Non-Fiction Books:

Windows of the Soul

Physiognomy in European Culture 1470-1780

Format

Hardback

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Windows of the Soul by Martin Porter
$531.99
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Description

In early modern Europe there was a small group of books on the art of physiognomy which claimed to provide self-knowledge through an interpretation of external features. The authors of these books explained how the eyes, the face, and all of nature's natural bodies became windows of the soul. Along with the spreading influence of the 'Egyptian', the natural magic of the language of physiognomy became a way of looking and listening that some thought capable of recapturing the original divine characters of the natural, hieroglyphic language of man. In the experimental imagination of the English Renaissance magus Robert Fludd, the art of physiognomy was combined with the arts of memory and astrology. Under the impact of the religious turmoils of the Reformation, and the gradual establishment of a new understanding of the physics of the world by the seventeenth century's new natural philosophers, the hermetic physiognomy that was seen by some as a self-transformative form of praying in which one's soul resonated with the soul of the world became, in the eyes of many others, nothing more than an amusing game. Dr Porter uses remnants of the highly illustrated and graffitied texts on physiognomy to interpret the way that these books were read and viewed, and trace the changes that took place between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of Romanticism.
Release date NZ
February 1st, 2005
Author
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
numerous halftones, 4 tables
Imprint
Clarendon Press
Pages
388
Dimensions
164x242x25
ISBN-13
9780199276578
Product ID
2245695

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