Gérard, François, Baron
Two Studies of Antique Heads: A Bearded Man with a Close Cap, A Young Man with a Phrygian Cap
Gérard’s reputation and success were based on his work as a portrait painter. He studied under Jacques-Louis David, en route to becoming the most fashionable portrait painter of his day – surpassing even his great master. Baron Gérard’s Two Studies of Antique Heads underlines his talent as a portraitist. The sitters differ in age and are each marked by individual facial features. The older man sports a thick, lush beard and his closed-lips draw attention to his moustache. Each curl of hair is described with minute detail. This is a pensive man. Meanwhile, viewers are drawn to the younger figure’s cheeks and his partially open mouth. He is on the verge of addressing someone, and his Phrygian cap suggests his political allegiance. As a revolutionary man, he is ready to fight for his beliefs. He is strong in mind and body. This drawing is a wonderful example of an artist exploring different venues of facial expression.