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Blake’s Engravings for Lavater’s Physiognomy: Overdue Credit to Chodowiecki, Schellenberg, and Lips11. For one-month fellowships in 1993, I am grateful to the Newberry Library in Chicago (American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies fellowship) and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University (John D. and Rose H. Jackson fellowship). I owe much to the expert librarians of these institutions and to those in the University of Iowa Libraries (Special Collections, Interlibrary Loan, John Martin Rare Book Room of the Hardin Library for Health Sciences), Houghton Library, Harvard University, the Yale Center for British Art, the University of Illinois Rare Book Room, the New York Public Library (Pforzheimer Collection, Rare Book department, and Berg Collection), the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas, the Pierpont Morgan Library, and the British Library. For generous help via photocopies and e-mail, I thank Marlis Stähli, deputy director of the Manuscript Collection of the Zentralbibliothek Zürich, and Virginia Murray, administrator of the John Murray Archive in London. For further help, I thank Christa Sammons, Sibylle Erle, Ingrid Goritschnig, David H. Weinglass, Joan K. Stemmler, Robert N. Essick, Detlef Dörrbecker, G. E. Bentley, Jr., Ross Woodrow, Andrew W. Greg, Joel Haefner, Ruedi Kuenzli, Kenneth M. Grant, and Sarah Jones. For encouragement of scholarly activity during my “other life” as special assistant in the President’s Office of the University of Iowa (1983-2000), I thank James O. Freedman, now president emeritus of Dartmouth College; Hunter R. Rawlings III, now professor of Classics and former president of Cornell University; and Mary Sue Coleman, now president of the University of Michigan. Finally, for much-needed morale boosts and for innumerable critical readings of my drafts, I thank my husband Jack (John E. Grant).

From the 1770s on, the Swiss pastor and early body-theorist Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801)22. For informative surveys in English of Lavater’s life and times, see Tytler 3-81 (in my “Selected Sources”), and Karl Julius Fink, “Johann Kaspar Lavater,” German Writers from the Enlightenment to Sturm und Drang, 1720-1764, ed. James Harden and Christoph E. Schweitzer, Dictionary of Literary Biography 97 (Detroit, New York, London: Gale Research, 1990) 163-74. On the circumstances of writers in Lavater’s era, see also Martha Woodmansee, “The Genius and the Copyright: Economic and Legal Conditions of the Emergence of the ‘Author,’” Eighteenth-Century Studies 17.4 (1984): 425-48. German scholars tend to normalize the spelling of Lavater’s middle name with “K,” a variant used by Lavater himself for a time in the 1790s. Though many English-speaking scholars have adopted the French pronunciation of Lavater’s name, in 1830 Fuseli’s pupil Margaret Patrickson recalled that Fuseli (like German speakers today) “always pronounced Lavater with the accent on the first syllable” (Weinglass, Letters of Henry Fuseli 522). sought control over visual as well as verbal components of his physiognomical opus, in ways that sometimes put him in conflict with artists and publishers who had creative and commercial claims of their own. Lavater’s proprietary interests had a ripple effect on all versions of his work, including the deluxe three-volume edition of Essays on Physiognomy (1789-98) translated by Henry Hunter,33. See item 481 under “Engravings” in Bentley, Blake Books 593-95, and in his Blake Books Supplement 235-36; see also item 84 (with title page photos) in Weinglass, Fuseli: Catalogue Raisonné 96. Further, see Bentley’s astonishing account of back-dated 1817 reprints, “The Physiognomy of Lavater’s Essays,” to be supplemented by Andrew Greg’s not-yet-published bibliographical essay and checklist. The whereabouts of newly reported copies of the Hunter translation (1789-98, “1792,” and 1810) are regularly recorded in the annual listings in Blake of Robert N. Essick’s “Blake in the Marketplace” and Bentley’s “Checklist of Publications and Discoveries.” Scholars interested in the Hunter translation should be aware that articles in German often cite the spurious “1792” edition. to which Blake contributed four engravings. In what follows, I omit consideration of one of the four engravings by Blake, a full-plate portrait of Democritus, because its designer, Rubens, is duly credited in the inscription. My purpose here is to recover the original contextual significance of the three images signed only by Blake by tracing them to their long-forgotten sources. As a larger framework for Blake’s engagement with Hunter’s translation, I also touch upon the Physiognomy’s extraordinary publishing history from inception to English translation, focusing on Lavater’s complex dealings with his first English publishers.44. My terse account for Blakeocentric purposes draws mainly on published sources, but I hope to present the whole juicy history, with archival documentation, in an appropriate journal.

A preliminary caveat: a vain search for parallels between Hunter’s translation and the more accessible near-contemporary translation by Thomas Holcroft, which follows a different order entirely, sucked me into the black hole of Lavater studies. In pursuit of Lavater’s original words, I came to realize that neither his unillustrated preliminary work Von der Physiognomik [On Physiognomics] of 177255. For a modern text of the first part only, linked with Lavater’s post-humously published “Hundred Physiognomical Rules” and illustrations culled from other physiognomical publications, see Lavater, Von der Physiognomik, ed. Riha and Zelle, 9-62. For the text and an image of the title page, see <>. nor his fully illustrated large-quarto four-volume Physiognomische Fragmente [Physiognomical Fragments] of 1775-7866. For further information see Weinglass, Fuseli: Catalogue Raisonné 34. A faithfully executed facsimile edition of the same title, with an afterword by Walter Brednow (Zurich: Orell Füssli, 1968-69), has the added interest of annotations transcribed by an early owner from Lavater’s own copy. Physiognomische Fragmente . . . Eine Auswahl mit 101 Abbildungen, ed. Christoph Siegrist (Stuttgart: Phillipp Reclam Jun., 1999) is an excerpted pocket edition in modern typeface. has ever been translated into English. Indeed, as Michael Shortland has noted, there is no “single Lavaterian text” from which all others descend.77. Shortland, esp. 305. See also notes 11 and 12 below. Instead, a loose and shifting corpus of chronologically overlapping Lavater-authorized material made its way from Switzerland and Germany (with a side trip to the Netherlands) through France, leaking intellectual property rights and potential profits at every turn, to become begin page 53 | back to top

