Selected Documents Persons, Institutions Johann Caspar Lavater

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The Zürich pastor, Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801), was renowned as a proponent of the Enlightenment throughout Europe. The reception of his ideas on physiognomy was both enthusiastic and contentious. He combined images and texts on the subject, collecting them in his Cabinet of Physiognomy (Physiognomisches Kabinett), which is presented here. As a correspondent, Lavater was in close contact with many illustrious figures of the European Enlightenment, from the realms of politics, culture and scholarship, as well as with numerous ordinary and common people, cultivating a lively exchange of ideas, not just on the subject of physiognomy, but on every conceivable topic and matter.