Self-portrait in Profile

Lequeu indicated in his inscription—“This second profile much more closely resembles Jean Jacques Lequeu Junior, Architect”—that he was pleased with this attempt at capturing his likeness, produced when he was thirty- six years old. In an open-necked shirt, his hair tied back with a cord, the artist appears at ease. The profile portrait, a popular style during the revolutionary era, harks back to ancient Roman coins, and Lequeu himself was a collector of coins and medals. To outline himself in profile, Lequeu likely relied on a physionotrace, a recently invented device for drawing silhouettes.

Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826)
Self-Portrait in Profile, 1793
Pen and black ink and wash, over black chalk
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie