Beards Through History

January 19, 2015

In the renaissance, a burgeoning beard movement engulfs the aristocracy and finds figureheads in Henry VIII and France's Francis I.

Louis XIV abandons his moustache in 1683, marking the aristocratic transition to the clean-shaven era of wigs, stockings and knee-breeches.

By the turn of the 18th Century, Peter the Great regards beards as so backward that he decrees all Russians, apart from clergy or peasants, would need to shave or pay a special tax.

In the early 19th Century, radicals and revolutionaries sprouted facial hair en masse.

By 1860, US president Abraham Lincoln catches up, donning a chinstrap-beard. His immediate successors follow suit with varying degrees of facial growth, but the resurgence is fleeting.