Von der Physiognomik, 1772 (scientific emphasis)
							First published Hannoverischen Magazin, 3, 7, 10 Feb. 1772 (unauthorized), ed. J. G. Zimmermann
							From Lavater’s unrevised lecture notes, Zurich scientific society, late 1771 or early 1772
							Aussichten in Ewigkeit (“Views into Eternity”), 3 vol. 1768-72 (theological emphasis)
							25 letters to Zimmermann: 16th letter, vol. 3: “Language in Heaven,” 30 April 1772
							on instantaneous, unmediated “physiognomical” communication among risen bodies
							Physiognomische Fragmente, 1775-76-77-78
							4 vol. quarto (never translated into English)
							“And God created humanity in his own image” (theological theme)
							Over die Physiognomie, 1781-84
							4 vol. octavo, from abridged ms. by Lavater
							Dutch trans. Johann Wilhelm van Haar;
							published Johannes Allert
							1st vol. reissued at Lavater’s insistence, 1784
							Essai sur la physiognomonie, [1781]-83-86[87]
							3 vol. quarto + posthumous vol. 4, 1803
							trans. [La Fite et. al.] from Lavater’s reworked and enlarged ms.
							Vol. 4 (6 Fragmente sections + “100 Physiog. Rules”) not trans.
							Physiognomische Fragmente (abridged), 1783-84-87; vol. 4 1830
							3 vol. octavo; reorganized redaction by J. M. Armbruster
							(ed. and condensed from Fragmente and Essai)
							Hunter trans., Essays on Physiognomy, 1789-92-98
							from Essai, vol. 1-3 (4th vol. never trans.)
							3 vol. in 5; quarto
							(prospectus 1787; fascicles, 1788-99)
							Vermischte physiognomische Regeln (pvt. circ. 1789)
							(unauthorized, unillustrated publications: 1793, 1802)
							Rev. (illus.) as Hundert physiognomische Regeln
							in Gessner, ed., Nachgelassene Schriften, vol. 5 (1802)
							Used to fill in vol. 4 of Essai (1803)
							and incorp. in Holcroft (2nd ed.) 1804
							C. Moore (almost total) piracy
							Essays on Physiognomy Calculated to Extend ...
							3 vol. closely following Hunter
							[1793-94]; 1797
							First published Astrologer’s/Conjuror’s Magazine, 1791-94
							Holcroft trans., Essays on Physiognomy, 1789
							from Armbruster
							3 vol. octavo; 1-vol. abr. 1792
							2nd ed., 1804
							(incl. excerpts from Gessner biog. and “100 Physiog. Rules”)
							George Grenville reprint
							The Whole Works of Lavater on Physiognomy
							4 vol. octavo (old vol. 2 split into vols. 2-3)
							minor typographical changes from Moore
							Samuel Shaw piracy
							Physiognomy; Or the Corresponding Analogy...
							1 vol. abr. from Holcroft
							Chart by Mary Lynn Johnson
1. Lavater’s Many Physiognomies  
begin page 54 | back to top the work we know in English as Essays in Physiognomy (illus. 1). Still more confusingly, the five (putative) English translations published in Lavater’s lifetime stem from two different intermediate sources. One group derives from the first three volumes (only) of the large-quarto Essai sur la physiognomonie ([1781]-83-86[i.e., 87]),88. The third volume, dated 1786 on its title page, was actually delayed until 1787; the fourth volume, planned for 1788, was brought out posthumously (with Physiognomonie changed to Physiognomie) by Lavater’s son Johann Heinrich Lavater in 1803, and never translated into English. not translated from “the German Edition” but from “a Manuscript in which the Author has new moulded many passages of the Text, disposed his Materials in a different order, and added some new articles” (Hunter, Essays I: [Cv]). The other set stems from a three-volume octavo abridged (“verkürzt”) redaction prepared at Lavater’s behest by his amanuensis J. M. Armbruster (1783-84-87).99. J. C. Lavaters Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung von Menschenkenntniss und Menschenliebe, ed. Armbruster, incorporates some new material from Essai. Each volume ends with Lavater’s dated endorsement, and the third volume notes the need for a fourth. According to the new standard Lavater bibliography, Bibliographie der Werke Lavaters, a fourth volume was published in 1787, but in all copies known to me this final volume is dated 1830, as reported also in Brigitte Thanner’s meticulous catalogue of Schellenberg’s work, Schweizerische Buchillustration. The five English editions—here identified only by their translators’ names, their earliest publication dates, and their sources—are (1) Henry Hunter, D.D. (first volume 1789; first fascicle January 1788), translated from Essai; (2) the Rev. C. Moore, LL.D., F.R.S. (first volume 1793, reprinted 1797; first number in serial publication 1791), supposedly translated from Essai but actually dependent to the point of piracy on Hunter’s translation; (3) George Grenville, Esq. (1797), largely a reprint of Moore; (4) Thomas Holcroft (1789), translated from Armbruster’s German abridgment; and (5) Samuel Shaw ([1792]), a one-volume condensed piracy of Holcroft.1010. Moore’s three-volume Essays on Physiognomy: Calculated to Extend the Knowledge and Love of Mankind . . . Translated from the last Paris edition effaces the French edition’s true place of publication, The Hague, and masks its almost wholesale dependence on Hunter by strategic rephrasings throughout, especially at the beginnings of chapters. Most of this 1793-94-94 edition, including title pages, appeared serially, with directions for binding, in W[illiam] Locke’s The Conjuror’s Magazine (August 1791-June 1793), continued as The Astrologer’s Magazine (July 1793-January 1794); in 1797, H[enry] D[elahoy] Symonds (also publisher of the 1792 Shaw and the 1804 2nd ed. of Holcroft) reissued the Moore translation in four volumes, formed by splitting the second volume into two physical volumes. At times, when Hunter’s fascicles fell behind Moore’s publishing schedule, Moore made his own translation directly from Essai. Grenville’s The Whole Works of Lavater on Physiognomy (published by W. Butters and sold by W. Simmonds, 1797), also proclaiming the nonexistent “last Paris edition” as its source, is actually a new printing of Moore, under yet another non-Lavaterian title. Shaw’s Physiognomy: Or the Corresponding Analogy between the Conformation of the Features and the Ruling Passions of the Mind (London: H. D. Symonds, [1792]), is a one-volume collection of extracts pirated from Holcroft (“with a pair of scissars” [sic], according to Holcroft’s corrected abridgment of the same year, published by Robinson). In the mid-nineteenth century the remainder publisher William Tegg reprinted both the Holcroft translation and Shaw’s abridgment (the latter under the oxymoronic tertiary subtitle Complete Epitome). Moore’s publisher Locke went bankrupt in 1793, the same year that Shaw’s publisher Symonds began serving what became a total of four years in prison for publishing Paine and others (see public records summarized in lan Maxted, The London Book Trades, 1775-1800: A Preliminary Checklist of Members [Folkestone: Dawson, 1977], continued in Maxted’s online project, “Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History,” <>). In addition, the bookseller Joseph Johnson engaged Mary Wollstonecraft to prepare an abridged translation from the French in 1787—a project abandoned not because it was preempted by Holcroft’s 1789 translation from the German (as commonly thought) but because, as we shall see, Johnson joined forces with publishers of the Hunter translation.

