- Face Facts: A History of Physiognomy from Ancient Mesopotamia to the End of the 19th Century
Face Facts: A History of Physiognomy from Ancient Mesopotamia to the End of the 19th Century:
The journal of biocommunication, february 1997
University of Toronto
Physionomy is the art of discerning the character of the mind from the features of the face.
It is now considered a pseudo-science at best.
Pseudo-Aristotelian physiognomy considers that ones character can be determined by the character of animal to which she or he bears a resemblance, the race to which (s)he belongs and the interpretation of transient facial expression.
Positive attributes -> men, negative attributes -> women
First illustrated account of naturalist theories appeared during the Renaissance in a 16th century publication by an Italian physiognomist named Giambattista della Porta. > De Humana Physioanomonia. This provided visual material for the above mentioned Pseudo- Aristotelian theories. (Page 3)
Della Porta’s work represents a departure from the association of physiognomy with astrology, and legitimizes it as the product of natural science.
<br. Charles le Brun 17th century
Physiognomy fell out of favor but Johan Casper Lavater tried to reestablish it as a science again in the 18th century.