Portraits of the Marquis de Sade  

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 This page Portraits of the Marquis de Sade is part of the Marquis de Sade series  Illustration: Portrait fantaisiste du marquis de Sade (1866) by H. Biberstein
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This page Portraits of the Marquis de Sade is part of the Marquis de Sade series
Illustration: Portrait fantaisiste du marquis de Sade (1866) by H. Biberstein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Since it was believed up until the WWII that no real portraits of French author Marquis de Sade existed, imaginary portraits of de Sade have been made after Sade's death in 1814. The most important ones include Portrait fantaisiste du marquis de Sade by H. Biberstein (to the right), Portrait imaginaire[1] (anonymous, from Les fous celebres), Portrait imaginaire de Sade by Man Ray, and Le marquis érotomane[2] by Roman Cieślewicz. Others include works by Clovis Trouille, Louis Binet and Beresford Egan.

In 1885 Henry Spencer Ashbee observed:

"No authentic portrait of Sade, either painted or engraved, is known ; those lately issued in Brussels—the one, very badly engraved, in an oval frame, said to be " De la collection de M. De la Porte,"[3] the second fairly engraved, representing the Marquis surrounded by demons who are blowing into his ears, signed H. Biberstein, sc, and subscribed, " De la collection de Mr. H*** de Paris —are pure inventions." --Catena Librorum Tacendorum

There is, however, one portrait of Marquis de Sade, Portrait of the Marquis de Sade by (c. 1761) by Charles-Amédée-Philippe van Loo (1719 – 1795).

In the document, Citoyen Sade au Comité de sureté générale, the first and many believe, the only notes on the physical appearance of Marquis de Sade are given. At the age of 53, he was:

"height of five feet and two inches, blond hair and gray eyebrows, high forehead, going bald, light blue eyes, medium nose, small mouth, round chin, full, oval face".

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