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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy 392nd Birthday Charles Le Brun!

Happy Birthday to 17th Century master, Charles Le Brun.  He is perhaps my favorite painter to come out of France, and I was born on his 357th birthday.  He is a strange painter, Titianesque at times, sometimes like a scarier Rubens, often reminds me of Poussin and Van Dyke, but there is usually something dark or mysterious that I enjoy.  Painter to Louis XIV, he was called by the king "the most important painter in 17th century France".

Werewolf, by Charles-Le-Brun
One of the things I find most interesting about him are his "physiognomic" heads, physiognomy being the outdated idea that you can tell something significant about a person by the proportions of their faces.  Each of the drawings was based on a particular animal.  These are wolf men.

Daedalus and Icarus
The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Charles Le Brun
Fall of the Rebel Angels
Weasel People
More Physiognomic Heads, possibly based on Lemurs?

Cat dudes.

physiognomy man camel
The camel guys.

physiognomy man ram
Goat fellas.

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