The Betrothal of Raphael and the Niece of Cardinal Bibbiena

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres1813-14

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum
Baltimore, United States

Although he trained in the studio of the celebrated Neoclassical history painter Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), Ingres defies easy classification. This intimate painting reflects Ingres's Romantic fascination with the lives of artists of the past whom he admired-in this case, Raphael. In this scene, Cardinal Bibbiena presents his niece as a bride for Raphael, a demonstration of the extraordinary esteem the cardinal felt for the handsome young artist. Ingres was careful to use historical sources in his imaginative depiction of this pivotal moment. Raphael's features are based on a portrait of a young man that was once thought to be a self-portrait (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.); Bibbiena's likeness is based on a portrait by Raphael (Pitti Palace, Florence); and the cardinal's niece was inspired by Sebastiano del Piombo's image of a woman once identified as Raphael's mistress, called "La Fornarina" (also in the Pitti Palace).


  • Title: The Betrothal of Raphael and the Niece of Cardinal Bibbiena
  • Creator Lifespan: 1780/1867
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Date Created: 1813-14
  • Physical Dimensions: w46.5 x h59.1 x d12.7 cm
  • Type: oil paintings
  • Rights: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1903, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: oil on paper mounted on canvas
  • Provenance: Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, 1813, by commission; Duke of Salerno [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Prince of Salerno Sale, Naples, April 19, 1852, no. 118; Collection Giuseppe Tibaldi, Naples [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Ch. Blanc Sale, Paris, March 13-15, 1882, no. 33; Collection L. Tabourier [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Mrs. S. D. Warren, Boston [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Mrs. S. D. Warren Sale, American Art Association, New York, January 8-9, 1903, no. 52; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1903, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: France
  • Inscriptions: [Signature] Lower left: INGRES; [Label] On stretcher: DURAND-RUEL/Paris 16 rue Laffite/New York 315 Fifth Avenue/Ingres No. 834/Le Cardinal Bibiena presentant sa niece à Raphael; [Sticker] 66; stencil on canvas lining: American Art Association/Mrs. S.D. Warren Sale/January 8th, 1903; [Label] On stretcher, inscribed in ink: Mrs. S.D. Warren, 67 Mt. Vernon St./Boston
  • ExhibitionHistory: From Ingres to Gauguin: French Nineteenth Century Paintings Owned in Maryland. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1951; Ingres in American Collections. Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York, New York. 1961; Ingres et son Temps. Musee Ingres a Montauban, Montauban. 1967; From El Greco to Pollock: Early and Late Works by European and American Artists. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1968; Raphael and America. National Gallery of Art, Washington. 1983; Raphael et l'Art Francais. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. 1983-1984; Raffaello: elementi di un mito. Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence. 1984; Triumph of French Painting: Masterpieces from Ingres to Matisse. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. 2000-2002; A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte. 2002-2004; De la scène au tableau. Musee Cantini, Marseille; Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto (TN); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. 2009-2010
  • Artist: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

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