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TMWLs - Love is Blind by Leopreston TMWLs - Love is Blind by Leopreston
Ok, first of all I have ~AdAbsurdum to thank for this, as she reminded me of this wonderful story with a lovely piece of her own.

This is Gwynplaine and Dea from The Man Who Laughs, a lesser known and terribly overlooked story of Victor Hugo's. It was the subject of an old silent film starring Conrad Veidt back in 1928 and it was Conrad's makeup for Gwynplaine that inspired the look of The Joker.

The basic overview of the story is this; as his father's punishment, Gwynplaine has a horrific Glasgow Smile (a permanent grin, made by cutting the corners of the mouth from ear to ear) carved into his face as a boy by order of a king. He is later abandoned and whilst battling against the cold finds Dea, a blind baby still clinging to her mother's dead body. The two end up in the care of a traveling mountebank named Ursus and his wolf Homo (named after homo homini lupus), and Gwynplaine later becomes 'The Laughing Man' and central attraction.

Despite the fact that everyone laughs at him when they see his smile, Dea sees Gwynplaine for who he is inside and the two fall in love. Ever ashamed of his looks though, Gwynplaine is reluctant to let her feel his face and Dea is under the impression that he is always happy because he is always smiling. The ending of the book is heartbreaking, but the film thankfully makes you feel a tad happier!

I can't tell you how much I love these characters and as this just doesn't get the attention it deserves, I beg you to watch the film: [link] and/or read the book here: [link] Conrad is amazing in this role and if you do watch the film, be sure to watch his eyes. They are so expressive and I think that's hugely important here.

(Artwork © Leona Preston 2010 / ‘The Man Who Laughs’ © Victor Hugo)

:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz:
Please remember to respect my Copyrights!
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:icondivinerogue1991:
divinerogue1991 Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I ADORE the way you've drawn Dea's eyes! It's just how I imagined them in the book:)
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you! I thought they might show some exterior damage from the snow storm and it kind of stuck! :)
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:icondivinerogue1991:
divinerogue1991 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
That's pretty much how they were described anyway. I always had the impression that her eyes were dark brown/black but they practically glowed because they reflected light:P
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
:) I like the idea of Dea having a kind of glow to her. It does suit her visually.
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:icondivinerogue1991:
divinerogue1991 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Uhhh, no pun intended right?
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
Ha ha ha, take it as you may. I just refer to her pure nature. ;)
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:icondivinerogue1991:
divinerogue1991 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm sorryNo, I disagree! Giggle  I knew exactly what you meant I was just trying to make a funny Wink/Razz 
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014  Professional General Artist
Ha ha, no worries, I get you! ;)
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:iconrd-dd1843:
RD-DD1843 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
I want to see the film, because I admire Veidt (a wonderful actor whose work is - ironically as he was vehemently anti-Nazi - only recalled by most people for playing Nazis like Major Strasser in "Casablanca").  I did read Hugo's novel, and it is very sad at the end.  It and "Toilers of the Sea" are the two forgotten masterpieces by Hugo - hidden by "Notre-Dame de Paris" and "Les Miserables" for most people.
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:iconfoxxylover:
FoxxyLover Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2017
Conrad Veidt was a brave man for refusing to renounce the woman he loved - his third wife Ilona, who happened to be Jewish. This cost him acting and living in his beloved Germany, but he said the sacrifice was worth it because he would never rid of her and work under something which he considered oppressive (had he lived longer, he could've seen they were more than oppressive). He was brilliant in Casablanca, but he was amazing in "The Man who Laughs". He and Mary Philbin had beautiful chemistry together.
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Have you not seen it yet? If not, you should, but have some tissues ready! :)
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:iconbookbrink:
bookbrink Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love how faithful you are to the book description-wise. You really pull off his hair. Strange compliment, but hair eludes me :stare:
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ha ha, I can understand that, hair is a pain sometimes. Thank you for the lovely compliment by the way. I appreciate it very much. :)
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:iconbookbrink:
bookbrink Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
(I guess when I say faithful to the book, I mean that if you took off the nose -- it's how I imagine it XD Just realized I should probably say). The style is like a mix of musical and book. Anyway, you're welcome; I enjoyed it very much.
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ha ha, anti-nose Gwynplaine? Sounds intriguing...
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:iconbookbrink:
bookbrink Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
... Rose blush I think I responded to the wrong comment. 
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ha ha, no worries. Actually, I'm notorious for doing just that! ;)
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:iconbookbrink:
bookbrink Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh dear. Yes, yes It seems that Gwynplaine definitely HAS a nose ....
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ha ha, unless he had a cold and it ran off!
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(1 Reply)
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013   Traditional Artist
This is remarkably good! I'm reading the book right now, and, besides seeing Victor Hugo's sketches, I've never seen a picture of Gwynplaine the way he's described in the book. It's so hard to picture yet this captures it. You really have a talent for illustrating Hugo's descriptions. Dea looks spot on too. Gorgeous work!
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:icondivinerogue1991:
divinerogue1991 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Where did you find victor hugo's sketches?
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much! That's such a lovely compliment! :)
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:iconmendedpixie:
Mendedpixie Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I love your version of Gwynplaine! I haven't read the book, but I just finished the film (it was awesome!). I love this piece! I will definitely have to check out more of your art. :)
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much! I'm so happy to hear that. :) There's not enough Gwyplaine love out there...

