Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Edmond Cavé (1794–1852)

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, Montauban 1780–1867 Paris)
Oil on canvas
16 x 12 7/8 in. (40.6 x 32.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Grace Rainey Rogers, 1943
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 801
Cavé held the high-ranking posts of inspector and director of the fine arts administration during the reign of King Louis-Philippe. Ingres painted this portrait soon after Cavé's marriage in 1844 to Marie-Elisabeth Blavot Boulanger. It was intended as a companion to the picture of Cavé's wife that Ingres had painted a decade earlier (43.85.3). After Ingres consulted Cavé about the dimensions of his wife's likeness, he executed the portrait by transferring a drawing of the sitter (Musée Ingres, Montauban) onto the canvas.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (lower right): Ingres à Madame / Cavè. / 1844
Mme Edmond Cavé, née Marie-Élisabeth Blavot, Paris (gift of the artist to the sitter's wife; 1844–at least 1885); her son, Marie-Henry-Albert Boulanger-Cavé, Paris (by 1885–d. 1910); his cousin, Gaston Le Roy, Paris (1910–d. 1925; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 19–20, 1926, no. 54, as "Portrait de M. François [sic] Cavé," for Fr 126,000, to Paul and Marcel Jonas for Rosenberg); [Paul Rosenberg, Paris, 1926]; Grace Rainey Rogers, New York, (1926–d. 1943)
Paris. Galeries Georges Petit. "Exposition Ingres... organisée au profit du Musée Ingres," April 26–May 14, 1911, no. 47 (as "Portrait de M. Cavé, directeur des Beaux-Arts," lent by M. Gaston Le Roy).

New York. Paul Rosenberg. "Ingres in American Collections," April 7–May 6, 1961, no. 57 (as "Mr. Edmond-Ludovic-Auguste Cave[sic]").

Cambridge, Mass. Fogg Art Museum. "Ingres Centennial Exhibition: 1867–1967," February 12–April 9, 1967, no. 90 (as "Portrait of Edmond Cavé").

Paris. Petit Palais. "Ingres," October 27, 1967–January 29, 1968, no. 228 (as "Edmond Cavé").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ingres at the Metropolitan," December 13, 1988–March 19, 1989, no catalogue (as "Edmond Cavé (1794–1852)").

London. National Gallery. "Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch," January 27–April 25, 1999, no. 124 (as "Hygin-Edmond-Ludovic-Auguste Cavé").

Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch," May 23–August 22, 1999, no. 124.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch," October 5, 1999–January 2, 2000, no. 124.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Letter to Monsieur Cavé. July 27, 1844, indicates that Mme Cavé had asked him to make a portrait of M. Cavé to serve as a pendant for her earlier portrait; requests the measurements of Mme Cavé's portrait, which he calles a sketch.

Exposition Ingres. Exh. cat., Galeries Georges Petit. Paris, 1911, p. 24, no. 47.

Henry Lapauze. Ingres: Sa vie & son oeuvre (1780–1867), d'après des documents inédits. Paris, 1911, pp. 375, 386, ill., publishes the drawing in the Musée Ingres, Montauban.

L[ili]. Fröhlich-Bum. Ingres sein Leben und sein Stil. Vienna, 1924, p. 26.

"Revue des ventes de Mai et Juin: Jeudi 20 Mai, Hôtel Drouot." Le Figaro artistique (July 15, 1926), pp. 633–34, ill., states that Paul and Marcel Jonas bought this portrait for Fr 126,000 on May 20, 1926.

Le vieux collectionneur. "Les ventes à Paris." Le bulletin de l'art ancien et moderne no. 730 (July–August 1926), pp. 232–233, ill., gives an account of the sale of the collection of M. Gaston Le Roy; notes that the portraits of M. and Mme Cavé fetched the highest prices, Fr 126,000 and Fr 136,000 respectively.

Louis Hourticq. Ingres: L'oeuvre du maître. Paris, 1928, p. 89, ill., dates it 1844.

Jean Alazard. Ingres et l'Ingrisme. Paris, 1950, p. 106, calls this a scrupulous study.

Georges Wildenstein. The Paintings of J. A. D. Ingres. 1st ed. 1954, p. 214, no. 246, pl. 95, as "Edmond-Ludovic-Auguste Cavé, author of vaudeville and Directeur des Beaux-Arts until 1848 (1794–1852)".

Georges Wildenstein. The Paintings of J. A. D. Ingres. 2nd revised ed. London, 1956, p. 214, no. 246, pl. 95.

Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 11–12, ill., note that it was apparently painted as a pendant for the portrait of his wife; remark that both portraits are the same size and inscribed with the same dedication by Ingres, concluding that they were probably painted on the occasion of their marriage; refer to a preparatory drawing for this painting now in the Musée Ingres, Montauban.

Pierre Angrand. Marie-Elizabeth Cavé: Disciple de Delacroix. Paris, 1966, pl. IV.

Ingres Centennial Exhibition: 1867–1967. Exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum. Greenwich, Conn., 1967, unpaginated, no. 90, ill., remarks that the portraits of M. and Mme Cavé were probably made by Ingres as a wedding gift.

Daniel Ternois in Ingres. Exh. cat., Petit Palais. Paris, 1967, p. 294–95, no. 228, ill., notes that the contours of the Montauban drawing show signs of having been traced with a sharp point; proposes that the Montauban sketch was the original study that Ingres later transferred to canvas.

Ettore Camesasca in L'opera completa di Ingres. Milan, 1968, p. 112, no. 136, ill.

Avigdor Arikha. J. A. D. Ingres: Fifty Life Drawings from the Musée Ingres at Montauban. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Houston, 1986, p. 85, states that the Montauban drawing was made in 1840, and proposes that this painting is based on that drawing; suggests that Ingres transposed the Montauban drawing onto canvas as a wedding gift and companion to the portrait he had painted earlier of Mme Cavé.

Annalisa Zanni. Ingres: catalogo completo dei dipinti. Florence, 1990, p. 120, no. 91, ill.

Gary Tinterow in Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Philip Conisbee. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1999, pp. 398–401, 552, no. 124, ill. (color), publishes and translates a letter written by Ingres to M. Cavé [see Ref. Ingres 1866]; agrees that this painting was traced from the drawing in Montauban, but suggests that the drawing was made in 1844, not 1840; notes that Ingres requested a meeting with M. Cavé to make a sketch of his likeness, thus concluding that no such sketch/drawing existed before 1844; remarks that Ingres wanted to make this painting look as if it had been executed just as quickly as the portrait of Mme Cavé, which she wrote had been done in one hour.

Hygin-Edmond-Ludovic-Auguste Cavé (1794–1852) was a writer of vaudeville sketches, as well as an inspector and, during the reign of Louis-Philippe, director in the government department of the Beaux-Arts. He married Marie-Élisabeth Blavot Boulanger in 1843. This work was painted in 1844 as a pendant to the earlier portrait of Mme Cavé (43.85.3).

Lapauze published a drawing in the Musée Ingres, Montauban (see Vigne, Dessins d'Ingres: Catalogue raisonné des dessins du Musée de Montauban, 1995, no. 2619), as done after this painting; however, more recent scholarship suggests that it is the preparatory study for the MMA painting.
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