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Physiognomy, developed and even, one might say, sung Johann Caspar Lafater, who lived in the second half eighteenth century, today almost forgotten, like the author of this “false teachings.”
Lafater argued that man can be seen as a creature that is inherent at the same time animal origin, as well as intellectual and moral qualities. This triple reflected primarily on the face (on the structure of the head) of any individual. That’s why sometimes even an ugly face can look noble and radiate divine light because through the plain skin of the physical body is sometimes “seen” by the pure soul.
After analyzing the physiognomy of the faces of many great people, Lafater, for example, argued that Friedrich Barbarossa has the eyes of a genius that Descartes’ wide run of eyebrows tells us about his calmly knowing, very inquiring mind, but Brutus’s different eyes point to his dual nature.
The physiognomy of Lafater admired his contemporaries, although in her few believed that attributing the philosopher’s “hit on the bullseye” only his gift of God. And in fact, Johann could not explain how to him manages to guess many things and even the fate of man, only briefly looking at that one.
Lafater’s popularity in Europe was huge, people came to him many prominent figures of that time. Even the future Russian Emperor Paul the First visited the great physiognomy, and for a long time talked with him face to face.
It was more from the seer
In Zurich, where Lafater lived, an abbot once appeared, about his face whose physiognomy responded very unflattering, although many found This young man is very enjoyable. A few years later the abbot kills a person.
A certain count asked Lafater to look and appreciate his beautiful in all respects a young wife. However, Johann said the nobleman very offensive words about the decanter, which made him very upset. In two years, the spouse ran away from the count, went into all seriouss and finished your days in a brothel.
Once, a distinguished lady came to Lafater with a daughter from Paris, for some reason, she wanted to know the fate of her girl. Physiognom flatly refused to say anything about it, however after mother’s tearful persuasion wrote her a note and took her word from her that she will read it only six months later. During this time the girl got sick and died, and mother, having opened the envelope of Lafater, read that he mourned the untimely death of her daughter.
Contemporaries considered Lafater a seer, although they admired him physiognomy, and great writers such as Balzac, Hugo, Dumas, Bunin subsequently even used it to describe appearance of the heroes of their works.
However, to repeat the experience of the great physiognomy, that is, to determine the character and even the fate of a person in his appearance could not almost no one, even Johann’s disciples, so after death Lafater in 1801 gradually began to forget physiognomy, and later even ridiculed as pseudoscience.