Tuesday, January 3, 2023


This is aviation pioneer and outstanding scientist Samuel Pierpont Langley.  He had a really 
nice beard throughout his adult life, yet Allyn Cox portrayed him without it.  A photo of 
Langley is below for comparison.  I don't think it looks like him very much, if at all.



  1. Oh, I don't know... he's certainly caught the bone structure of the facial features and from the hairline and gained girth, I would put the differences down to tempus fugit. Be that as it may, I think the great significance of this work is not artistic but social. It speaks volumes about the acceptance of (non erotic) male nudity, certainly in the visual arts as a lingering legacy of Classicism, when a man of Langley's social standing and importance could pose nude without impuning his reputation in any way. Why didn't he leave me that jacket in his will?

    1. It's pretty much impossible that Langley posed nude as he died when Cox was only 10 years old. I think Cox had to imagine him as young (relative to being dead) and nude. I do agree, however, that after a second and longer look, the drawing does look like the subject.