In these murky bibliographical waters, where sources and analogues of Blake’s images may bob up without warning, there is no substitute for page-by-page, side-by-side comparisons among the books themselves. John Graham’s indispensable (though preliminary) 1961 checklist of Lavater’s physiognomical publications in various languages,1111. With an introduction “adapted with corrections” from “Lavater’s Physiognomy in England,” JHI 22 (1961): 561-72, Graham republished his “Lavater’s Physiognomy: A Checklist” virtually without change in his Lavater’s Essays on Physiognomy. Shortland silently corrects some of Graham’s listings “by reference to the British Museum catalogues and by personal inspection” (406n38), but many oversights and erroneous speculations remain. a mainstay of Anglophone scholars, is based only “in part” on personal inspection; it sometimes lumps abridged and unabridged versions and even entirely separate editions under the same entry, and the incomplete accounts of title page wording, numbers of pages and plates, and physical dimensions cannot be properly correlated with bibliographical data in the National Union Catalogue, the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN), the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), the Eighteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue, or national libraries abroad. Since this article was accepted in 2001, a new historical-critical edition of Lavater’s collected work has begun appearing. In the edition’s Bibliographie volume, compiled and supervised by Horst Weigelt and edited by Niklaus Landolt, the section on Physiognomische Fragmente and its translations during Lavater’s lifetime (items 274 and 275), based on the holdings of Swiss and German libraries, largely supersedes Graham’s work but stops short of mapping relationships among the various preliminary, original, revised, reorganized, augmented, and/or condensed editions of the Fragmente in German, Dutch, French, and English, published under Lavater’s direct or indirect supervision.1212. For a lively sense of the early publication and reception history of Lavater’s work, see Frey. For corrections of persistent misconceptions surrounding the first German editions, see Ohage.

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Sources of Blake’s Engravings

Let me quickly dispense with the thankless responsibility of throwing cold water on attractive hypotheses advanced in passing by two eminent scholars, G. E. Bentley, Jr., and Robert N. Essick. In 1972, in announcing the discovery of a previously unreported minuscule signature by Blake, Bentley proposed that Blake might have designed as well as engraved a vignette of gowned, long-bearded old men in Essays on Physiognomy (I: 127; cover illus.).1313. Bentley, “A ‘New’ Blake Engraving.” And in 1980 Essick speculated that Blake “could easily have modified” the profile of a man identified as Spalding (Essays I: 225; illus. 2) “to look as much as possible like himself,” thereby creating “a witty prophecy” of his future appearance in middle age.1414. Essick, William Blake Printmaker 61. Alas, the truth is otherwise: both engravings simply replicate designs by the popular Berlin-based Polish-French illustrator Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki (1726-1801). The vignette of the “Blakean” old gardeners, which Blake copied from an engraving in Essai sur la physiognomonie (I: 127), was originally designed and engraved by Chodowiecki for a different publication altogether, and the Blakelike profile of Spalding is copied from an engraving in Essai (I: 232), which in turn is copied from an engraving designed by Chodowiecki for Physiognomische Fragmente (III: opp. 342). The third among Blake’s three plates that do not credit a designer—a vignette of a hand holding a torch in Essays on Physiognomy (I: 206; illus. 3)—derives from an unsigned plate in Essai (I: 213), which is itself a re-engraving of an unsigned plate in Fragmente (IV: opp. 3).

In view of Blake’s intense involvement with Lavater-related projects in 1788-89, it is understandable that the possible thematic significance of his engravings has diverted attention from their merely replicative function. All four engravings for the Physiognomy, as recorded by Bentley, appeared in fascicles published between May 1788 and February 1789, the period of Blake’s closest association with Lavater’s boyhood friend Johann Heinrich Füssli, or Henry Fuseli.1515. For discussions of Lavater-Fuseli and Fuseli-Blake relationships, see Mason 96-103, 41-57; Allentuck; Leonard M. Trawick, “William Blake’s German Connection,” Colby Library Quarterly 13 (1977): 229-45; Carol Louise Hall, Blake and Fuseli: A Study in the Transmission of Ideas (New York and London: Garland, 1985). At this very time,

Blake sculp
2. “DITTO.   [Spalding] PROFILE, FINISHED,” engr. Blake; fasc. VIII, February 1789; “Spalding. Ditto [vignette],” Essays on Physiognomy, trans. Hunter, I (1789) 225; 13.3 × 10.5 cm.; image 8.9 × 5.9 cm. Collection of Robert N. Essick.[e]
Blake s
3. “A HAND WITH A TORCH, FINISHED,” engr.   Blake; fasc. VIII, February 1789; “Female Hand and Arm holding a Torch, emblematical of Science dissipating Ignorance. Vignette,” Essays on Physiognomy, trans. Hunter, I (1789) 206; 14.3 × 7.0 cm.; image 13.3 × 3.6 cm. Collection of Robert N. Essick.[e]
begin page 56 | back to top Blake had just finished a large profile portrait of Lavater for Joseph Johnson (proofed in December 1787)1616. As first noted by Stemmler, the original designer was Johann Heinrich Lips. I must leave for another occasion a discussion of Lips’s primary design, which antedates the secondary Lips drawing in the Veste-Coburg cited by Stemmler and the derivative copy (unsigned) that served as Blake’s model. Lips’s design, probably in the version copied by Blake, also underlies engravings by William Bromley (1789), J. Chapman (1813), and William Holl (pre-1838), and J. W. Cook (1842), all noted in Robert N. Essick, The Separate Plates of William Blake (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1983). and was also working on a frontispiece after Fuseli for Lavater’s first publication in English, Aphorisms on Man (published by Johnson in May 1788).1717. See Schroyer. In the course of this latter commission, Blake not only recorded his responses to Lavater’s sayings in the margin but also expressed his general approval by signing his own name after the author’s on the title page and enclosing the two names in a heart. Little wonder that Blake’s readers feel justified in scrutinizing his engravings for an original graphic response to Lavater’s physiognomical text.

Disciplinary and national boundaries also tend to obscure, for English-speaking scholars, the Continental origins of the designs Blake engraved. Art historians specializing in the German and Swiss artists whose work Blake copied do not routinely cover English editions in recording secondary and tertiary engravings. And in the Blake community, where the commercial engravings are of interest mainly in relation to Blake’s development as an independent artist, scholars focus on his distinctive style as an engraver—the basis for attributing to Blake his unsigned plates (after Chodowiecki) for Mary Wollstonecraft’s translation of C. G. Salzmann’s Elements of Morality (1791)1818. See Essick, “Blake’s Engravings in Salzmann’s Elements of Morality. and the horrific “The Execution of Breaking on the Rack” for John Stedman’s Narrative of a Five Years’ Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam (1796).1919. David V. Erdman, “Blake’s Visions of Slavery,” JWCI 15 (1952): 242-52; Essick, William Blake Printmaker 52-53. Even for such a pedestrian project as the crafting of replacements for worn-out plates for a new edition of Gay’s Fables (1793), as Geoffrey Keynes has shown, Blake re-envisioned the images assigned to him and made them his own.2020. Geoffrey Keynes, “Blake’s Engravings for Gay’s Fables,” Book Collector 21 (1972): 59-64. And so as enthusiasts of Blake we have drifted into a communal presumption of originality that extends even to commercial engravings, without sufficient attention to the constrictive working conditions emphasized by Essick: 21. Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations 5.

