'Phrenological Illustrations, or the Science Practically Developed', 1824.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

'Phrenological Illustrations, or the Science Practically Developed', 1824.


© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Coloured etching by Marks, published by S W Fores of 41 Piccadilly, London, showing two military gentlemen being examined by a large group of elegantly-dresed phrenologists in order to judge their character. The Viennese physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) proposed that the contours of the skull followed the brain's shape, with each region responsible for an aspect of personality or behaviour. Feeling the lumps was like reading the mind. He called his system organology, but it later became known as phrenology, derived from the Greek word 'phren' for mind. Phrenology never achieved the status of an accredited science, although the principle that many functions are localised in the brain is now widely accepted.



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