It is a shame Benoist didn’t turn up sooner … but still, we get to compare with the oil paintings – all in all, they do tend to compare well. The Fascination of the Macabre – gets me every time… 🙂
If you want accurate likenesses of eighteenth century aristocrats, don’t rely on painted portraits. If you must insist on versimiltude, I have two things to say: “Goodnight and good luck” and “Wax Portraits!!”
Before yesterday, I had never heard of such a thing. Wax figures like Madame Tussaud’s? Of course. But small, uncomely representations of monarchs, mistresses, noble folk? I am fascinated.
Somehow in the two times I visited Versailles I missed Louis XIV’s 1706 wax portrait. Too distracted by the gilt, no doubt. What’s peculiar about this buste is what’s most obvious. Apart from the fact he looks dusted with flour–an ill omen caused by bad reproduction–he’s got pockmarks, a five o’clock shadow, and age spots. If you can’t see them in the first picture, my lack of HD quality has dashed the clarity (Super clear and creepy whole bust here).
To be fair, Antoine Benoist molded…
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