This project has for starting point the méthode pour apprendre à dessiner les passions, the method for learning to draw the passions. A book published in Amsterdam in 1702 after a lecture on general and particular expressions given by Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), director of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture.
Le Brun's method represents one of the earliest efforts to codify the representations of the soul's passions, the passions de l'âme. It's aim was not to subject the passions to Reason but to provide a tool to the painter and sculptor. One's face being the part of the body where the soul's emotions are most intimately revealed, or as Le Brun puts it : la partie du corps où elle (l'Àme) fait voir plus particulièrement ce qu'elle ressent, it was necessary to capture the face's expression in a natural and truthful manner so as to avoid a forced or false representation. Paradoxically, Le Brun's method has come to represent Academicism, its lack of spontaneity and limits imposed on artistic expression. His method is of cartesian inspiration by the cause and effect relationship posited between the passions of the soul and their mechanical expression by the body.
The patient reader will forgive this long introduction necessary for the comprehension of the current project. As Le Brun, I propose to arrive at a definition of the representation of the passions. Participate by sending six portraits of yourself in the attitudes illustrated above. The images will then be combined into a single representation, one for each of the six passions. Le Brun distinguishes two categories of passions : the simple passions and the composed, derived form the first. In the first category he places love, hate, desire, joy and sorrow. The second category includes fear, fearlessness, hope, despair, fright and anger. Admiration, is singled out amongst the passions for being the first and most even tempered of all , la première et la plus tempérée de toutes les passions. I arbitrarily retained six passions for this project: Admiration, Tranquility, Joy, Jealousy, Pain and Anger.
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