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Phrenology of famous heads, 1838

Phrenology of famous heads, 1838

C029/0029

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Phrenology of famous heads. Phrenological divisions of the heads of Buffon, Descartes, Gluck and Raphael. The belief that variations in skull shape can be measured to deduce brain and personality traits is known as phrenology. It was proposed by the German physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828), who published his major work on it in 1819. He called it 'Schadellehre' (doctrine of the skull). It is now considered pseudoscience. Artwork from an 1838 volume of 'Dictionnaire pittoresque d'histoire naturelle et des phenomenes de la nature' (Paris, 1833-1839) edited by Felix E. Guerin-Meneville.

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