Themes of Art
Ingres choice of line has created a theme of repeated circles within circles creating curve, depth & volume throughout his painting. His circular scheme is most evident on his depiction of the voluptuous members of his harem. A majority of the harems bodies are made up of curved & circular forms thus providing the sultan with the visual stimuli of curvaceous & voluptuous members. Most of his member’s characteristics consist of having wide circular eyes, plump round breasts, stomachs and buttocks. A Turkish harem is defined as a sphere of women which is evident in the painting as well as the circular shape of the painting itself. The circular theme of the artist’s use of line should be noted when considering the lines in Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s 1862 painting The Turkish Bath. There is a celebration of all five senses throughout the painting. The harem member in the foreground is playing a stringed instrument providing entertainment of the sound of music adding to the relaxed state within the scene. There appears to be a large flat circular vessel of incents smoldering behind the harem member with half her body in the bath. The aroma of incents blended with the sultry humid air of the bath has created a plethora of smell. From the viewer’s perspective there is a small spread of fruit and tea for the sense of taste. This food is also being enjoyed by the woman in the background as she lowers fruit into her mouth from her raised arm above her head. All of the figures are comfortably placed close to one another enough so that their moist skin is pressed against one another resulting in a sense of touch. There are also two figures caressing each other as one cup’s the others breast with the palm of her hand also creating a sense of touch. The entire painting is visually pleasing from the viewer’s perspective as well as from the subject’s perspective. The use of circles within circles has created a visually stimulating & erotic image of healthy...
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