Reading the Body: Physiognomics

 
Lavater, Physiognomische Fragmente
Title Johann Caspar Lavater's Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntnis und Menschenliebe,
Plate IX, "Der tiefste Grad der menschlichen Lasterhaftigkeit, nach Hogarth,"
Artist Anonymous (after William Hogarth)
Date 1775-78
Medium Engraving
Location The Charles Deering McCormick Libarary of Special Collections, Northwestern University

The characters of Industry and Idleness associated with Thomas Idle are depicted in Lavater's text as an example of the deepest grade of human vice. Their faces are scarred by disease, years of abuse, and hardened expressions their eyes are often hooded by furrowed brows, their noses are either extremely broad, or else turned-up.


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