This likeness of the landscape painter Thomas-Charles Naudet was one of the first portrait drawings Ingres executed in Rome, where both artists were fellows at the French Academy. Ingres, who thought of himself as a history painter in the Neoclassical tradition, was among the best portraitists of the 1800s. He depicted Naudet’s body in three-quarter profile, his lively gaze turned to the viewer. As with his other drawn portraits, Ingres brings the face and head of the sitter to a high level of finish, leaving the body more summarily outlined. With its perfectly controlled unbroken lines and delicate shading, the portrait—while an early work—reveals the precision and subtlety of Ingres’s mature draftsmanship.
Signed, R:Ingres fecit/in Roma/1806