Portrait of Princess Alexandra and Sally Muggins: 1883
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Portrait of Princess Alexandra and Sally Muggins. Illustration published in 1883, on page 537 of the book: 'New physiognomy, or, signs of character as manifested through temperament and external forms'. Samuel R. Wells was part of a group of people interested in the promotion of phrenology as a science. By comparing these two figures, the author establishes that although there are many similarities regarding human physiognomy, including the number of organs, bones, muscles and nerves in the body, there are nevertheless many character differences that can be traced by examining the sizes and shapes of the head. It would then be possible to define human charcaters and behaviour by studying physical traits. As such, Wells describes the figure on the left as: "bright, intellectual and spiritual" and the figure on the right as "opaque, dull and sensual" after examining the size and shape of the individual's facial characteristics and size of their heads.
1883 AD - 1883 AD