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Playful Self-Portraits Show a Rarely Seen Side of 18th Century Painting


Self-Portraits by Joseph Ducreux

Joseph Ducreux, self-portrait entitled “The Surprise in Terror,” c. 1790s (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Community area)

Self-portraiture has been a process for artists to practice their competencies for hundreds of years. And when many well known self-portraits attribute a stoic, shut-mouth portrayal of the sitter, some painters preferred to be remembered in less-than-standard depictions. Just one these kinds of artist was Joseph Ducreux, a French portraitist who captured his likeness in a range of playful and relatable poses.

Born in 1735, Ducreux was a prominent court painter all through the reign of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, generating numerous portraits of royalty in the customary official fashion. Portray himself was a way for the artist to experiment exterior of the demanding traditions of the time. In particular, Ducreux employed his graphic to review extraordinary facial expressions and physiognomy—which was a well known belief that a person’s visual appeal is associated to their temperament.

Right now, these self-portraits are shown in museums like the Getty Middle and the Louvre, exactly where they stand out among other 18th-century portraits for their peaceful and much more human technique. For instance, Self-Portrait, Yawning depicts Ducreux in the middle of a substantial yawn with his mouth vast open, 1 arm stretched more than his head, and his back again a bit bent. Equally, Self-Portrait of the Artist in the Guise of a Mocker, exhibits the painter grinning and pointing at the viewer with a comical gaze. Other self-portraits portray the artist caught in wide-eyed shock and making an attempt to be silent.

18th-century French artist Joseph Ducreux established playful self-portraits of himself in distinctive poses and expressions.

Self-Portraits by Joseph Ducreux

Joseph Ducreux, “Self-Portrait of the Artist in the Guise of a Mocker,” c. 1790s (Image: Wikimedia Commons, Community area)

Self-Portraits by Joseph Ducreux

Joseph Ducreux, Self-Portrait entitled “The Silence,” c. 1790s (Picture: Wikimedia Commons, Community area)

Self-Portraits by Joseph Ducreux

Joseph Ducreux, self-portrait entitled “The Shock in Terror,” c. 1790s (Photograph: Wikimedia Commons, Community domain)

Self-Portraits by Joseph Ducreux

Joseph Ducreux, “Self-Portrait, Yawning,” c. 1783 (Photograph: Wikimedia Commons, Public area)

Self-Portraits by Joseph Ducreux

Joseph Ducreux, Self-Portrait entitled “The Discreet,” c. 1790s (Image: Wikimedia Commons, Public domain)

Louvre: Internet site | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [Reddit]

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