posted on Aug, 11 2011 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by IndiGo33
I hate to tell you this but its the truth.
The painter, Jacques-Louis David was commissioned by the soon to be Duke of Hamilton to paint the Portrait of Napoleon in his Study in 1811. In that
he was commissioned by a (Scot) Englishman he paid homage to his client by depicting Napoleon in the traditional English fashion, by placing his hand
in his vest.
Where does this tradition come from? From a 1737 English publication called 'The Rudiments of Genteel Behavior' by Francis Nivelon. This illustrated
guide on how to deport oneself in public came out at the end of the Baroque period, a time of large theatrical flourishes and gestures carried out by
sitters in portraits of all European cultures. Nivelon states at the beginning of the section on how a gentleman should deport himself: 'The first
(figure) of which may be properly called the Foundation of all Exercise, that is to Stand firm, yet easy and without Affectation.'
'...the arms must fall easy, not close to the Sides, and the Bend of the Elbow, at its due Distance, will permit the right Hand to place itself in
the Waistcoat easy and genteel, as in this Figure is represented; but any rising or falling the Hand from that Place, will make it appear lame, and
From that moment on it became codified postural behavior to be immortalised in countless portraits and in virtually all public displays of gentlemanly
behavior in England. So, we see that David did not invent the pose, he merely saluted the English tradition in honor of his patron. David was very
concerned his English peers would think well of him.
Read more: wiki.answers.com...