> Visual History

« Back to Visual History

This is a frontal view from Petrus Camper's Treatise on the Natural Difference of Features in Persons of Different Countries…[1775], creating a hierarchy that runs from the lowly ape, through the non-European races, to the highest level of European human.

Note that the head at bottom right is that of a statue, the Apollo of Belevedere, in the Vatican. The founder of art history, Joachim Winckelmann, used this statue as the basis for his widely propagated "Greek Ideal of Beauty." Science and aesthetics meshed, as Camper used the Apollo to represent the highest biological type.