Hot Guys in Historic Paintings

 

By Sarah Rosenberg

  Frans Hals' Laughing Cavalier (1624)

Frans Hals' Laughing Cavalier (1624)

Looking at pictures in history books, one thing is clear: people were weird-looking. For starters, historical beauty standards praised all the things we don't like today, such as fatness, paleness, and tiny mouths (seriously, mouths in 18th century paintings are frighteningly small). Portraits were stylized, reflecting the ideal qualities of the time, and the sitter may have been depicted as being fatter, paler, with a tinier mouth, etc. to seem more attractive. 

While some portraits are marked by weird beauty standards, other people in portraits are simply ugly. Unattractive people have existed throughout history, unfortunately. Take the Duke of Urbino (at right), for example. There is only so much stylizing a painter could do to a portrait. Maybe make him paler or remove a few moles, but ultimately the Duke was just an all-around ugly guy. In fact, there are some very ugly men throughout western art history. 

For academic clarity, I will refer to these masses of ugly men in portraiture collectively as the 'band of uglies.' However, there are a select few men who stay proudly outside of this band. They are timelessly attractive. Finesse Report has compiled some of these aesthetic heroes to prove that a nice jawline, a heavy brow, and athletic posture never go out of style. 

 

  NOT HOT:  The Duke of Urbino is a classic example of unattractive men in art history. Sweaty hair, moles, and weird glances are common in the 'band of uglies'. Also keep in mind that the Duke had no right eye...What a charmer!

NOT HOT: The Duke of Urbino is a classic example of unattractive men in art history. Sweaty hair, moles, and weird glances are common in the 'band of uglies'. Also keep in mind that the Duke had no right eye...What a charmer!

Scroll Down to See the 5 Hottest Men in painted portraiture

  Portrait of Gian Gerolamo Grumelli  (c.1555-60)  by Giovanni Battista Moroni

Portrait of Gian Gerolamo Grumelli (c.1555-60) by Giovanni Battista Moroni

5. "The gentleman in pink" 

 

I wouldn't call it "pink," but I'm not going to argue with this gentleman (because arguing with a canvas is senseless, and because he looks pretty serious). But even in this elaborate outfit, this guy still looks masculine. His youth, seriousness, and short hair also add to his athletic appeal.  

  The Laughing Cavalier  (c. 1624)  by Frans Hals

The Laughing Cavalier (c. 1624) by Frans Hals

4. more than just a gentleman

This cavalier has good bone structure, and radiant health, but a large part of his attractiveness comes from his charming smile; his countenance gives us a glimpse into his fun personality. The aforementioned details plus his fancy facial hair make us safe in saying he's probably one cool dude. 

  Roman Soldier  (c. 1788)  at Rest by Francois Xavier Fabre

Roman Soldier (c. 1788) at Rest by Francois Xavier Fabre

3. the instagram physique

"Whelp, it's been a long day sacking Jerusalem. Let me get nakey so I can give this body a rest."

I've never met a soldier who rests this way, but can you really blame the guy? If I were this fit, I might pop a clothes-free squat too. He obviously knows how to flaunt what he's got. 

 

  The Tailor  (c. 1570-5)  by Giovanni Battista Moroni

The Tailor (c. 1570-5) by Giovanni Battista Moroni

2. "The Tailor" has mighty good bone structure 

Not only does he have a great jawline and handsome beard, but he's also crafty. So he can charm his young lover, and then make her a solid winter coat. He's a bit serious though, but we'll overlook that because it appears we are bothering him during sewing hour.

  The Temptation of Sir Percival by Arthur Hacker (c. 1894)

The Temptation of Sir Percival by Arthur Hacker (c. 1894)

1. 'the knight in shining armor' cliche 

It's hard to avoid using the cliche here. This intriguing knight has a good balance of masculinity and boyish charm. His armor, rugged jawline, and heavy brow evoke bravery and strength, while his dewy skin and full, tousled hair are a delightful characteristic of an athletic young man. But his bimbo should get lost. She looks too needy.