The portraits of numbers 5, 11 and 13 are remarkable in their absence of
facial features, compared to the other portraits.
As this is a painting and not an accidental snapshot, there must be a
reason for the way these three people are treated. Number 3 seems to be
quite young and could be one of the assistants (or 'élève') that
are scattered all over the painting. Number 11 looks older than number 3 and
it is therefor less likely that he is an assistant too. As for number 13:
the averted face could symbolize a separation of that person from the rest of
the Compagnie, like in the case of Auzout who left the Academie in 1668 or as
in the case of De La Chambre, who died in 1669.
- Of number 5 only the hair, eyes and upper part of the nose are
visible, and then only because he seems to stretch his neck in order to see
what happens in front of him.
- Of number 11 only the nose and mouth are visible while the eyes are
covered by the hair of numbers 10 (Picard) and 12.
- Only when looking at number 13 it appears that numbers 3 and 11 are not
the worst portraits. Only the back of the head, covered by a cap, and some traces of hair
indicate that someone is present, who seems to be absorbed by perhaps the
skeletons in the back.