You may not have heard of Joseph Ducreux, but you have probably seen his paintings used as internet memes - and for good reason! Ducreux was a French painter during the 18th century, who was not only a master of his craft but also a pioneer of quirky self-portraits.

Ducreux's self-portraits capture a sense of playfulness and spontaneity rarely seen in the stoic world of portraiture. From exaggerated expressions to funny gestures, his paintings capture expressions we see everyday, rather than the controlled poses we are accustomed to in portrait painting.

At the heart of Ducreux’s artistic vision lay a fascination with physiognomy—the belief that a person's outer appearance could unveil their inner character. Armed with this belief, Ducreux embarked on a journey to liberate portraiture from its traditional constraints, seeking to capture not just the likeness of his subjects but the essence of their being.

In Ducreux’s hands, portraiture became a medium for exploration—a means of delving into the mysteries of the human psyche and celebrating the richness of individual expression. His paintings show that art can be fun, and that going against the norm and trying something new can have wonderful results. So cheers to Ducreux and his beautifully funny paintings!