20 March 2009

INTENSE HAIR-DOs: Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau (1616-1679)

Anyone who's taken a trip to the long-eighteenth has seen their share of periwig-bedazzled pates. Like the famous hair horns of Louis XIV --


-- or the towering pile of pelts perched atop Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz:


And as for facial hair, I don't even chuckle anymore at the soul patch tucked into the fat, dimpled chin of baroque poet and Salvador-Dali-stunt-double Andreas Gryphius (1616-1664):


. . . but dude:
Seriously, Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau (1616-1679)? That was the portrait you wanted to use? You know, the thing people would be looking at 300 years later? I really . . just . . . there are no words. I can kind of enjoy a good periwig -- it's fun, you can change it up, go short and practical for a windy day or long and furry for the winter months. But this really doesn't look like a wig. This looks like a bad perm on a humid day; or Rick James toward the end of a Jheri curl cycle.

Sigh. The things that keep me entertained while finishing up a Friday of translation . . .

(PS: More on the history of the wig here: "Big Hair: A Wig History of Consumption in Eighteenth-century France," by Michael Kwass. Gotta love those puns.)

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