Reading the Body: Physiognomics

A Midnight Modern Conversation
Title A Midnight Modern Conversation
Artist William Hogarth
Date 1732/3 (reprinted 1822)
Medium Etching
Location The Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University

Lavater includes a condensed version of this work in his Physiognomische Fragmente, which illustrates his theory that vice can degenerate a person's physiognomy, leaving its mark upon the face. He writes, "Nothing deforms a man as much as vice; nothing makes man as beautiful as virtue."


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