[R]eproductive engraving was dependent upon a rigorous division of labour and the subordination of individual expression to uniformity and repeatability. All illustrations in a book had to conform to its format, and this mechanical unity was extended to graphic style. If more than one engraver was employed, all had to practise compatible techniques. In spite of an engraver’s prerogative to “sign” his plates, the truly autographic tended to be submerged beneath the anonymity of a corporate and systematic enterprise.21

In the Lavaterian enterprise, the “truly autographic” was very deeply submerged indeed. Lavater, with only limited facility in drawing but supreme confidence in his visual acuity and innate sense of design, was reluctant to grant the artists on whom he depended an appropriate degree of professional autonomy. Unlike other authors, who might express general preferences about illustrations or decorations but usually delegated day-to-day decisions to the publisher or to a master designer, Lavater personally commissioned all graphic work, bombarded his illustrators with detailed verbal descriptions of the images he wanted, ordered corrections at every stage, and in general demanded “subordination of individual expression” not only from engravers but also from designers. Not surprisingly, his efforts to micromanage his artist-collaborators met stiff resistance, especially from his old friend Fuseli, then studying in Rome. Although Fuseli often pestered Lavater for money, he could not abide taking orders in return, and in May 1771, in response to a request for a head of Christ and other religious images for physiognomical study, he fired back a stinging rebuff: 22. Heinrich Füsslis Briefe, ed. Muscg, 166. All translations, unless otherwise noted, are my own (original texts omitted for lack of space). Here the second-person-familiar verb “vormunzest”—which I take to stem from “vor” [before] + “münzen” (misspelled without the umlaut) meaning “to coin” or “to mint” (secondary older meaning: “to form”)—is apparently peculiar to Fuseli; in the next letter he makes a similar comparison between his original conceptions and paying “in meiner eigen Münze” [in my own coin]. Mason (138), apparently considering the root to be “munden,” meaning “taste good,” translates the verb as “to masticate in advance.” Alternatively, it may be intended to recall the noun “der Vormund,” meaning “guardian”; if so, Fuseli’s complaint is that Lavater is always acting as his guardian.

The biggest mistake that you make in all the subjects you have laid out before me is that you’re always minting things for me in advance. Understand that invention is the soul of the painter and without it a painter is in the shoemakers’ guild. Your imagination and mine may be the same, but if I am to execute your images they must flame up in my head, not yours.22
On 4 November 1773—after Lavater had given up persuading Fuseli to help with Physiognomische Fragmente and had enlisted Chodowiecki in his stead—Fuseli reiterated his rejection of Lavater’s demands and mocked his friend’s choice of the comparatively tame Chodowiecki as his master designer:
I find myself neither able nor in the mood (and I’m telling the truth) to draw physiognomies that fit nine on a quarter-sheet. I can’t draw the Iliad in a nutshell or paint Elijah’s chariot and horses on a gnat’s wing; I’ll leave that to the “most soulful” draftsman in Europe [i.e. Chodowiecki, begin page 57 | back to top known as “painter of souls”]. I need space, height, depth, length. Let whoever wants to raise a storm in a wineglass or weep over a rose; I can’t do it. (Muscg 167)
Fuseli goes on to complain that Lavater’s demands will reduce him to beggary, “but I still might pay something, if possible in my own coin.” He boasts that if Lavater can show him an inexpensive way to ship a roll of drawings on parchment, “I’ll send you things that perhaps haven’t yet entered the head of Europe’s ‘most soulful’ draftsman” (Muscg 167). Nine months later, in August 1774, Lavater made a special concession to Fuseli: “Always draw me whatever you want to . . . I was a fool . . . I consider you the greatest painter in the world.”2323. Fragmentary ms. letter in the Zentralbibliothek Zürich; quoted (including ellipses) Allentuck 96. Somewhat mollified, Fuseli brought himself to contribute one design to the fourth volume of Physiognomische Fragmente (1778); after that, he was a prolific contributor to the second volume of Essai sur la physiognomonie (1783). But he was so appalled by the resulting engravings that he made it his business to agitate for proper representation in an improved English edition.

In all publications that Lavater himself controlled, it was not the author’s practice to prepare a finished text and arrange for illustrations afterward. Instead, Lavater ordered drawings, at great cost, to his precise specifications; made a selection from the finished drawings of the images to be engraved; chose from the finished engravings the ones that interested him most (thereby losing his investment in the rejected work); wrote a running commentary on the prints in front of him; and only then sent his manuscript and the engraved plates to the publisher.2424. For the early volumes of Physiognomische Fragmente, Lavater sent texts and engravings in installments to Goethe for further amplification and revision, and Goethe forwarded the revised manuscript to the publisher. But no matter how detailed his verbal instructions, Lavater was usually disappointed with the graphic results. Especially frustrating were his quests for an ideal image of Christ (a subject for another occasion) and physiognomically accurate likenesses of his friends, famous contemporaries, important historical figures, and various ethnic and personality types:

I have procured a great number of drawings relating to my plan. I have examined and compared a variety of human figures of every class; and I have had recourse to my friends for assistance. The endless blunders committed by those whom I employed to draw and engrave, have become a plentiful source of enquiry and instruction for me. (trans. Hunter, Essays in Physiognomy I: 11)
In engaging Chodowiecki as his chief designer, Lavater hitched his physiognomical wagon to a proven star—a self-made, self-taught “small master” whose charming portrayals of ordinary people in familiar domestic and workplace settings were a major selling point for the books he illustrated. As Graeme Tytler observes, “but for Chodowiecki, Lavater’s Fragmente might not have enjoyed quite the popularity that they did” (60). Unlike Fuseli, the workmanlike Chodowiecki stoically accepted the necessity of catering to difficult clients and attuning his output to the requirements of the publishing industry.

Chodowiecki and his brother Gottfried, sons of a Polish father and Swiss-born French Huguenot mother, had been sent as teenagers from their native Danzig (Gdansk) to the Huguenot community in Berlin, three years after their father’s death, to work in their maternal uncle’s hardware and import business. Chodowiecki, who soon excelled in decorating such things as tobacco tins, learned enamel painting at 23 and taught himself etching at the late age of 33. In 1766, at the age of 40, he made his debut as a history painter with Adieux of [Jean] Calas, a touching portrayal of an unjustly accused Huguenot father’s last moments with his family before his execution. His large and small engravings of this subject sold well, but private commissions for oils on other subjects did not follow. “I want to be a painter,” he wrote his mother in 1770; “the public wants me to be an engraver.” He resigned himself to nineteen-hour days of “working like a galley slave” as an illustrator to support his immediate and extended family in the French community of Berlin, a group of dependents that expanded over the next decade to include two unmarried sisters, a mentally disabled brother, and his widowed sister-in-law and her children. When he discovered that his proofs and early states were being snapped up by collectors, he hiked up their value by introducing deliberate graphic variants. By the time Lavater approached Chodowiecki for help with the Physiognomy, he was, at 47, the most famous, most prolific, and best-paid illustrator in Europe. With a strong sense of proprietorship and justifiable pride in his name and his reputation, he insisted that his designs be properly credited, appropriately compensated, and competently executed. And as a protection against piracy, he scrupulously maintained a complete and well-documented file of his originals and proofs, and of engravings made by others after his designs.2525. Information in this paragraph is synthesized from Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, ed. George C. Wonson (London: G. Bell & Sons, 1930) 1: 291; Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart; unter Mitwirkung von 300 Fachgelehrten des In- und Auslandes, ed. Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker (Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, [1907]-1950) 6: 519-21; Susanne Netzer, “Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki,” trans. David Britt, Daniel N. Chodowiecki 1726-1801 (London: Goethe-Institute and Coburg: Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, 1989) 7-15; Willi Geismaier, Daniel Chodowiecki (Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, 1993) 7-17, 135-38, 226, 227-33; Pamela E. Selwyn, “Daniel Chodowiecki: Der Künstler als Kaufman” (The Artist as Businessman) 11-21, and Maria Bogucka, “Daniel Chodowiecki, seine Familie und Danzig” 23-42, both in Daniel Chodowiecki (1726-1801) Kupferstecher[,] Illustrator[,] Kaufmann, ed. Ernst Hinrichs and Klaus Zernack (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1997); and Steinbrucker’s introduction cited in note 26 below.

