Fingering Ingres

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This book is a reassessment of the role of Ingres studies in the writing of nineteenth--century art history. The title Fingering Ingres refers to a remark of Jean Cassou, the French art critic, political militant and founding director of the Musee National da Art Moderne, in which he wrote of Ingresa a caressinga his materials with the tip of his a finger--naila . The volume pays tribute to Ingresa historiographical enigma in bringing together a set of essays that scratch at and perhaps puncture the surface of his received framings. Ranging from the scrupulous study of Ingresa incapacity to allow himself a finished oeuvre, to the artificial construction of his conflict with Delacroix, to a radical re--thinking of his role in cultural modernity, the essays pick out the textures of a crucial mytheme of nineteenth--century French art. Combining scholarship from different generations of the contemporary critical, social and semiotic histories of art,Fingering Ingres offers a freshly virtuoso and deconstructive approach to the art--historical genre of the artista s monograph.