stereotypeandsociety.typepad.com > Visual History

« Back to Visual History

Lavater8

Lavater8

In 1775 Johann Lavater, a Swiss Protestant minister, published Essays on Physiognomy. The multi-volume work introduced the science of physiognomy, the ability to understand the correlation between physical beauty and moral beauty, physical ugliness and moral turpitude. His aesthetic hierarchy of humankind was enormously popular among Europeans, including luminaries like Goethe and William Blake. In this page from an 1810 edition of Lavater's work, he explains that physiognomy reveals that the democratic ideal of "Liberty" is not suited to a world where people are essentially unequal.

Permalink