Four Designs of Upper Parts of Faces, Expressing Different Characters

Image credit: Wellcome Collection

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Design for a plate to J. C. Lavater’s, ‘Essays on Physiognomy’, translated by Henry Hunter, London, 1789–1798, vol.I, facing p.388. Lavater analyses each face, from left to right: One is ‘above the common, replete with candour and dignity’. ‘The character of greatness in two approaches the sublime’. ‘Three is inferior to one, but not absolutely destitute of merit’. ‘Four unites great talents to much firmness and vivacity’.

Wellcome Collection



Four Designs of Upper Parts of Faces, Expressing Different Characters




pencil on paper (?)


H 7 x W 16.4 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presumed to be part of the collection formed by Henry S. Wellcome

Work type



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Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, London, Greater London NW1 2BE England

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