Paolo and Francesca latest of its kind

In a recent Ask the Expert question from a visitor named David, The Hyde’s Director of Curatorial Affairs and Programming Jonathan Canning looked into the history of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ Paolo and Francesca in the Library of Hyde House.

According to Canning, “Ingres painted at least six versions of Paolo and Francesca that I know of with two different compositions over a forty-three-year period. The Hyde’s version is one of the last, painted ca. 1856-57.

In the first composition, Canning notes, Francesca’s husband enters the room in the background from behind a tapestry:

  1. 1814, 13.78 x 11 inches.  Musée Condé, Chantilly, France http://www.musee-conde.fr/
  2. 1814-20, 13.78 x 11 inches.  Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, UK  http://barber.org.uk/jean-auguste-dominique-ingres-1780-1867/
  3. 1819, 19 ¾ x 16 inches.  Musée des Beaux Arts, Angers France  http://musees.angers.fr/collections/collections-en-ligne/index.html
  4. Musée Bonnat, Bayonne, France https://ny.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/xir61072fre/gianciotto-discovers-paolo-and-francesca-xir61072-fre/

The second composition does not include the husband:

  1. 1856-57, 11 ½ x 8 ¾ inches.  The Hyde Collection  https://emuseum.hydecollection.org/objects/30/paolo-and-francesca?ctx=eac4d52a-2451-4f74-b541-d18794d06d56&idx=2
  2. 13 ¾ x 11 inches.  Private collection, Paris, France

Paolo and Francesca is a longtime Hyde House favorite, with its tale of star-crossed lovers, love betrayed, and mesmerizing imagery.