Johann Gaspar Spurzheim, German phrenologist, 1815.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 24cm x 32cm

Johann Gaspar Spurzheim, German phrenologist, 1815.

Varley, Cornelius

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Pencil drawing, signed,'Dr Spurzheim, the introducer of phrenology into England. Traced from life with graphic telescope by Cornelius Varley, 1815.' 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. Spurzheim (1776-1832) was Gall's disciple and the man most responsible for popularising phrenology. Among his works on the subject is 'Phrenology, or, The doctrine of the mind', (1833).



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