Jean-Baptiste Belley, a.k.a. A Big Dick

The fingers of his right hand open in a pantomime gesture which suggests a circular motion. The gesture formally repeats the outlines of the protruding penis. Other portraits by Girodet, for example of Chateaubriand, where the model keeps the same posture, lack both. Why is Jean-Baptiste Belley, the only black deputy to the National Assembly, so pumped with testosterone? This question disturbs the Art Historians’ sleep: Is this an index of unrestrained sexuality? Or the anticipation of the days of Terror? One way or the other Chateau Versailles has a remarkable collection of portraits.


About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
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