The July Monarchy or the triumph of the bourgeoisie

The July Monarchy or the triumph of the bourgeoisie

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Title: Louis-François Bertin the Elder says Monsieur Bertin.

Author : INGRES Jean-Auguste Dominique (1780 - 1867)

Creation date : 1832

Date shown: 1832

Dimensions: Height 116 - Width 95

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas

Storage location: Louvre Museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - C. Jean website

Picture reference: 85EE423 / RF 1071

Louis-François Bertin the Elder says Monsieur Bertin.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - C. Jean

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

Louis-François Bertin was first secretary to the Duke of Choiseul. A supporter of the Revolution in 1790 and then of the constitutional monarchy, his career as a politician and press boss began after 18 Brumaire when he acquired The Journal of Political and Literary Debates. The Newspaper then becomes the first major modern periodical. However, the newspaper reappears under the title of Journal of the Empire. After the revolution of 1830, he supported the Orleanist party and Louis-Philippe.

Image Analysis

It is when he sees Bertin discussing politics with his sons that Ingres strikes a pose: "Your portrait is done. This time I have you, and I won't let go. "The natural and expressive listening attitude, the physiognomy, the temperament reveal a man sure of his opinions, ready to reply. Ingres uses this motif to express Olympian greatness and to achieve the stylization of historical painting as in Napoleon I on the imperial throne, Jupiter and Thetis, Jesus in the midst of doctors and Charles Thévenin. The movement in power, due to the passion for debate, is captured on the spot. Bertin is surprised by the painter’s eye, he does not pose.
The seated figure is inscribed in a square, turned three quarters. The effects of foreshortening and forward projection stand out from the linear and elegant two-dimensional composition: Ingres plunges the volumes into space, evoking force, movement. Critics, however, found the picture trivial. He portrays with truth and detail the impression of a brilliant personality: the broad and vigorous bust, the plumpness, the open forehead, the small, slightly veiled eyes, the noble and benevolent mouth, the abandoned demeanor, the muscles of the face tense, shoulders strong, hands with powerful phalanges, resting on the knees.
The drawing is dry, fine and fair, the coloring cold and leaden, the shapes exact and the modeling strong, thanks to the use of halftones and strong shadows. The fabric of the coat, black according to the bourgeois fashion of the 19th century, is well rendered. The armchair's note of red velvet brightens up the gray and brown tones of the suit. There is a discreet and refined harmony here.


Ingres reveals in this portrait the soul and the mind, the moral man, through the physical man, and tends towards the ideal reconstruction of the individual. Mr. Bertin thus embodies the type of social man, the great Parisian business bourgeois under Louis-Philippe. By insisting on the characteristic features of the bourgeois of the 19th century, Ingres creates a historical portrait. Classic in its sense of large, synthetic and abstract shapes, Ingres remains faithful to grand style. Modern, it reveals the secret of beauty through truth.

  • bourgeoisie
  • July Monarchy
  • portrait
  • hurry
  • Louis Philippe


Pierre LHOMME The Great Bourgeoisie in Power, 1830-1880, essay on the social history of France Paris, PUF, 1960.Adeline DAUMARD Bourgeois and the bourgeoisie in France since 1815 Paris, Aubier, 1987.Claude BELLANGER, Jacques GODECHOT, Pierre GUIRAL and Fernand TERROU (dir.), General history of the press in France volume II “From 1815 to 1871”, Paris, PUF, 1972. Hélène TOUSSAINT The Portraits of Ingres: paintings from national museums Paris, RMN, 1985.

To cite this article

Malika DORBANI-BOUABDELLAH, "The July monarchy or the triumph of the bourgeoisie"

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