Della Porta, Giambattista (1538-1615): ANIMAL PHYSIOGNOMY, MALE NUDE Fisonomia dell'Huomo

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Date of Printing: 1586 • Medium: Copperplate Engraving (hand colored)     • Subject Category: Male Nude     • Signed: Unsigned• Period Created: Renaissance (1351 - 1599)  • Plate Size HxWxD cm: 15.8 x 10.2• Leaf Paper Size HxW cm: 15.8 x 10.2    • Style: Original Vintage   • Print on Verso: Printed Text on Verso • Condition: Excellent  • Edition Type: 1st Edition - Limited   • Paper Type: Laid Paper    • Framed: Print only

Copperplate engraving of a nude man with bird, from Giambattista della Porta's "Fisonomia dell'Huomo", published by Giuseppe Cacchi, Sorrento Full page copper engraving - Hand coloured ORIGINAL COPPER ENGRAVING FROM 1586

Giambattista della Porta was an Italian scholar, polymath and playwright who lived in Naples at the time of the Scientific Revolution and Reformation. In his book De humana physiognomia (1586), Porta used woodcuts (in this cas copper engravings!) of animals to illustrate human characteristics. Physiognomy is indeed the assessment of a person's character or personality from his outer appearance, especially the face. The term physiognomy can also refer to the general appearance of a person, object or terrain, without reference to its implied characteristics.
Credence of such study has varied from time to time. The practice was well-accepted by the ancient Greek philosophers, but fell into disrepute in the Middle Ages when practised by vagabonds and mountebanks. It was then revived and popularised by Johann Kaspar Lavater before falling from favour again in the late 19th century.

ITEM CONDITION: Please view images carefully. Light staining to edges - does not affect image. Slight text ghosting.