Reading the Body: Physiognomics

 
Industry and Idleness, Plate III
Title Industry and Idleness
Plate III, The Idle 'Prentice at Play in the Church Yard, during Divine Service
Artist William Hogarth
Date 1747 (reprinted 1822)
Medium Etching and Engraving from Drawings
Location The Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University

Gambling in the graveyard during the church service, the faces of Tom Idle and his friends truly belie their `wicked' characters in this print. The character on the far right of the print demonstrates this perfectly, as he scratches at his flea-bitten body and looks on with a hooded brow, deformed nose, and open sores. Lavater reproduces his face and all of Idle's circle in his physiognomic treatise, describing their countenances as `devilish' and `despicable'.

 

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