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Johann Kaspar Lavater

1787
18th-19th century
38.2 cm x 31.3 cm (15 1/16 in. x 12 5/16 in.)

William Blake (London, 1757 - 1827, London) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, English
Medium and Support: Engraving
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Accession Number: 2002.1222

Blake trained and was first active as a conventional reproductive engraver. This print is of special interest because of the sitter’s identity and the impression’s quality. Lavater was a Swiss theologian better known for his writings on physiognomy – the interpretation of personality from facial characteristics. Blake records his traits in a fashionable Neoclassical profile, made distinctive by its large scale and severe modeling. Vivid, the impression is an apparently unique proof before letters.

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