Physiognomy (Gr. , from nature, and , to know), the art or science of reading human nature by means of the face, which is hence called the physiognomy. It is certain that physiognomy was cultivated in ancient Egypt and India, and the present recognition of it by the Chinese as evidence in courts of justice is said by them to have descended from remote antiquity. The oldest extant scientific writings on the subject are those of Aristotle. In his "Treatise on Physiognomy " he refers to the labors of predecessors in the same field; and his "History of Animals " is almost as much a system of comparative physiognomy as of comparative anatomy. One of Aristotle's greatest disciples and followers, in physiognomy as well as in natural history and botany, was Theophras-tus; his "Characters" contains 30 chapters with 50 physiognomical sketches. Polemo, shortly after him, also paid great attention to the science; his work on it is contained in the Scriptores Physiognomies, with those of Adamantius, Giovanni Ingegneri, and others.
Albertus Magnus, in the 13th century, wrote learnedly on physiognomy, and published a chart of the Aristotelian division of the mental faculties in connection with the lobes of the brain, as did also Pietro Montagnana in 1491. Gall makes the latter the basis of his classification and location of faculties and organs in his treatise Sur les fonctions du cer-veau (Paris, 1822-5). The celebrated work of Giambattista della Porta on physiognomy (Naples, 1586) compares men with animals, placing them side by side, and is to a great extent a commentary on Aristotle. Cardan, Spontanus, Tommaso Campanella, and many others, contributed to this science by their writings and their zeal. Dr. Parsons, in the "Philosophical Transactions" for 1749, gives a list of 41 old authors who have written on expression. Le Brun, father of the French school of painting, was scarcely less distinguished as a physiognomist than as a painter. His treatises Sur la physiognomie and Sur le caractere, says a biographer, " were the chief authority in academies and with teachers," and he " was long regarded as the great model and authority in expression." He compares men and animals with each other, after the manner of Porta; and Tischbein, a German painter, carries out the same idea in his Tetes des differents ani-maux dessinees d'apres nature (Naples, 1796). Lavater began his study of faces when a boy, his collection of portraits of remarkable men of all ages and countries in 1769, and his publications on the subject in 1772, these being followed in 1775-8 by his Physiognomische Fragmente. Camper, the Dutch anatomist, who published "Discourse on the Face," "Analogy between the Structure of the Human Body and that of Quadrupeds," and "Connection between the Science of Anatomy and the Arts of Drawing, Painting, and Statuary," shortly after the publications of Lavater, was almost lost in the popularity of his predecessor; and his only really valuable contribution to physiognomy that has lived is his "facial angle," the incipiency of which he ascribes to the sages and artists of ancient Greece. A new physiognomical era begins with Dr. Gall. Lavater began his studies with observations on the forehead; Gall began his with speculations on the eyes of his fellow students, followed by studies of the interocular space and the frontal sinus, discovering in them words and the revelations of words, and the senses of form and place.
Gall starts with the idea of elementary faculties of the mind, and of a distinct organ for each faculty, in and through which it exists and manifests itself. His system combines the old ideas of metaphysics, physiology, and physiognomy in the unitary circle of cause, means, and end. A most valuable contribution to physiognomy, contemporary with that of Gall, is Johann Gottfried Schadow's " Groups of Mankind according to their Races and Periods " (1824), followed by his " National Physiognomies " (1835). In the chevalier de Gama Ma-chado's " Theory of Resemblances, a Philosophical Essay on the means of determining the natural Dispositions and Habits of Animals, according to the Analogies of their Forms and the Colors of their Coats " (1831), the author extends his comparisons to resemblances between animals and plants, illustrating them by colored engravings. Sir Charles Bell (" Anatomy of Expression," 1806; revised ed., 1844) says: " Attending merely to the evidence furnished by anatomical investigation, all that I shall venture to affirm is this, that a remarkable difference is to be found between the anatomy and range of expression in man and in animals; that in the former there seems to be a systematic provision for that mode of communication and that natural language which is to be read in the changes of the countenance; that there is no emotion in the mind which has not its appropriate signs; and that there are even muscles in the human face to which no other use can be assigned than to serve as the organs of this language; that, on the other hand, there is in the lower animals no range of expression which is not fairly referable to a mere accessory to the voluntary or needful actions of the animal; and that this accessory expression does not appear to be in any degree commensurate to the variety and extent of the animal's passions." Spurzheim's " Physiognomy in connection with Phrenology," ' containing numerous portraits of historical personages, proceeds upon the supposition that there are no exact signs of character in the face except what can be seen in the forehead.
An idea of reciprocal relation between the brain and the face in the manifestation of character led Dr. J. W. Red-field in 1840 to the observation of signs of character in. the face corresponding with those of Gall and Spurzheim in the brain. According to him, the lower jaw answers to the cerebellum, and the rest of the face to the cerebrum; the upper jaw bone to the posterior lobe, the cheek bone to the middle lobe, the nasal bones and the cartilage to the anterior lobe, the muscles about the mouth to the crown of the head, and those of the eye and forehead to the coronal region; the difference between the brain and face in these corresponding divisions being this: that the brain is the organ of the endurance or responsible impressibility of the mind, and that the face indicates its voluntariness or motive action, as shown in the predominant brain and impressibility of the child, and the predominant face and purpose of the adult. Observing these relations between the brain and the face, he finds the " amativeness " of the cerebellum in the chin; the "philoprogenitiveness" of the posterior lobe of the cerebrum in the first pair of upper incisors; the "cunning" of the middle lobe in the zygomatic arch of the cheek bone: the " comparison " of the anterior lobe in the end of the nose; the "self-esteem" and " ap-probativeness " of the crown of the head in certain muscles of the upper lip; the " conscientiousness " and " benevolence" of the coronal region in certain muscles of the forehead; and in like manner the other regions of the brain in corresponding faculties in the face.
The facial signs of these are described in his " Outlines of a New System of Physiognomy" (1848), and in his plaster chart of the face (1850), published in S. R. Wells's work on "Physiognomy " in 1866. His first number of "The Twelve Qualities of Mind" was published in 1850, and his " Comparative Physiognomy, or Resemblances between Men and Animals," in 1853. The discoveries of Dr. Duchenne are to a remarkable degree confirmatory of Dr. Redfield's, published 14 years before. Darwin, in his "Expression of the Emotions in Men and Animals" (1872), renders invaluable service to physiognomy by comparisons of physiognomical expressions extended to the most distantly related of the human family, and to the most familiar but least investigated habits of the animals around us.