Description : In 1688, Charles Le Brun delivered a lecture on expression that was extremely popular. This book reconstructs and translates the text of the lecture, explores the context in which it was conceived, delivered, received, and finally rejected, and reproduces the images that accompanied the lecture.
Description : Crying has fascinated mankind for millenia. Since ancient times, we have known that emotional tears are a unique human characteristic. Unsurprisingly, over hundreds of years, scholars from different backgrounds have speculated about the origin and functions of human tears. According to Charles Darwin, tears fulfilled no adaptive function. And yet, this seems in sharp contrast to statements in the popular media about the significance of crying. Crying is thought to bring relief and is considered healthy - and withholding tears unhealthy. In addition, tears have been said to inhibit aggression in assaulters and to promote social bonding. Perhaps that could explain why tears have been so important in our evolution. Ad Vingerhoets is one of the few scientists in the world to have studied crying. He examines in Why only humans weep which claims about crying are scientifically tenable - which are fact and which are fiction? Though a psychologist, he doesn't just restrict himself to the current psychological literature, but also explores work in evolutionary biology, neurosciences, theology, art, history, and anthropology to provide an integrated perspective on this complex phenomenon. Written throughout in an academically accessible style, this book is groundbreaking in contributing to a modern scientific understanding of crying. It will have broad appeal to psychologists, psychiatrists, philosophers, biologists, and anthropologists.
Description : Physiognomy - the notion that there is a relationship between character and physical appearance - is often dismissed as a marginal pseudoscience; however, The Appearance of Character argues that it is central to many disciplines and thought processes, and that it constantly adapts itself to current patterns of thought and modes of discourse. This interdisciplinary study determines the characteristics of physiognomical thought in France during the previously neglected period leading up to the reception of Johann Caspar Lavater's physiognomy in the early 1780s. It establishes a corpus of physiognomical texts, juxtaposing 'mainstream' figures such as Buffon and Diderot with a host of minor writers. It then considers the representation of the passions in art, examining the legacy of Charles LeBrun, and revealing an aesthetics of facial representation where the passions are conceived in terms of multiplicity, speed, and nuance. The contribution of the Comte de Caylus to the development of the 'tete d'expression' is analysed, as well as the innovations of Greuze in the field of expression. Physiognomy in portraiture is also addressed through the work of La Tour. Facial expression in painting is found to have strong parallels with contemporary acting theory and stage practice. Finally, The Appearance of Character addresses the notion of character, outlining various predominant theories, and analysing the complex relationship between character and passions. In this respect, the study has ramifications for theories of the self and individualism in the Enlightenment and beyond.