The first and most obvious sense that he is summoning is sight. The repeated use of circles creates a soft, flowing image. It makes the painting visually pleasing. The posture and rounded backs of the woman in the scene create a very relaxed atmosphere. There are no loud or bright colors distracting your attention. These visual characteristics make it seemingly easy to imagine yourself as part of his work.The woman caressing each other and the closeness between them is representing touch.
By painting the woman so close it allows us, as the viewer to feel the warmth of the atmosphere. Ingres also allows us to taste and smell this act by placing a tray of food at the forefront of the painting, and by painting the figures misting themselves with perfume and burning incense. One of the bathers to the left of the painting is standing up and what appears to be dancing. There is another woman, seated in the front with her back facing the viewer playing a guitar, almost allowing the onlooker the ability to hear the music.By Ingres’ artistic and subtle way of appealing to the senses, he is allowing others to become part of his work by providing them the ability to truly become lost in his work. Ingres’ The Turkish Bath painting also displays the consistent use of circles. By using a circular theme throughout his work, Ingres keeps the fluidity of the painting flowing.
The frame is the first noticeable circle. Upon closer examination we see the roundness in the bellies of the bathers. Their circular breasts, heads and buttocks continue to show roundness.Even the scarves in the bathers’ hair are wrapped in a circular form. By using circles and staying away from sharp lines and rough edges, the artist carries on the sensual, calmness this image exudes. The sultan is not visually present in this painting. However, it is understood that these bathers are ready for the sultan to arrive.
They are all circled around and facing to the left of where the audience is standing. Some even seem to be preparing themselves for his arrival by misting perfume on them.There is also a tray of food & drinks set out in the front of the canvas waiting to be served to the sultan. The woman are obviously very submissive and aware of the sultans fantasies. Ingres shows the power of the sultan by showing woman nude and caressing each other. The bathers also do not make eye contact with him. Most are looking down or away.
This also shows the respect they have for the sultan. By placing the tray of food closest to the front and almost inviting us in, and by making sure the bathers do not make eye contact with us, I believe Ingres wanted the viewer to be the sultan.Throughout His painting The Turkish Bath, Jean –Auguste-Dominique Ingres pays great deal of attention to including the audience in his work. He appeals to their senses, creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere and even seems to imply the viewer is the sultan further alluring us to be part of his masterpiece. When viewing Ingres’ work it becomes easy to get lost in his great use detail and almost unknowingly be drawn into this depiction. His technique and approach to making everyone feel like they are part of his artwork is brilliant. The Turkish Bath is a fascinating work of art.