Monstre sacré: an extraordinary personage; one who breaks the mold.
Grand Dictionnaire Encyclopédique Larousse

In the last year or so, about a hundred drawings by J.A.D. Ingres from various collections in France and the United States have been assembled and placed on view in New York. They have come in waves. The first was an exhibition at the Frick Collection devoted to an Ingres portrait owned by the museum, the Comtesse d’Haussonville.[1] For this show Edgar Munhall, senior curator, rounded up Ingres’s preliminary studies for the picture of the Countess and wrote a fascinating catalogue (also profusely illustrated) on the genesis of this masterpiece. The image is a sort of hymn to womanhood in which one fictive instant represents the transition from nymph to matron of a young patrician lady. Mr. Munhall’s...

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