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Lavater’s very first letter to Chodowiecki (10 July 1773) begins with a two-page set of instructions—something like directions to a police artist—for drawing a perfect head of Christ.2626. Daniel Chodowiecki, ed. Steinbrucker, 58-61, No. 73. Steinbrucker’s “Vorwort,” 1-21, provides an invaluable context for the letters in relation to Chodowiecki’s life, his work, and his times. The profile is to be of correct proportions for someone six feet tall; the light should fall from the upper left over loose hazelnut-brown hair, neither straight nor curly; the face should be neither thin nor fat, neither flat nor sloped; the breadth or length of the eyes the same as the breadth or length of the mouth in profile, with the upper eyelid a fourth of the length of the profile of the eyes; eyebrows neither bushy nor sparse; the ear three times the breadth of the nose from the point to the end of the earlobes; the nose straight; the upper lip slightly more protruding than the lower, neither laughing nor serious; the chin set back a little, and so forth. In this same letter Lavater also asks for a title page vignette and two other kinds of drawings: octavo-sized portraits of certain distinguished Berliners in profile or half-profile and whole figures of ideal character types. All sitters (with Chodowiecki himself and Spalding heading the list) are to be invited to pose in Lavater’s name, but “without your revealing my particular intention beforehand”; if possible, they are to be depicted “bald-headed—or at least without wigs or caps.” Lavater closes by apologizing for his bluntness and offering the assurance that “Everything I want on this job will be paid for in cash” (Steinbrucker 61).

Despite a backlog of other commitments and pressing deadlines, the good-natured and devoutly religious Chodowiecki did his best to accommodate Lavater’s order, beginning with a promise to undertake both the head of Christ and the title page vignette, with the mild caution that “what you have so beautifully described in words may not be possible to draw with a pencil. For I can think of an image of the divine, but my imagination shows me only what I can express in a human face.”2727. Chodowiecki sent the drawing of Christ’s profile sometime in September 1773 (Steinbrucker 62) and the engraving of this subject on 27 September 1774 (Steinbrucker 99); Lavater received the title page vignette on 8 April 1774 (Steinbrucker 88). He even agreed to engrave the head of Christ and other key designs himself (he preferred not to engrave after other artists). But in December 1773, as Lavater’s order continued to grow apace, Chodowiecki broke the news that the rest of the work would have to wait until the following Easter (the deadline for publishing books to be exhibited at the semiannual Leipzig book fair). Meanwhile, Chodowiecki offered to look through his work for existing materials that might lend themselves to Lavater’s uses (Steinbrucker 64-65, 69). Over the next year and a half, frustrations mounted on both sides as Lavater sent the master designer’s finished work back for retouching, rejected engravers of Chodowiecki’s choosing in Berlin and Leipzig in favor of lower-paid Swiss engravers who would work under Lavater’s direct supervision, and usurped Chodowiecki’s prerogative of exercising financial and aesthetic control over engravings after his drawings. As Chodowiecki wrote in March 1774:

You complain about the engravings! Who has more reason to complain than I! When I get the prints I can hardly recognize my own invention any more. But this will remain an incurable evil as long as these gentlemen aren’t willing to learn how to draw. It’s no good without much, much drawing after nature. Please recommend this to our friend Schellenberg; tell him he has an incomparable manner with his insects, and I believe could do the same with human beings if he studied them as thoroughly[.] (Steinbrucker 83)

Chodowiecki’s target is one of Lavater’s favorite engravers, Johann Rudolf Schellenberg (1740-1806) of Winterthur, who had learned drawing and etching from his father, Johann Ulrich Schellenberg (1709-1795). The elder Schellenberg had been trained as a painter and engraver by his future father-in-law Johann Rudolf Huber (1668-1748), a successful portraitist in Basel. The younger Schellenberg, after executing his first commission as illustrator of a major work on insects, took up insect painting as a specialty and even collected insects himself.2828. Information in this paragraph comes from Thanner, “Johann Rudolf Schellenberg.” Almost twenty years later, Chodowiecki wrote to Schellenberg’s friend, the artist Anton Graff, “The man is so little known and so little esteemed; I think it’s because he works so cheaply” (quoted Thanner, “Johann Rudolf Schellenberg” 72). By the time he undertook the physiognomical work in 1774, at the age of 33, Schellenberg must have felt that he could handle any subject. But it was all Lavater could do, in settling accounts with the high-priced Chodowiecki, to make sure Schellenberg received even the little that he was able to charge: “We will certainly understand each other about the price—You are more than reasonable—as Mr. Schellenberg is to you. We will always squabble about whether he is too reasonable” (Steinbrucker 87). In late January 1775, Chodowiecki renewed his complaints:

Oh! how much this printing has humiliated me, to see how few of my drawings sufficed for the engraver [Schellenberg] even to make something passable out of them. I don’t know whether you [Lavater] are satisfied with them, but in all events I’ve tried to correct them. I don’t know anything more to do, though, than to give them roughly the effect they should have [by pencil, marked over the proofs]. Whether the engraver is able to rework his plates this way, I very much doubt. . . . [H]e is not competent enough to work in black. It has to be worked up more extensively, because the narrow strokes rub out after several hundred impressions, and produce only gray flecks. (Steinbrucker 116)
Chodowiecki, ever mindful of his international reputation, also complains in a postscript that “in the things our Schellenberg has etched after me, and where he has set my name under them, I have seen that in Switzerland I am to be continually begin page 59 | back to top deprived of the last C in my name Chodowiecki . . . you [Lavater] also do the same thing . . .” (Steinbrucker, 118).2929. As one of Chodowiecki’s admirers explained to another poor speller, “the c can’t be omitted; in Polish it . . . is pronounced as a z” (Steinbrucker 13n1). According to Paul Dehnert, Daniel Chodowiecki (Berlin: Rembrandt, 1977), the “‘Ch’ . . . is pronounced like the ‘ch’ in . . . ‘Sache,’ and . . . wiecki is pronounced like wjetzki” (6); the English equivalent would be something like Khod-o-VYETZ-ki. On 24 February 1775, Lavater informed Chodowiecki that the plates had already been printed, without retouching, before the letter of corrections arrived (Steinbrucker 122). Schellenberg’s engraving of Chodowiecki’s profile in Fragmente (I: 254; illus. 4; not in Lavater’s index) bears a still more egregious misspelling, incorporated into the design itself: “Codowieki.”

