During Ingres's first tenure in Rome, from 1806 until 1820, he drew and painted portraits of foreign visitors and officials, although multifigure compositions, such as the present sheet, are rare. The sitters are the wife and daughters of Johann Gottfried Reinhold (1771–1838), who, after the dissolution of the Napoleonic regime, was appointed the Dutch ambassador to Rome and Florence. Reinhold commissioned at least three portraits from the artist while his family was stationed in Rome between 1814 and 1827. Like many of Ingres's drawings, this sheet was executed on a prepared tablet with layers of paper wrapped around a cardboard center. The cushioning created a taut surface upon which he could incise delicate lines into the soft layers. The scene is made especially endearing by Frau Reinhold's crossed arms as she holds each daughter's delicate hand, a gesture that emphasizes their familial love and unity.
childrenfamilymother and childwomandrawinggraphite