'The Physiognomist', a figure composed of various types of faces, 1831

Madeley, G E

 
'The Physiognomist', a figure composed of various types of faces, 1831
4 0 c m
 
35cm
actual image size: 27cm x 32cm

Description

Physiogomy is the study of the systematic correspondence of psychological characteristics to facial features or body structure. It was founded by Johann Kaspar Lavater, a Swis writer and Protestant pastor. Although most efforts to specify such relationships have now been discredited, physiognomy was extremely popular in the mid-nineteenth century, much attention being focused on the study of facial portraits from different parts of the world in attempts to identify and explain racial and regional differences. However, these analyses tended to reflect European racial prejudices rather than provide any useful information.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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