[Daily article] June 11: Portrait of Monsieur Bertin

Portrait of Monsieur Bertin is an 1832 oil-on-canvas painting by Jean-
Auguste-Dominique Ingres. It depicts Louis-François Bertin
(1766–1841), a writer, art collector and director of the pro-royalist
Journal des débats. Having achieved acclaim as a history painter,
Ingres accepted portrait commissions with reluctance, regarding them as
a distraction. The painting had a prolonged genesis; he agonised over
the pose and made several preparatory sketches. The final work presents
Bertin as a personification of the commercially minded leaders of the
liberal reign of Louis Philippe I, emanating a restless energy. He is
physically imposing and self-assured but his real-life personality
shines through – warm, wry and engaging to those who had earned his
trust. The portrait is an unflinchingly realistic depiction of aging;
Ingres emphasises the furrowed skin and thinning hair of an overweight
man who maintains his resolve and determination. Although Bertin’s
family worried that the painting might been seen as a caricature, it is
widely regarded as Ingres’ finest male portrait and has been at the
Musée du Louvre since 1897.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1345:

Inspecting a new prison without being escorted by his
bodyguard, Alexios Apokaukos, megas doux of the Byzantine Navy, was
lynched and killed by the prisoners.

1847:

Afonso died at age two, leaving his father Pedro II, the last
emperor of Brazil, without a male heir.

1956:

The six-day Gal Oya riots, the first ethnic riots targeting the
minority Sri Lankan Tamils in post-independent Sri Lanka, began,
eventually resulting in the deaths of at least 150 people and 100
injuries.

1963:

The University of Alabama was desegregated as Governor of
Alabama George Wallace stepped aside after defiantly blocking the
entrance to an auditorium.

2012:

Two earthquakes struck northern Afghanistan, triggering a
massive landslide that buried a village and killed 75 people.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

grit:
Strength of mind; great courage or fearlessness; fortitude. […]

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

  They say princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship.
The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince
as soon as his groom.  
–Ben Jonson

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