Study of a Head, Seen from Behind, from New Method

To understand the structure that underlies facial beauty and expressions, Lequeu studied the musculature of the face and its geometric components. His notes on proportions indicate his familiarity with published anatomical texts. Lequeu’s commentary, however, ironically acknowledges the limitations of his method, noting that “it would be impossible to determine the true combination of passions on our face.”

Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826)
Study of a Head, from New Method, 1792
Pen and black ink, brown wash
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie