The seventeen-year-old Jeanne d’Arc with a classic graceful beauty with an artificial face in an “unassailable” pose is depicted in a canvas with a name that duplicates the historical fact of 1429, with the hand of the famous Frenchman Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. The work was born during the last stage of development of the artist’s work, for this reason it is so detailed, professional and unique in its performance. Over the past decade, the painter Jean Auguste created only in the direction of the historical narrative of real events, giving preference to his own established technique
An example of a melancholic letter is the presented canvas with Jeanne – a rather dark, light and shadow-built game using large and small details. Strictly speaking, this style became the visiting card of Engr, as a representative of the classic school of painting. And so, d’Arc is a virgin who has heard from the age of thirteen the invocatory voices of the Lord for accomplishing feats in the name of faith. What she appears will be decided by the author himself. In his hands was, in fact, the fate of the girl and the further chance of universal love and the worship of fanatics.
Jean Auguste preferred to make a certain sculpture in the image of Jeanne, giving a waxy paleness to his face with an artificial blush, erasing the extra facial expressions and charm of the young face. The fact that is imprinted on the canvas by the author’s hand reflects the solemn chrismation of King Charles at the Reims cathedral. It’s unwashed Middle Ages, wrapped in armor, which Engr has hoisted on the frail body of Jeanne. Accurate mapping of small details and people accompanying the main heroine, did not outweigh the significance of the main image.
Neither a little nor a lot of compositional digressions are a tribute to many years of work and understanding of the genre of historical art. I would like to note a rather accurate transmission of silence and pomposity of the event. And the candle that burns, not smoking the space, and the silence of the servants – everything is imbued with a viscous silence. A quiet letter with intense darkness and half-tones meticulously faithfully convey the oppression of the coronation event, preceding the further exhortation of the king’s maiden at the beginning of the offensive against the French capital. In general, the canvas has a clear construction, accurately outlined details, contrast, issuing the artist’s handwriting. For the first time the work was exhibited in 1855 at the World Exhibition among 66 works by Ingres in the individual hall.