The physical appearance of Marquis de Sade  

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In the document, Citoyen Sade au Comité de sureté générale it is noted that Sade was, at the age of 53, "Taille de cinq pieds deux pouces, cheveux sourcils blonds gris, front haut, et découvert, yeux bleu clair, nez moyen, bouche petite, menton rond, visage ovale et plein" (English: height of five feet and two inches, blond hair and gray eyebrows, high forehead, going bald, light blue eyes, medium nose, small mouth, round chin, full, oval face).

Confusion about his height results from the difference between the French pouce and British inch—2.71 and 2.54 cm respectively.

Regarding the height: this has to be calculated in 18th century feet and inches, which comes to about 1,63 meters.

But in the book The Marquis de Sade: A Life "Sade's height, as recorded later on various administrative documents, was measured as five feet six inches or a bit more (see Lely, 1:91-93)." This comes down to 1,68, which is also the length given in Sade Vivant.


Mme de Sade à Gaufridy : « Il [le marquis] se porte bien, mais il grossit beaucoup. » 2 avril 1790. — M. de Sade à Gaufridy : «J'y ai acquis [à la Bastille], faute d'exercice, une corpulence si énorme qu'à peine puis-je me remuer. ..

Via Vie du marquis de Sade by Gilbert Lély

See also

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