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painting showing many views of male and female figures

This painting is comprised of many separate vignettes of light- and medium-skinned figures in different poses and sizes. At the top left, a figure holds on to the torso of a woman who bends forward. To the right, a nude man points. A woman of much smaller proportions kneels close to the man’s thigh. Along the bottom edge, a woman stretches her hands upward while men in cloaks grasp their heads or bend downward. Some areas just depict single hands, eyes, or arms.

Gallery Text

Ingres made these studies in the final stage of preparation for his monumental altarpiece for the cathedral of Autun, a commission he took ten years to complete. The painting features the imminent martyrdom of Saint Symphorien, a Christian who was executed in the second century for refusing to worship the Roman gods.

Ingres made hundreds of drawings for the project, and the squaring in graphite, visible throughout the composition, reveals his process of transferring the figures from individual drawings to the canvas. It has been argued that these kinds of studies, which abandon spatial rationality and were never exhibited during the artist’s lifetime, were made primarily as an exploration of color relationships between figures. Nevertheless, Ingres continued to rework the figures’ contours and poses as well, in his characteristic practice of constant revision.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, French (Montauban 1780 - 1867 Paris)
Studies for "The Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien" (Saint, Mother, and Proconsul)
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 2, Room 2200, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, The Emergence of Romanticism in Early Nineteenth-Century France
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Physical Descriptions

Oil over graphite and red chalk (stylus transfer), squared in graphite, on paper mounted on canvas, backed by a wood panel
sight: 60 x 47.6 cm (23 5/8 x 18 3/4 in.)
framed: 81.8 x 69.2 cm (32 3/16 x 27 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.r.: Ingres


Recorded Ownership History
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, (1833-1866) sold; to Etienne-François Haro, Paris (until 1867); [Ingres sale, Hôtel Drouot, May 6-7, 1867 no. 7]; to Eugène Lecompte, Paris (1867-1906); [his sale, Hôtel Drouot, June 11-13, 1906, no. 49] . Comtesse de Behague, Paris (1911-1934) sold; [through Martin Birnbaum]; to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York, NY, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.

Notes: Lecomte paid Fr 7,050 for this canvas in the Ingres sale

The Comtesse de Behague was also known as the Comtesse de Bearn (before her divorce).

Winthrop paid Fr 66,000 ($4400)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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Publication History

