Regles Physiognomiques, ou Observations sur Quelques Traits Caracteristiques
La Haye; Paris: I. van Cleef (La Haye), A. A. Renouard (Paris), 1803. Later edition. Hardcover. Folio (14 1/4 x 12 1/4"). , 92pp. Contemporary quarter calf over marbled paper covered boards.
Illustrated with 55 in-text illustrations and a cul-de-lampe being a portrait of the author, this work is an early French edition of Lavater's work on physiognomy.
Originally published in four volumes between 1775 and 1778 under the title "Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntnis und Menschenliebe," this work is Johann Kaspar Lavater's masterpiece. In it, the author introduces the idea that physiognomy relate to the specific character traits of individuals, rather than general types.
The success of this book, which was extremely popular in France and England as well as Germany, rests largely upon the handsome style of publication and the accompanying illustrations.
The two principal sources from which Lavater developed his physiognomical studies were the writings of the Italian polymath Giambattista della Porta, and the observations made by Sir Thomas Browne in his "Religio Medici" (translated into German in 1748 and praised by Lavater).
Binding copy with heavy age wear on binding, covers separated with spine missing, covers rubbed along edges. Endpapers and fly leaf creased. Text in French. Binding in overall poor, interior in good to very good condition. poor to vg. Item #46566