The painting "Source", completed by Ingres in 1856, 36 years after the start of work on it, immediately attracted the attention of the public and critics. Theophile Gauthier, Charles Blanc, Renoir, Seurat and many others spoke positively about this work, noting the accuracy of the drawing, the harmony of the composition and the coloristic decisions.
French painting was very fond of this stable leitmotif - pouring water, as a source of vitality, is found in the paintings of many French artists. But at Ingres, this familiar plot suddenly found a new sound. The main thing for the artist was the image of the heroine herself, and a jug of water, like the background, he entrusted to depict his students, Alexander Dehoff, who later became famous for his landscapes and paintings on biblical subjects and Paul Balsa.
Attentive researchers of the work of Ingres will find in the "Source" some citations of his own works, as well as references to other works of other authors. So the girl’s pose is already found in another famous painting by Ingres - “Venus of the Anadiome”, and the raised hand was copied from the nymphs of the French sculpture of Jean Goujon.
Following his own style, Ingres managed to bring new touches to the work, which was immediately noted by the audience - the painter had never painted such sweet-faced faces yet. Researchers immediately began to compare the face of the heroine with the girls from the paintings of Jean-Baptiste Greuze.
It was no coincidence that Ingre recalled his work that had begun - the World Exhibition of 1855 was on the nose. However, as the author did not want to submit the work for the opening, he did not have time, and the picture was just exhibited in his workshop, where he immediately won five buyers (according to Ingres). The sole private owner of the “Source” was Count Duchutel, and after his death, the painting, according to the will of the owner, was given to the Louvre. Since 1986, a remarkable work moved to another eminent museum - Orsay, without changing the city of "registration".