Essays on Physiognomy
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntnis und Menschenliebe, 4 vol. (1775–78; Essays on Physiognomy, 1789–98) is a study of physiognomy by Johann Kaspar Lavater. Goethe worked with Lavater on the book, and the two enjoyed a friendship which endend when Lavater tried to convert Goethe to christianity.
The fame of this book, which found admirers in France and England as well as in Germany, rests upon the handsome style of publication and the accompanying illustrations. The two principal sources from which Lavater developed his study were from the writings of the Italian polymath Giambattista della Porta and the observations made by Sir Thomas Browne in his Religio Medici (translated into German in 1748 and praised by Lavater).
List of illustrations
- Emblem of Vanitas: A death's head behind the mask of a pretty girl, signifying the ephemerality of all beauty. This particular drawing is similar to the later Parodie humaine from the collection Cent légers croquis sans prétention pour réjouir les honnêtes gens by Félicien Rops.
- Wikimedia category