Less is Moore in Vanity Fair's Homage to Ingres

New blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week. This week? A little lesson in art history and the work of Ingres.
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New blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week. This week? A little lesson in art history and the work of Ingres.

New blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week.

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Rather than paint the mythological nude, Neoclassical painter Ingres depicted the exotic nude in his 1813 painting, La Grande Odalisque. Commissioned by Napoleon's sister and the Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat, the famous nude depicted an odalisque or concubine amongst rich, exotic textiles and accessories such as the turban and peacock fan which were meant to evoke the Orient. Although anatomically disproportionate, Ingres' figure disregarded reality in favor of a long, sinuous curve created by the female figure whose naked body is evenly bathed in light.

Reportedly inspired by the porcelain-like skin of Julianne Moore, photographer Michael Thompson recreated the nineteenth-century nude with Moore as the harem girl for Vanity Fair's April 2000 issue.

La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1814

La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1814

Julianne Moore, after La Grande Odalisque by Michael Thompson, Vanity Fair, April 2000

Julianne Moore, after La Grande Odalisque by Michael Thompson, Vanity Fair, April 2000

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