Was it the 1928 film you watched or the one from last year? Still camping out to see that!
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:iconmendedpixie:
Mendedpixie Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I saw the 1928 film. ^_^ Is the newer one in French? I saw a couple of images for a newer, french version of the story, but for all I know there could be more.
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
Sorry, I'm so late with my reply! Yes, the new one is in French. Still waiting for a subtitled release, sadly. Perhaps soon, eh? :)
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:iconmendedpixie:
Mendedpixie Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
No problem! And yes, I do hope they subtitle it soon...unfortunately I don't speak or understand much French. :p
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Professional General Artist
Neither do I, so I feel your pain! :)
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:iconerikangelofmusic:
ErikAngelofMusic Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
Brilliant story. Brilliant movie. Brilliant picture.
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you most kindly and I wholeheartedly agree! ;)
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:iconpastmisfortunes:
PastMisfortunes Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is incredible....
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much! :hug:
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:iconholymaiden:
HolyMaiden Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
ok, the description, of that...'operation' helps make sense.
...but it's still so sad and cruel.
Lovely picture, btw
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Professional General Artist
Indeed it is, such an invasion! :(
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:iconholymaiden:
HolyMaiden Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
It seems like the story really needs to be brought back to the public. An animation would possibly be the best bet. (not sure how hollywood..or even broadway.. would work it out, when it comes down to that 'smile'.)
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2011  Professional General Artist
They may very well kill it with... overkill, however I agree, it should be updated but as something that doesn't lose it's heartfelt qualities.
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:iconaenigmatista:
Aenigmatista Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, yes. Finally I found it! This is, no doubt, the best TMWL image ever! Gwynplaine is often drawn like in that Paul Leni movie, but personally I like to see how is he imagined by people who've read the novel. Though Hugo spent dozens of pages to describe him, there was never the clear image of Gwynplaine. I mean, he is shaggy, has deformed nose, mouth and ears and looks like he is laughing all the time - and that's it, nothing more. it is inetersting to look how people imagine him.
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Professional General Artist
I know what you mean. Despite the fact that Hugo described him so in depth, it's still hard to imagine. And heck, if you like this, wait until you see what I'm working on at the moment. :D
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:iconaenigmatista:
Aenigmatista Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Hm. I hope I won't forget to look onto you page in some time to look what you're working at.
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Professional General Artist
Ah, I'm sure I'll be finished in a day or so... finally! ;)
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:icontwofacetoo:
twofacetoo Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
nice rendition of Gwyplaine there!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much! :)
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:icontwofacetoo:
twofacetoo Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I love that movie...
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
The 1920's one? Me too, my most favourite black and white movie of all time. :)
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:icontwofacetoo:
twofacetoo Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Eh, I like, but I still prefer Metropolis!
:iconseizure1plz::iconseizure3plz::iconseizure3plz::iconseizure1plz::iconseizure3plz::iconseizure1plz::iconseizure3plz::iconseizure1plz::iconseizure3plz::iconseizure1plz:
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
AAAAH! MY EYES! WHAT ARE YOU.... AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! XD
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:icontwofacetoo:
twofacetoo Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
SEIZURE!!!
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
That was quite traumatic for me, I must say. XD
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(1 Reply)
:iconcrypticdog:
CrypticDog Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Quite possibly the most beautiful rendition of Gwynplaine, and Dea that I have ever seen. It is, and will always be one of the few novels that have brought me to tears. You did a fantastic job on it :3
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:iconleopreston:
Leopreston Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010  Professional General Artist
Oh, then you'll probably love what I'm working on next. :D Gwynplaine is getting a lot of attention from me at the moment!

Thank you so much for the lovely comment by the way. I appreciate it. :)
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