1590 Della Porta Animal Human Physiognomy

1590 Della Porta Animal Human Physiognomy

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Composite of three human/animal comparative physiognomy plates 1590 from Giambattista della Porta 'Fisonomia dell'Huomo'. Physiognomy (from the Gk. physis meaning "nature" and gnomon meaning "judge" or "interpreter") is the assessment of a person's character or personality from his or her outer appearance, especially the face. Such beleifs had been held since the ancient greeks (eg Aristotle) and Della Porta was the first to publish upon what he saw as the relationship between human and animal 'characters' in the Renaissance. This idea was taken further by Lavater in the 18th century and is now considered pseudoscience.

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Keywords: animal, aristotle, character, characteristics, della, face, fauna, features, giambattista, lavater, man, physiognomy, porta, pseudoscience, wildlife

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