Franz Joseph Gall, German anatomist and phrenologist, c 1810.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Mezzotint by F Lenthe after J Grasi showing a portrait of Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) with his arms folded, looking in contemplation towards a group of phrenological objects and a bust of Haydn. Gall gave popular lectures on phrenology (the study of the shape and size of the skull as a supposed indication of mental abilities and character). His ideas, including the theory that a person's talents and qualities were traced to particular areas of the brain, were seen as being subversive of religion. Phrenology has been long since discredited.