Monday, 30 January 2012

The Duck Face Through History

So I figured this blog needed some culture... to an extent. Therefore I have compiled a chronological list of different art works that happen to contain the well known duck face. If you don't know what the duck face is - somehow you managed to escape its pouty wrath - here is what urban dictionary has to say:
"A term used to descibe the face made if you push your lips together in a combination of a pout and a pucker, giving the impression you have larger cheekbones and bigger lips."
Or better yet this:
"Stupid facial expression put forth by stupid [people] that don't know how to smile. The Duckface is made by moving both lips has far up and outward as possible..."
I've realised that seeing the presence of this facial expression through centuries of art makes it apparent that this "face of a duck" is not such a recent development. I now argue that it is encoded in our DNA as homo sapiens. Perhaps this was a way of prepping yourself in order to gain the fittest mate. Maybe bigger lips are an outward sign to any approaching mate that you are capable of performing certain tasks better than any other? And by that I mean warding off predators by confusing them into thinking you are a large duck with the ability to smother them in a painful yet pouty death. You decide...

"Portrait of Johann Friedrich, the Elector of Saxony" 1531 by Lucas Cranach the Elder

"Portrait of a Marie de' Medici" 1551 by Agnolo Bronzino
"Portrait of a Woman" 1564 by Lucas Cranach the Elder

"Catharina Hooft with her Nurse" 1620 by Franz Hals
"Self-Portrait, Staring" 1630 by Rembrandt
"Louis XVI" 1776 by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis
"Lady Hamilton as Circe" 1782 by George Romney
"Self-Portrait" 1794 by Jacques-Louis David
"A Portrait of Gavriil Derzhavin" 1811 by Vladimir Borovikovsky
"Self-Portrait" 1847 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
"Venus Verticordia" 1868 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

"A Portrait of Berthe Morisot Wearing a Black Hat with Violets" 1872 by Edouard Manet

"La Parisienne (A Portrait of Mme Jules Guillemet) 1880 by Edouard Manet

"Male Portrait" 1931? by Arthur Theo Dirkx

"Duck Face and Wax Face" 20?? - Ozzy Osbourne
"Serious Duck Face" 20?? - Miley Cyrus


  1. wtf most of these don't even come close to a duck face, they're just people who aren't smiling who happen to have big lips.

  2. To me, it's simple. It's when the top lip is at least 40 degrees facing upwards! Looks inviting and erotic to us men.