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Lena Synnerholms webbplats. / Lena Synnerholm's website.

Empire style beautification

What do you mean with “empire style beautification”?

It was a special type of beautification which was contemporary the empire style in fashion (1790ies to 1820ies). It consisted of a systematic distortion of the distances between the features of the face. The distances between the nose, mouth and chin were depicted as shorter than they really were. Fortunately, these distances were reduced to the same degree by many different artists. Particularly skilled artists could choose to not do it. There were also a small number of artists which did not do it at all. Consequentially, it is usually possible to find portraits which are more accurate. I have become rather good on finding this out myself.
Whenever possible I have used portraits without empire style beautification. As such there are only four portraits in the list with this type of beautification. They depict two brothers and one of the brother’s own son:


I wanted to show the picture of Napoleone as a good comparison.


The portrait of Lucinano was the best I have managed to find. I have seen six portraits of him. All but the one last to be made has empire style beautification. Unfortunately he stands partly hidden on this portrait. (You can’t see his left eye.) As such I took the one of the five others I found most credible. It in fact does not show any other signs of intentional beautification. The portraits of his bother Napoleone does not do that either.


In contrast, the portrait of Franz does.  He was the son of Napoleone.  I included it as one of only four which are similar enough to each other for me to tell they depict the same person. I think he then really looked like on the other portrait, he was just a little younger. (He may have had more short-cropped hair, too.) Yes, I find it completely sensible that he had such strange lips. In fact I don’t know if there are any people having such lips today. But there are old photos of people which had this particular trait. One of them was his own mother.

Last changed the 10th of May 2019.
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