Jacque-Louis David, the Inarticulate


This is a portrait of Jacques-Louis David by his student Jérôme Martin Langlois. No, this is no optical illusion. His face was exactly the way it is rendered in the picture. In his youth David was rather quarrelsome and received that scar on the right cheek in some duel. In the later years the wound resulted in a case of partial facial atrophy, which didn’t fail to give David a speech impediment. When in the days of Revolution the painter was elected to the National Assembly, where he by the way voted for the death of the king, the royalists, to avenge Louis XVI, nick-named Jacque-Louis the Fat Cheek.

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