
painter and was known to resent commissions of portraits, though his portraits
are widely-regarded as his best pieces of work (33). This is because he had a
special talent for portraying a closeness between him and his subject even if
he had only just met them (Perl 34). Richard Dorment of The Daily Telegraph points out that Ingres did not pay particular
attention to anatomical correctness in his portraits, but rather chose to
exaggerate certain features to specifically accentuate the beauty of that
feature. Within the portrait of Comtesse
d’Haussonville, many have pointed out the extreme length of her right arm
(the one folded across her chest) and the fact that it appears to grow out of
her ribcage rather than out of her shoulder (Dorment).

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The objects on the mantle and the chairs are
meant to characterize aspects of Louise’s life. The arrangements of roses and
tulips represent her simplistic taste. The opera glasses, yellow shawl draped
over the chair, and embroidered bag hanging from behind the vase suggest that
she has just returned from the theatre. This represents her love for dance,
opera, and theatre. These objects show Louise to be a cultured woman, but also
one who did not flaunt her wealth. Her more plain taste can also be seen in her
understated dress and jewelry (Dorment).

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