The vignette of two old men gardening, designed by Chodowiecki and engraved by Schellenberg for Essai sur la physiognomonie (I: 127; illus. 5), belongs to the category of images that Chodowiecki had first prepared for his own purposes and then made available for recycling in the Physiognomy—though, in this case, the image was not used until 1781. The original design, engraved by Chodowiecki himself and signed by him alone as f[ecit] (“he made it”),3030. No. 86 in Engelmann 63-64, now largely superseded by the illustrated but less bibliographically detailed catalogue by Bauer, where this plate appears as No. 148, p. 37; see also Bauer’s companion volume, the plate-by-plate (unillustrated) commentary of Elisabeth Wormsbächer, Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki: Erklärungen und Erläuterungen zu seinen Radierungen: Ein Ergänzungsband zum Werkverzeichnis der Druckgraphik herausgegeben von Jens-Heiner Bauer (Hannover: Kunstbuchverlag Galerie J. H. Bauer, 1988). first appeared as a vignette for the dedication page of Gellert’s Leçons de morale [Lessons on Moral Philosophy] (1772; illus. 6), inscribed “aux élèves du seminaire françois de theologie à Berlin,” “to students of

								Verfertigen durch seinen Freund & Diener
								J. R. Schellenberg
4. “Codowieki” [Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki], engr.   Rudolf Schellenberg, incorporating a self-portrait by Chodowiecki. Physiognomische Fragmente I (1775) 254; image 12.7 × 8.4 cm. Orell Füssli facsimile (1968-69). Author’s collection.
Schellenberg sc
								D Chodowiecki
5. [Old men gardening], engr.   Schellenberg after a design by Chodowiecki. Essai sur la physiognomonie I ([1781]) 127; reused in Armbruster’s abridged J. C. Lavaters Physiognomische Fragmente I (1783) 33. 6.2 × 7.5 cm.; image 5.2 × 7.2 cm. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
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								D. Chodowiecki s.
6. “DIEU DONNE L’ACROISSEMENT,” engr.   Chodowiecki after his own design. Dedication page, Gellert’s Leçons de morale (1772). 6.0 × 8.9 cm.; image 5.2 × 8.0 cm. Special Collections Library, University of Michigan.
the French [Huguenot] theological seminary in Berlin.”3131. I have supplied the accent marks for “élèves,” omitted on the title page of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, Leçons de morale ou Lectures academiques . . . (Utrecht: J. van Schoonhoven, 1772), 2 vols.; originally published in German as Moralische Vorlesungen (Leipzig: Wiedmanns Erben und Reich, 1770), 2 vols. in 1. The vignette is entitled “DIEU DONNE L’ACROISSEMENT,” or “God gives the increase,” an allusion (not previously identified) to Paul’s rebuke to competing factions in the church at Corinth: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Cor. 3: 6-7). In the same year (1772), at the request of the founding director of the seminary (established in 1770), Chodowiecki engraved a variation of this design in upright format as a bookplate for the seminary’s library, omitting the background of buildings and water, and placing the word “Dieu” on a separate line at the center of a beaming sun (Engelmann 64, No. 87; Bauer 37, No. 149). In adapting Paul’s text for the seminary, Chodowiecki represents the “rising” students as trees and the teachers as gardeners who provide different but complementary services of cultivation and nourishment, while entrusting the seminarians’ full development to God.3232. According to Andreas van Randow, “Chodowiecki und die Hugenottengemeinde in Berlin,” Chodowiecki und die Kunst der Aufklärung in Polen und Preuβen, ed. Hans Rothe and Andrzej Ryszkiewicz (Cologne and Vienna: Böhlau, 1986), the sun represents God in imagery also associated with the Enlightenment; the clouds on the left (in the bookplate version of the design) show that God’s view is not always direct and that the realms of heaven and earth are distinctly separated. Without reference to 1 Cor. 3, van Randow suggests that the sage with the watering can “may be recognized without difficulty as Socrates”; the tree-planting sage “is probably the apostle Paul, who has a central role for evangelical believers as author of the most important biblical texts” (61-62). (The bookplate van Randow reproduces as fig. 4, p. 59, lacks the lines indicating sun and clouds which are clearly visible in Bauer 37, No. 149.) Chodowiecki later reused the bearded tree-planter, flanked by a female waterer on the left and a bare-chested young male digger on the right, as a title vignette for F. S. G. Sack’s Predigten, or Sermons (1781; Engelmann No. 404, Bauer No. 866). A preliminary drawing with the same motto, showing only one old man without gardening equipment in an orchard, hands clasped, looking toward the sun as it peeks behind a mountain in the background, is reproduced in Müller 172, No. 119; commentary on 100. In the bookplate version Chodowiecki again signed his engraving as maker (both designer and engraver), and he donated both his labor and the printing of 3,000 bookplates as a gift to the seminary.3333. In about 1780 Schellenberg appropriated Chodowiecki’s design—signed only “Schellenberg” in reverse lettering—for a bookplate for the city library of Winterthur; reproduced as a frontispiece for Thanner et al., Johann Rudolf Schellenberg.

For the first volume of Essai sur la physiognomonie, published in 1781, Lavater chose Chodowiecki’s image of the old men gardening as a tailpiece for a one-paragraph “Addition”—that is, a newly composed passage not present in Physiognomische Fragmente—to his fragment on the physiognomist. The paragraph concludes with a reiteration of Lavater’s often-repeated insistence on the incompleteness of both the emerging discipline and its leading practitioner: “. . . I am very far from being a Physionomist [sic]. I am but the Fragment of one; just as the Work I present to the Public, contains not a complete Treatise, but merely Fragments of Physiognomy” (trans. Hunter, Essays I: 127).3434. Schellenberg’s engraving for Essai I ([1781]) 127 (Thanner, Schweizerische Buchillustration I: 437, cat. 1082) was reused, without noticeable changes, in Armbruster’s abridged edition of Physiognomische Fragmente I (1783) 33, as the tailpiece for a chapter on the “truth” of physiognomy, a chapter that ends with a reaffirmation by Lavater himself, dated January 1783, of his opinion of “six or eight years ago.” In Holcroft’s translation of Armbruster the tailpiece is omitted. The image in its new location, rather than allegorizing the development begin page 61 | back to top of seminarians, is pressed into service to represent Lavater’s history (and future expectation) of the ongoing development of both physiognomy and the physiognomist. So Bentley’s speculation, endorsed by Essick, that the image of the old gardeners has something to do with the idea that incomplete or fragmentary books, like young trees, must be nourished, is not far from the mark (Bentley, “A ‘New’ Blake Engraving” 49; Essick, Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations 42).

