Digital Lavater
September 12, 2003 1:59 AM   Subscribe

Essays on Physiognomy: Designed to Promote the Knowledge and the Love of Mankind. Eighty plates by the physiognomist Johann Caspar Lavater (1741 - 1801) who examined people's appearances and then made conclusions about their inner worth. His subjects included Socrates, drunken revellers, himself and many, many more. The original Eighteenth-Century engravings are also included. (via zfilter)
posted by Ljubljana (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Very cool, Ljubljana, thanks for this. On a related note: the work of Charles le Brun.
posted by misteraitch at 2:10 AM on September 12, 2003

[this is marvelous and strange and kind of icky]

There seems to be a tremendous human urge to try to read character in face. Consider The Picture of Dorian Gray, or the 'science' of phrenology. Or racism, which generally relates to people not only of different color, but of different facial bone structure than oneself. Consider how we speak of a strong nose, or a weak chin.

This whole presentation reminds me in its complete subjectivity to Blondlot and the N-ray affair, and of attempts to discern character in handwriting.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 2:37 AM on September 12, 2003

Fascinating - Group of Brutes and illustrative of the temperments...another great find Ljubljana!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:54 AM on September 13, 2003

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