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Three outlines of faces showing various emotions

Charles Le Brun
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Credit: Three outlines of faces showing various emotions. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Three outlines of faces expressing the "caracteres des passions": tranquility (top right), admiration (bottom left) and astonishment (bottom right). Etchings by B. Picart, 1713, after C. Le Brun NOTE: Plate to: 'Caracteres des passions gravés par Bernard Picart sur les desseins de Mr. le Brun'. First published in 8vo in 1698 with engravings by Étienne Picart, it was then published in 12mo (Amsterdam, 1713 - this edition) by Picart's son, then in Paris in 1718 SUMMARY: Le Brun's depiction of the passions is supported by his theory of the passions, which is delineated in the 'Conférence'. In Cartesian style, each compound passion is an organisation of the six simple passions of admiration, love, hatred, desire, joy and sadness. For instance, jealousy is a composite of love and hate; despair "is a strong persuasion of not being able to obtain what we desire"



L'admiration. L'étonnement. Bears numbers : P. 21a. P. 21b.


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