Charles Darwin: Portraits
Many of the portraits of Charles Darwin have become iconic; the bearded, somber, and pensive force behind one of the most important paradigm shifts in the sciences — and in our understanding of the human condition. But, Darwin took much pleasure from some of the images produced. Darwin commented on the Ouless portraits (below):
“I look a very venerable, acute, melancholy old dog; whether I really look so I do not know.”
During Darwin’s lifetime, and after, he was also the frequent subject of caricature, in humor and satire magazines such as Punch. Darwin appears to have enjoyed seeing these images and even remarked,
“Ah, has Punch taken me up? I keep all those things. Have you seen me in the Hornet?”
After Darwin’s death, his image was frequently used in advertising, a reflection of the growing penetration of evolutionary ideas into the broader non-academic culture of the late nineteenth century.