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March 26, 1938

My dear Mr. Ford:

We have just received, coming directly from the family of Ingres, a painting which is of the greatest importance, and I thought I ought to let you know about it. 

It is the first version in grisaille of the Odalisque which Ingres painted in 1814 for the Queen of Naples, and which is now in the Louvre Museum. This first version is somewhat simplified in the sense that the drapery is plainer and that the accessories, such as the fan, jewelry, the turkish pipe, have been left out. The great simplicity, the beauty of the line, the supreme quality of draftmanship [[draftsmanship]] make this picture one of the greatest classical examples of the art of the 19th century. 

Should you be interested in seeing a photograph of it, I would be very glad to send it to you. The painting is 32-3/4" high and 42-3/4" long, but the photograph gives a good idea of its quality. We have the documents, such as Ingres' will and an inventory letter of the present owner to prove that this picture was in Ingres's studio when he died, and was left by him to his wife, who gave it to her brother. He in turn left it to his daughter. 

Kindly asking you to remember me to Mrs. Ford,

Please believe me to be,

Very truly yours

(Rene Seligmann)

Mr. Edsel Ford
1100 Lake Shore Drive
Detroit, Michigan

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