• 1964
  • Canvas
  • Enamel paint
  • Inv. 67P291

Lourdes Castro

Odalisque d’ Après Ingres

Dimitri Salmon* wrote that this work was a homage to one of the “grand ladies” of a museum (the Louvre) that Lourdes de Castro visited frequently when she lived in Paris from 1957 to 1982, and that it transforms the work of Ingres into a sign or form and that, by reducing it to an outline, eliminates the figure depicted, so that all that remains is a silhouette.


La Grande Odalisque is one of the most iconic works of the French painter Ingres (1780–1867), and in the history of art it has been a source of inspiration and citation for countless artists. It is the portrait of a nude woman surrounded by cloths that drape, slide and cascade in folds: traces of movement appealing to the sense of touch. Above all, they frame the sensual, curvaceous body of the woman, who lies reclined with her back to us – and what a back it is – yet gives us a sideways glance, conscious that she is being observed.


This is precisely what Lourdes de Castro effaces and omits, simply drawing the outline of the body in red against a green background. Lourdes de Castro wrote the following about the shadow and the outline in 1963:


“The shadow is still palpable, but the outline is not. The outline surprised me because it did not exist before I drew it; I think that it represents a new look at my surroundings. I found the shadow projected as an outline much more interesting than depicting it in a straightforward way. Because the outline of the shadow is ghostlier, more fugitive, and even more absent. While an outline is something that has been made using the presence of the shadow, but it breaks free of it. The outline suggests real and absolute absence. For me, it means moving even further away. The outline is the least that I can have of something, or someone, while still preserving their features.” **


*Cf. cat. «Ingres Regards Croisés» by Jean Pierre Cuzin and Dimitri Salmon, Mengés, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris 2006.

**In Além da Sombra, CAM - Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 1992.



Isabel Carlos

May 2013


"Ingres et les modernes"
Musée Ingres, Montauban
Curator: Musée Ingres, Montauban
3 de Julho de 2009 a 4 de OUtubro de 2009
O Musée Ingres de Montaubans está a organizar, em colaboração com o Musée National des Beux Arts du Quebec uma exposição intitulada "Ingres et les modernes", que irá apresentar em 2009 em Montauban.
Estampa, Salón Internacional del Grabado y Ediciones de Arte Contemporâneo
Instituto Camões
Curator: Instituto Camões
9 de Novembro de 2005 a 13 de Novembro de 2005
Espaço Tentaciones, Madrid
Exposição organizada pelo Instituto Camões em colaboração com a Embaixada de Portugal em Madrid.