Van Dyke beard

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The Van Dyke beard is named after Anthony van Dyck.

A Van Dyke (sometimes spelled Vandyke,[1] or Van Dyck[2]) is a style of facial hair named after the 17th-century Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641).[3][4] A Van Dyke specifically consists of any growth of both a moustache and goatee with all hair on the cheeks shaved.[3] Even this particular style, though, has many variants, including a curled moustache versus a non-curled one and a soul patch versus none. The style is sometimes called a "Charlie" after King Charles I of England, who was painted with this type of beard by van Dyck.[5] "Pike-devant" or "pickedevant" are other little-known synonyms for a Van Dyke beard.[6]


This style of beard was popular in Europe in the 17th century.[7] It died out in Britain with the Restoration, when French styles and wigs became popular. Van Dyke Beard style is named after the 17th-century Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyke.[8] For some time after, however, some men, known as "vow-beards", continued to wear them, vowing to wear them until the King did so again.[9] It became popular in the United States in the 19th century. Columnist Edith Sessions Tupper, of the Chicago Chronicle (1895–1908), condemned this style, along with the goatee, as indicative of a man "who was selfish, sinister, and pompous as a peacock."[4]

The style was worn by van Dyck himself and by many of the sitters for his portraits, including King Charles I of England.[3] The Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin also wore a Van Dyke. The Van Dyke had a revival in the 19th century[citation needed] and was worn by several well-known figures, including General Custer (among other styles) and the actor Monty Woolley. Colonel Sanders would also qualify as having a Van Dyke.



  1. ^ As by the OED and OED and Chambers 20th Century Dictionary; Grosswirth Marvin, The Art of Growing a Beard, p. 55, 2014, Courier Corporation, ISBN 0486797252, 9780486797250; the artist is today normally referred to as “van Dyck", though there are many variants, but when the term for the beard became popular "Van Dyke" was more common.
  2. ^ LIFE. Time Inc. April 24, 1939.
  3. ^ a b c Sherrow, Victoria (2001). For Appearance' Sake. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-1-57356-204-1.
  4. ^ a b Peterkin, Allan (2001). One Thousands Beards. Arsenal Pulp Press. pp. 172–173. ISBN 978-1-55152-107-7.
  5. ^ Shipley, Joseph Twadell (2001). The Origins of English Words. JHU Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8018-6784-2.
  6. ^ "pike-devant". wordnik. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  7. ^ Sherrow, Victoria (2006). Encyclopedia of Hair. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-313-33145-9.
  8. ^ "Van Dyke Beard style". Indore(M.P.), India.
  9. ^ "The Westminster Review". 62 (121). Leonard Scott Publication. July 1854: 33. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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