A Treatise on Man and the Development of His Faculties

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    Saggistica, Criminologia

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In order to discover to what extent tastes and forms might vary in different countries, I have endeavoured to compare the proportions Of the models, which, in the Opinion of the artists of Paris, Rome, Belgium, and other places, united the most perfect graces Of form; and I have been surprised to find how little variety of Opinion exists, in different places, regarding what they concurred in terming the beautiful. Changes Of bodily proportions characterise nations to a much smaller degree than differences in physiognomical expression, in delicacy and suppleness Of members, and in ease, greater or lesser, Of gait — all of them qualities modified singularly by education, climate, and habitudes. Nor am I to confine myself, in my extended inquiry, to the comparison Of actual models, estimated as types of the beautiful I propose also to unite my results to those which artists left to us at the revival of the arts, and, above all, to what we can gather of the knowledge of the ancients on this point, from a study of their works. These comparisons, I conceive, will present hints interesting to history and art; they will; prove of not less importance to the natural history of man. Analogous labours, undertaken in different quarters Of the globe, would enable us to appreciate all that distinguishes race from race, and to discover the rela tive points Of bulk most liable to variation; they would also furnish for the future valuable elements Of comparison, not yet possessed by science.

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