Schellenberg slightly alters the dimensions of Chodowiecki’s original engraving (from about 6.0 × 8.9 cm.—height is presented before width in this and all measurements—to 6.2 × 7.5 cm.) and reverses the design left to right.3535. The imprint of Chodowiecki’s engraving for Gellert’s Leçons in my own collection—a half page with only the vignette—measures 6.0 × 8.9 cm. (distinct platemark, with rounded corners); the image area is about 5.1 × 8.0 cm.; Engelmann, No. 86, uses “Zoll und Linie des alt-französischen Maasses,” or the old French pouce (= 2.706 cm.), divided into 12 ligne, for a measurement of 2″3‴ × 3″3½‴ (= 6.088 × 8.905 cm.). In the copy of Gellert’s Leçons reproduced here (illus. 6), the faint platemark, which appears no more than 5.9 × 8.4 cm., goes slightly into the gutter, but the image area is 5.2 × 8.0 cm. (cf. Bauer’s measurements, No. 148, presumably for the image area: 5.5 × 8.0 cm.). For Schellenberg’s engraving after Chodowiecki for Essai, reused in Armbruster, Engelmann’s dimensions (platemark) are 2″3‴ × 2″9½‴ (= 6.088 × 7.549 cm.); my own measurements, based on five copies, are 6.2 × 7.5 cm., while Thanner, Schweizerische Buchillustration, reports an absent platemark and an image area of 5.2 × 7.2 cm. (5.4 × 6.8 cm. in my own measurements). Not only do cataloguers differ in providing plate vs. image dimensions, but measurements may also vary because of differences in depth of platemarks, paper shrinkage after printing, and lengths of parallel sides (top and bottom, right and left). Engelmann measures bottom and left sides; my own practice has been inconsistent. Image areas reported in Essick, Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations, are measured across the largest dimensions, thus sometimes diagonally; mine record the greatest distances along horizontal and vertical planes parallel to the platemarks. Such reversals, which of course saved engravers the extra step of reorienting the image to appear the right way around when printed, are by no means uncommon. Much less common, though, is Schellenberg’s treatment of the inscription; instead of reversing it on the plate, in the normal way of engravers, he inscribed it directly, so that in the impression the two signatures “D. Chodowiecki” and “Schellenberg fec.” appear backwards, right to left. Among the 179 signed engravings (in addition to many unsigned ones) that Schellenberg contributed to eleven volumes of Lavater’s physiognomical publications in German, Dutch, and French, at least 81 are signed in this “Spiegelschrift,” or mirror writing (each instance, but not the total, is noted in Thanner’s plate-by-plate descriptions in her complete Schellenberg catalogue, which does not record duplicate imprints appearing in more than one edition).3636. In the plate-by-plate descriptions of Schellenberg’s engravings in Thanner, Schweizerische Buchillustration I: 698-897, I count 26 reversed signatures in Physiognomische Fragmente, 26 in the Dutch edition, 23 in the French edition, and 6 in Armbruster’s abridged German edition; the total number of engravings actually signed by Schellenberg (in various capacities) can be derived from Thanner’s figures on 708 and the chart on 720. Thanner does not comment on the unusually high proportion of reversed inscriptions—more than 45 percent—in either her catalogue or her biographical essay, but perhaps there is a neurological explanation: in adolescence Schellenberg suffered a head injury that put him in a coma for a month, left him with a palpable crease in his skull, and forced him to relearn eating, walking, reading, writing, and everything except drawing “as if he were a baby” (Thanner, “Johann Rudolf Schellenberg” 21-22).

When Blake copied Schellenberg’s engraving for Essays in Physiognomy I: 127 (cover illus.), he re-reversed the design, fortuitously bringing it back to the orientation of Chodowiecki’s engraving. Although there is no reason to speculate that Blake had access to Chodowiecki’s original, his engraving (6.1 × 8.4 cm.; image 5.2 × 7.2 cm.) improves upon Schellenberg’s in clarity and sharpness of details. In Chodowiecki’s engraving, one tree at the center is obviously dead; both Schellenberg and Blake soften this detail by adding more leaves (especially luxuriant in Blake’s version) to the nearby tree. Blake also levels off the shoreline, makes the land-water distinction more obvious, strengthens the very faint indication of reflections on the water of the buildings on the distant shore, adds a bright rim to the top of the clouds, darkens certain clouds with almost mechanical-looking ruled lines, squares off the smaller tower on the round building across the water, simplifies the marshy estuary area, and makes a rounder hole for the tree-planter. On the tree-planter’s side of the vignette, Blake reduces Schellenberg’s six major projections of land to four, and on the other side he reduces Schellenberg’s eight projections of land to seven. Blake adds bolder stipple effects to the bald gardener’s head, the water pouring out of the can, and the lighter parts of the grass, and he makes the holes of the spout visible. Blake’s tree-waterer has a longer beard than his counterparts in Chodowiecki and Schellenberg; his eyes focus on the trees rather than the can, and his toes are longer, more in the Mannerist style.

We turn now to the background for Blake’s profile of Spalding (illus. 2). Lavater had known the Shaftesbury-influenced rationalist Lutheran theologian Johann Joachim Spalding (1714-1804) since 1763, when Lavater, Fuseli, and their friend Felix Hess spent eight life-changing months in Spalding’s home in Barth, Swedish (or Nether) Pomerania, on the Baltic coast. The three young seminary graduates, newly ordained as Zwinglian ministers, were on a hastily arranged study tour in the aftermath of the “Grebel affair,” the furor surrounding an anonymous public indictment (later acknowledged by Lavater and Fuseli) of a corrupt but well-connected city official. The opportunity to study with Spalding (and, for Fuseli, the freedom to sketch and paint)3737. The pleasures of this protracted visit are captured in Fuseli’s now-lost drawing (known only through an 1810 engraving) of Spalding, then a recent widower, and his children entertaining his friend Arnim von Suckow, Hess (standing up) and Lavater in the summerhouse, with Fuseli himself peeking from behind with his sketchbook; reproduced, inter alia, in Weinglass, Fuseli: Catalogue Raisonné 333, No. 289, and Jaton 20-21; Tytler 23 offers a different identification of the main figures. was the most significant and memorable part of a Wanderjahr that included meetings with begin page 62 | back to top such notables as Moses Mendelssohn, Friedrich Klopstock, C. F. Gellert, and J. W. L. Gleim. Lavater kept a detailed diary of his and Hess’s conversations with Spalding—for example, a two-hour discussion of Spalding’s hypothesis on the workings of the Holy Spirit on 13 August 1763—and even thirty years later, on a journey to Copenhagen, he fondly recalled those “nine blessed months” with Spalding. The idyll ended in early 1764 as Fuseli, now certain that he had no religious vocation, struck out alone to make a new life in England, while Lavater and Hess, en route to their homeland, accompanied Spalding to Berlin to begin an important ecclesiastical appointment. For the rest of his life, Lavater kept in touch with his mentor by correspondence, sometimes through their mutual friend the Swiss-born aesthetician Johann Georg Sulzer (1720-99) of Berlin, who himself was later the subject of a portrait ordered from Chodowiecki by Lavater.3838. Lavater informed Chodowiecki that, within a 100-mile radius of Berlin, he and Spalding were the only recipients of Lavater’s private monthly paper, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Manuscript for Friends (2 April 1774; Steinbrucker 87, No. 109). For further information on Spalding, see Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (1893; rpt. Berlin: Durcher and Humbolt, 1971) 35: 30-31; for Fuseli’s perspective on the study tour, his wrenching break from Lavater, and his envy of Lavater’s intimacy with Hess, see Mason 16, 88-89, 96-101.

