A Painting Or A Meme? A Look At Joseph Ducreux – Design You Trust

A Painting Or A Meme? A Look At Joseph Ducreux


Self-portrait in the Guise of a Mockingbird, 1791

We don’t know a lot about Joseph Ducreux, but he sure looks like he had sense of humor. A portrait artist in during the reign of Louis XVI of France, Ducreux survives the French revolution, and worked along side of painters like Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, and Jacques-Louis David.

More: Wikipedia h/t: arthistoryproject


Portrait of Marie Antoinette, 1769

Ducreux was born in Nancy, France. His father was a painter, and he would continue the family trade. Ducreux learned pastel from Maurice Quentin de La Tour, and painted his first portraits of Marie Antoinette at age 34. After the turmoil of the French revolution, Ducreux’s friendship with David helped him re-establish his portrait practice, and he would stay in Paris and raise a son and a daughter to be painters.


Self-Portrait, Yawning, 1783

But it’s not his life that makes Ducreux memorable — it’s his faces. Wry grins and comical expressions leap from the canvas. David didn’t paint faces like this. Ducreux’s portraits, especially his self portraits, bring an immediacy and humor to the laborious process of oil painting. Historians attribute these bold expressions to Ducreux’s interest in Physiognomy, the belief that people can be judged by their appearance. But Ducreux’s portraits capture a specific moment and a single expression, a far cry from the ‘ugly people are criminals’ diagrams of the medieval pseudoscience.


Portrait of an Aristocrat in Uniform, 1785-1790

Sassy portraits won Ducreux a second life. In November of 2009, a snarky internet-dweller captioned Ducreux’s fourth-wall breaking self-portrait with archaically rewritten rap lyrics, and the 18th century painter found new life as an internet meme. Notorious B.I.G’s 1995 Get Money made the simple, dramatic statement, “fuck bitches, get money” — which when applied to Ducreux’s Self-portrait of the artist in the guise of a mockingbird became: “Disregard Females, Acquire Currency.”


Le Discret, 1791

If you haven’t seen this image macro, there are more than 1000 variations at Know Your Meme. To our mind, there are few better ways to honor the work of an unusual artist than to make them go viral.


Self-portrait in Surprise and Terror, 1791

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

This Artist Draws a Maps of the World with Just Single Line
Vietnamese Tattoo Artist Masks People’s Scars With Beautiful Artworks
The Childish, Lame, Imperfect and a Bit Quirky Illustrations by SketchyKatieSketches
Artist Draws Extremely Realistic Drawings Using Only A Pencil
German Government Spends $450,000 On A Bold Cycling Safety Campaign, But Not Everyone Likes It
This Artist Sketches The Places She Go To Every Day
ap6y3
Artist of Life Is Beautiful: Original Paintings by Coplu
An Artist Brilliantly Illustrates The Truth Behind Creative Jobs
Star Wars Japanese Ink Warrior Paintings Give Darth Vader And Stormtroopers Samurai Portraits
"Paint and Positivity – Ways to Stay Home in Style": The Superb Illustrations by Shahul Hameed
"Blood Club": The Bizarre & Beautiful Work of Charles Burns
Kawaii, Fetish, Bizarre, Cruel: The Art Of GENk
Russian Artist Creates A Crazy Sole Drinking Art Project
Gorgeous Illustrations From Prentzinger’s Celestial Atlas,1851
You Will Be Amazed by These Unforgettable Portraits by Laura Rubin
The Mysterious And Misty Eerieness Of Japanese Horror Illustrator Mozza
Giant 3D Mixed Media Street Art Sculpture Climbs Università Bicocca In Milan
Psychedelic and Horror in Oil Paintings by Limp Bizkit Guitarist Wes Borland
Feather Paintings by Julie Thompson
Artist Inserts People From Classical Paintings Into The Modern World, And The Result Is Surprisingly Fitting
"Phenomenology Of Human Body": New Media Artist Rinatto L-bank Creates Stunning Digital Bodyscape Transformations
Braun - Hairy Sound
Expectation Vs Reality Of Drawing Courses