Powerful looks

Rmn-Grand Palais


Individual portraits were first painted towards the end of the Middle Ages as princes, rulers, and warlords wanted to assert their authority and have their power recognized.

In these profile and front-on depictions, the subject's gaze is strong, focused, and often piercing as with Malatesta,

or occasionally seductive as with Maurice de Saxe.

The same determination shines through the eyes of the businessman painted by Ingres ...

... and the proud and fierce face of the turban-wearing black man painted by Delacroix a few years before.

The dark expression of Jupiter, King of the Gods, painted by Ingres to be sitting on the throne of Olympus makes clear his total intransigence ...

as Thetis kneels by his side, begging for some favor.

Nineteenth-century painters were fond of the past and illustrated key events in France's history, imbuing the characters' expressions with all the passion required.

Provost of the Merchants of Paris Étienne Marcel arrogantly seizes power from Dauphin Charles (the future King Charles V).

Having just murdered radical journalist and politician Jean-Paul Marat, the eyes of French Revolutionary figure Charlotte Corday betray her horror at what she has done as well as her feeling of power and satisfaction at seeing her duty fulfilled.

Credits: Story

We would like to thank:
- For design, illustrations, writing, and coordination of the RMN-Grand Palais project: Cécile Maisonneuve (Doctor of Art History, Policy Officer, Scientific Council), Nathalie Gathelier (National Museums Speaker), Annie Madec (Iconographer), Françoise Lombardi-Peissel (Project Manager) at RMN-Grand Palais.
- For reproductions: French museum collections represented by the Photo Agency of the Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais:
Montpellier, Musée Fabre; Versailles, Musée Lambinet; Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts; Paris, The Louvre; Paris, Centre Pompidou (Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre de Création Industrielle).

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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