L'invenzione di Ingres


Photographic print on canvas

42 x 32 cm (16 9/16 x 12 5/8 in.)

L’Invenzione di Ingres is a photographic superposition of two images: Raphael's Self-Portrait, held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and its copy by Jean-Dominique Ingres. The work thus shows their great similarity but also their slight differences.

In his protean oeuvre, Giulio Paolini explores the themes of the copy and the duplicate. Here, Ingres's copy is almost perfect, but its originality, uniqueness and inventiveness reside in the fact that it is almost so. The artist seems to suggest that art history evolves through slight modifications, from copy to copy, and that, as Colin Lemoine said, “there is always a discrepancy between the genuine and its copy, the world and its representation, a production and a reproduction.”

L’Invenzione di Ingres was first shown in 2006 at the Where Are We Going? exhibition at Palazzo Grassi, in Venice.