Van Dyke beard

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The Van Dyke beard is named after Anthony van Dyck.

A Van Dyke (also spelled Vandyke, Vandyck, Van Dyck or Van Dijk) is a style of facial hair named after 17th-century Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck.[1][2] A Van Dyke specifically consists of any growth of both a moustache and goatee with all hair on the cheeks shaven.[1] Even this particular style, though, has many variants, including a curled moustache versus a non-curled one and a soul patch versus none.

This style of beard was popular in Europe in the 17th century.[3] It died out in Britain with the Restoration, when French styles and wigs became popular. 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.[4] It became popular in the United States in the 19th century. Chicago Chronicle columnist Edith Sessions Tupper condemned this style, along with the goatee, as indicative of a man "who was selfish, sinister, and pompous as a peacock."[2] The style is sometimes called a "Charlie" after King Charles I of England, who was painted by Van Dyck with this type of beard.[5]

Van Dykes in history[edit]

The style was worn by Van Dyke himself, and by many of the sitters for his portraits, including King Charles I of England.[1] The Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin also wore a Van Dyke. The Van Dyke had a revival in the 19th century 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.

The word pickedevant is a little-known synonym for a Van Dyke beard.



  1. ^ a b c Sherrow, Victoria (2001). For Appearance' Sake. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-1-57356-204-1. 
  2. ^ a b Peterkin, Allan (2001). One Thousands Beards. Arsenal Pulp Press. pp. 172–173. ISBN 978-1-55152-107-7. 
  3. ^ Sherrow, Victoria (2006). Encyclopedia of Hair. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-313-33145-9. 
  4. ^ "The Westminster Review". 62 (121). Leonard Scott Publication. July 1854: 33.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Shipley, Joseph Twadell (2001). The Origins of English Words. JHU Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8018-6784-2. 

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