Tête de saint Jean l’Evangéliste (s.d.)

Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique (1780-1867)

Tête de saint Jean l’Evangéliste (Head of Saint John the Evangelist)
Oil on canvas, laid down on wood, 39.4 x 27 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This is a study for an altarpiece, Christ Delivering the Keys to Saint Peter, commissioned in 1817 for Santissima Trinità dei Monti, Rome, and completed in 1820 (now Musée Ingres, Montauban). Ingres based the composition on Raphael’s tapestry design of the same theme and developed it in eight oil studies (including this one) and more than seventy drawings. Although the study may date to 181820, it is also possible that it was painted or reworked in 1841, and touches may have been added as late as 1856. (MET)