Portrait of a friendship valued at £400k

Hôtel Drouot will be auctioning four drawings by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), the French Neoclassical painter, on March 24.

These artworks are particularly important, in that they chronicle a friendship regarded as one of the most important and happiest of the artist's life.

In Rome, 1810, Marcotte d'Argenteuil was a high official in the imperial water and forestry administration.

The art-loving official was on the lookout for a portraitist. He was eventually introduced to Ingres via a mutual friend, which resulted in a series of artworks.

Ingres's pencil drawing of his friend Marcotte d'Argenteuil
has a six-figure estimate

Among the works is a signed pencil portrait of Charles Marie Jean Baptiste (aka Marcotte d'Argenteuil), dated 1928. It is estimated at €300,000-400,000.

Another portrait of Marcotte d'Argenteuil -  signed and dedicated by Ingres to "good friend" Mr Marcotte, and dated 1851 - will auction with a pre-sale value of €150,000-200,000.

Pre-sale viewings will be held on March 23-24, prior to the afternoon sale on the second day.


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