  • "Mouvement des Arts et de la Curiosité. Tableaux et Dessins d'Ingres", La Chronique des Arts et de la Curiosité (May 5 and 12, 1867), vol. V, p. 145, no. 7
  • Catalogue des tableaux, études peintes, dessins et croquis de J.A.D. Ingres exposé dans les galeries de l'Ecole impériale des Beaux-Arts, exh. cat., Ad. Laine et J. Havard (Paris, France, 1867), no. 12
  • Henri, Vicomte Delaborde, Ingres, sa vie, ses travaux, sa doctrine, d'apres les notices manuscrites et les lettres du maitre, H. Plon (Paris, France, 1870), p. 184, under no. 16
  • Téodor de Wyzewa, L'Oeuvre Peint de Jean-Dominique Ingres, Frédéric Gittler (Paris, France, 1907), pl. XXVII, p. iv, no. 27
  • Henry Lapauze, Ingres, sa vie & son oeuvre, G. Petit (Paris, France, 1911), pp. 303, 552
  • Chinese Sculpture, Bronzes, Jades, Paintings and Drawings, Egyptian and Persian sculpture, Pre-Columbian art; selected from the collection of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1943), p. 3
  • Agnes Mongan, "Drawings by Ingres in the Winthrop Collection", Gazette des Beaux-Arts (July-December 1944), ser. 6, 26, p. 388-412 n. 1
  • Georges Wildenstein, Ingres, Phaidon Press (London, England, 1954), pl. 74, no. 213
  • Pontus Grate, Deux critiques d'art de l'epoque Romantique: Gustave Planche et Theophile Thore, Almqvist & Wiksell (Stockholm, Sweden, 1959), p. 147
  • Martin Birnbaum, The Last Romantic (New York, NY, 1960), p. 188, no. 1
  • Ingres, exh. cat., Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 1967), under no. 161, p. 228
  • Ingres: Centennial Exhibition, 1867-1967. Drawings, Watercolors and Oil Sketches from American Collections, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1967), under no. 60
  • Valentina N. Berezina, Zhan Ogrust Dominik Engr, Sovestkii khudozhnik (Leningrad, 1967), no. 52
  • Emilio Radius and Ettore Camesasca, L'opera completa di Ingres, Rizzoli (Milan, Italy, 1968), p. 107, no. 127d
  • Daniel Ternois and Ettore Camesasca, Tout l'oeuvre peint d'Ingres (Paris, France, 1971), p. 107, no. 128d
  • Daniel Ternois, Ingres, Editions Nathan (Paris, France, 1980), no. 227, repr. p. 182
  • Gaetan Picon, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Quai des Celestins, 4 (New York, NY, 1980), repr. in b/w p. 64
  • Jean Clay, Le romantisme, Réalités-Hachette (Paris, 1980), p. 308, repr.
  • Marjorie B. Cohn and Susan L. Siegfried, Works by J. A. D. Ingres in the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1980), no. 36, p. 108, repr. b/w p. 110, in color p. 9
  • 25 Great Masters of Modern Art: Ingres, Kodansha (Tokyo, Japan, 1981), repr. in color no. 63
  • Hilton Brown, "Academic Art Education and Studio Practices", American Artist (February 1985), ill. p. 52
  • Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 199, p. 175, repr. in b/w
  • Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 67, color plate; pp. 112, 226, repr. b/w cat. no. 276
  • Annalisa Zanni, Ingres: catalogo completo dei dipinti, Cantini Editore (Florence, Italy, 1990), p. 108, under no. 85
  • [Eugéne-Emmanuel Pineu-Duval] Amaury-Duval, L'Atelier d'Ingres: Edition critique de l'ouvrage publié à Paris en 1878, ed. Daniel Ternois, Arthena (Paris, France, 1993), repr. in color pl. 210, p. 246
  • Barbara Maria Stafford, Artful Science: Enlightenment, Entertainment,and the Eclipse of Visual Education, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA, 1994), repr. in b/w p. 214, fig. 151
  • [Unidentified article], The Harvard Review of Philosophy (Spring 1995), vol. V, repr. in color on cover
  • Georges Vigne, Dessins d'Ingres: Catalogue raisonné des dessins du musée de Montauban, Gallimard/Reunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 1995), pp. 106 above no. 518, 114 under no. 568
  • Georges Vigne, Ingres, Citadelles & Mazenod and Abbeville Press (Paris, France; New York, NY, 1995), pp. 189, 192, repr. as fig. 158
  • Valérie Bajou, Monsieur Ingres, Editions Adam Biro (Paris, France, 1999), pp. 237-239, repr. in color fig. 165
  • Gary Tinterow and Philip Conisbee, Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1999), pp. 275, 282, 284, 286-7
  • Andrew Carrington Shelton, "Art, Politics, and the Politics of Art: Ingres's Saint Symphorien at the 1834 Salon", The Art Bulletin (December 2001), vol. LXXXIII no. 4, pp. 711-739, p. 715, repr. as fig. 4
  • Daniel Ternois, Lettres d’Ingres à Marcotte d’Argenteuil: dictionnaire, Librairie des Arts et Métiers-Ed. Jacques Laget (Nogent-le-Roi, France, 2001), p. 149 n. 25
  • Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, 2003), no. 70, pp. 183-187, repr. in color
  • Stephan Wolohojian, Ingres, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Renoir... La Collection Grenville L. Winthrop, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 2003), no. 70, pp. 191-195, repr. in color
  • "The Object of Art Museums", Whose Muse? Art Museums and the Public Trust, ed. James Cuno, Princeton University Press/Harvard University Art Museums (Princeton, NJ / Cambridge, MA, 2004), pp. 49-75, p. 64, repr. as fig. 7
  • Vincent Pomarède, Stéphane Guégan, Louis-Antoine Prat, and Eric Bertin, Ingres 1780-1867, exh. cat., Editions Gallimard (Paris, France, 2006), pp. 241-242, repr. as ill. 174
  • Susan L. Siegfried, Ingres: Painting Reimagined, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, 2009), p. 361, repr. in b/w p. 362 as fig. 217
  • Louis-Antoine Prat, Le dessin français au XIXe siècle, Somogy Éditions d'Art (Paris, 2011), p. 179

Exhibition History

  • Tableaux, etudes peintes, dessins et croquis de J.-A.-D. Ingres peintre d'histoire, sénateur, membre de l'Institut, École Impériale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 04/10/1867 - 12/31/1867
  • Chinese sculpture, bronzes, jades, paintings and drawings, Egyptian and Persian sculpture, Pre-Columbian art : selected from the collection of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/01/1943 - 02/28/1944
  • Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977
  • Works by J.-A.-D. Ingres in the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/17/1980 - 12/07/1980
  • Masterpieces of European Art, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/22/1985 - 09/15/1985
  • A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon, 03/15/2003 - 05/26/2003; National Gallery, London, 06/25/2003 - 09/14/2003; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10/23/2003 - 01/25/2004
  • For Students of Art and Lovers of Beauty: Highlights from the Collection of Grenville L. Winthrop, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/16/2004
  • HAA 10 Survey Course (S421): The Western Tradition: Art Since the Renaissance (Fall 08 Rotation 2), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/23/2008 - 11/16/2008
  • HAA 10 Survey Course (S421): The Western Tradition: Art Since the Renaissance (Fall 09 Rotation 2), Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 10/16/2009 - 11/08/2009
  • 32Q: 2200 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Related Works

Verification Level

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