March 30, 2003

Physiognomies

The following images are excerpted from Le Brun’s System on Physiognomy by L.-J.-M. Morel d’Arleux (after Charles Le Brun).

Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Eagle. Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Ass. Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Ram.

Le Brun (1619-1690) was a ‘painter and designer who became the arbiter of artistic production in France during the last half of the 17th century.’. Besides his work on paintings, tapestries and murals for the French court, Le Brun was also interested in the study of physiognomy, the ‘science’ of determining personalities from facial features.

Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Ox. Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Cat. Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Owl.

Le Brun’s posthumously-published treatise Methode pour apprendre a dessiner les passions, based on a 1688 lecture, was an attempt to codify the visual expression of the emotions in painting. It was a work that apparently exercised a great influence on European art in the decades that followed. The present works were originally composed for another dissertation on the subject, now lost.

Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Hog. Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Crow. Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Lion.

All of these images are taken from the pages of an on-line exhibition at Les Maîtres des Arts Graphiques. Clicking on these thumbnails will open larger, pop-up versions of the same.

Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Lynx. Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Parrot. Relationship of the Human Figure with that of the Fox.
Posted by misteraitch at March 30, 2003 12:00 PM | TrackBack
Comments

This was scary. Fun and scary. I KNOW people who look like this! They are never going to be the same for me again...

I think I liked the parrot man the best, but the bird men were also amazing.

Posted by: Felicity on March 31, 2003 09:23 AM

Those were wonderful. You always find best images!

Posted by: Alejandra on March 31, 2003 03:33 PM

Utterly creepy...and fascinating! The stuff of my childhood nightmares.

Posted by: Emily on April 2, 2003 05:13 AM
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