The Bather, known as the Valpinçon Bather1808
This work featuring a bathing woman is generally known by the name of one of its nineteenth-century owners. It was one of the works Ingres sent to Paris in 1808 when he was studying at the French Academy in Rome. This early work is a masterpiece of harmonious lines and delicate light. The woman's superb nude back left a deep impression on the artist; he returned to it in several later works, most notably the Turkish Bath.
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This beautiful work inspired Man Ray to capture the phrase "Le Violon d'Ingres (Ingres's Violin)" in his work featuring Kiki de Montparnasse. The phrase refers to a person who is known for one talent but is, more than a hobby, exceptional at another unrelated talent, in this case Ingres and his violin, having played second violin in the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse when he was thirteen to sixteen. Many describe Le Violon d'Ingres as a visual pun, depicting his muse, Kiki, as Ray's violon d'Ingres.