It was not until 6 May 1774, ten months after Lavater’s original request for portraits on 10 July 1773, that Chodowiecki finally mentioned Spalding among the learned gentlemen in Berlin who were to be depicted in medallion format (Steinbrucker 88). But he did not actually approach Spalding until 3 December 1774, via an introductory letter from Lavater, to request permission to draw the theologian along with his elder son Carl (Steinbrucker 110-11). When at the end of January 1775 Chodowiecki wrote that he had shown Lavater’s portrait to Spalding and his son (Steinbrucker 118), Lavater apparently assumed that Chodowiecki had also finished his drawings of that family and replied excitedly on 25 February 1775, “I am expecting Spalding’s portrait!” (Steinbrucker 122). At that time he also ordered a portrait of the younger son (Georg Ludwig) in the same size as the others (Steinbrucker 122).

Four months later, on 24 June 1775, and almost two years after his original order, Lavater was still waiting for a picture of Spalding, as he noted when acknowledging the self-portrait he had just received from Chodowiecki:

Finally, finally, finally at last a life-drawing of you! I didn’t know at all what to make of your long silence. Every post-day I wanted to write you and every post-day I thought I would receive a letter. Now finally the 23 of June the Kreuzer [a coin, apparently referring to the medallion style of Chodowiecki’s profile], with which in most respects I am very pleased. . .. But where are the rest of the things on order that have been so long in preparation? Where’s the Spalding? etc., etc., etc. (Steinbrucker 131-32)
On 1 July 1775 Lavater sent Chodowiecki a drawing of a female friend that he wanted him to copy and improve in fifteen
7. “SSSS,” engr.   Lips after Chodowiecki. Physiognomische Fragmente III (1777) opp. 342; 24.2 × 21.3 cm.; Spalding oval 8.8 × 5.8 cm. Orell Füssli facsimile (1968-69). Author’s collection.
specific ways, listed a through o, and turned up the pressure for his most-wanted drawing: “With the next post I expect whatever among your drawings you have ready, Spalding, etc.” (Steinbrucker 132-33).

On 14 July 1775 Chodowiecki at last enclosed nine of the previously ordered portraits, led by 1., “A lovable, gentle physiognomy, Mr. Provost Spalding,” 2., “an alert boy . . . his oldest son,” and 3., “a somewhat quieter one, the second. This one must have his nose a bit stopped up, he always holds his mouth open.” Presumably Chodowiecki’s original black chalk and pen drawing of Spalding’s profile within a larger rounded oval (15.1 × 11.0 cm.), now in the Berlin Print Cabinet, was the one sent to Lavater and later returned after engraving.3939. No. 116 in Müller, reproduced on 169, with commentary on 98. If this was an ur-drawing that remained in Berlin, perhaps what Chodowiecki sent Lavater was a set of the nine profiles copied in uniform format for the guidance of the engravers. For these nine profiles, “Spalding etc.,” Chodowiecki charged the shocking (to Lavater) price of 45 Thaler, or 5 Thaler per portrait (Steinbrucker 135). Chodowiecki was proud of the fidelity of the likenesses: on 2 September 1775, he named the portraits of Spalding and his sons among the most faithfully rendered of the group, and he passed along a compliment from Spalding himself: “[He] told me too that he found that of all portraits that have been made of him, this appeared to him to be the truest” (Steinbrucker 139-40). In Physiognomische Fragmente, begin page 63 | back to top

J. H. Lips.
8. “Johann Heinrich Lips,” engr.   Lips after Schmoll. Physiognomische Fragmente II (1776) opp. 222; 18.6 × 16.0 cm. Orell Füssli facsimile (1968-69). Author’s collection.
all three Spaldings, along with Sulzer, appear on one plate (III: opp. 342; illus. 7), labeled “SSSS,” for Sulzer, Spalding, Sohn [Son], and Sohn (or Sulzer, Spalding, Spalding, and Spalding). Apparently only the adults were asked to pose sans wigs.

For this full-page plate of four portraits, the engraver was Lavater’s youthful protégé Johann Heinrich Lips (1758-1817) of Kloten, near Zurich. Lips, the son of a barber-surgeon, exhibited so much talent while being tutored in Latin by his local pastor, in preparation for taking up his father’s occupation, that the son of the pastor encouraged him to copy old engravings, from which he soon progressed to life drawing. When Lavater saw the 14-year-old’s work in late 1772, he immediately took him under his wing, sent him home with art supplies and a set of written instructions on etching, arranged for the minister in Kloten to give him a two-day-a-week crash course in art history, religion, and classical mythology, and hired the boy to help him the rest of the week with physiognomical drawings. Although Lips’s parents would not pay for a two-year apprenticeship under Schellenberg in 1774, Lips managed to study etching with him for six weeks in 1775—the full extent of his formal training. In 1776, when Lips was only “in his seventeenth year,” Lavater elevated the youth to his gallery of celebrities and otherwise physiognomically interesting subjects by including an analysis of the boy’s engraved portrait in Physiognomische Fragmente (II: 222-24; illus. 8). In Lips’s facial structure, Lavater discerns indications of a natural artist with a good heart and a sharp eye who, without instruction, is growing in strength and genius every day, to the point that with further travel and acquaintance with other artists he may become “one of the greatest, if not the greatest engraver in the world,” in possession of physiognomical insights and creative powers that would make him, “in a few years, a second Chodowiecki” (II: 224).4040. Lavater based his glowing physiognomical account of young Lips on a portrait by G. F. Schmoll, Lavater’s brother-in-law, and awarded the engraving assignment to Lips himself. The facts of Lips’s early life are derived from the “Biographie” timeline in Kruse 21-27, and from Goritschnig. Highlights of Lips’s mature life are depressingly few: in 1778-79, when Fuseli visited his homeland on his way back from Italy to England, Lips became enamored of his style and forever after reproached himself for his inability to break free to a bold and original style of his own. In the 1780s, he made study trips to Germany and Italy; in 1789-94 he worked in Weimar under the patronage of Goethe but returned to Zurich, where he remained under the influence of Lavater or the memory of Lavater for the rest of his life. For a succinct account in English, see Vaughan (a review of Kruse’s catalogue).

In engraving Chodowiecki’s portrait of the distinguished theologian Spalding (III: opp. 342), Lips carefully replicates the features depicted in the black chalk drawing, which both Chodowiecki and Spalding had considered an excellent likeness, scaled down to 8.8 × 5.8 cm., to fit within an 11.3 × 10.2 cm. rounded oval, one of four within the same 24.2 × 21.3 cm. outer frame. But Lavater’s commentary on Spalding’s character, while generally approving, mentions neither the accuracy of the likeness nor the engraver’s fidelity to the original. Instead, Lavater complains that, except for the eyes, the portraitist (unnamed) has failed to capture the physiognomically striking features of his beloved former mentor:

Much more recognizable [i.e., than Sulzer’s face, which Lavater calls a “caricature”], and yet at best an adapted mask of truth. A face sound, noble, bright; in every opinion, not easily self-deceived. The outline of the forehead not pure, not bold enough. . . . Depth of insight is apparent in the transition from the forehead to the nose—and in the marvelous, almost unmistakable eyes. The eye in itself is eternally a firmer indication of sure and accurate understanding. The eyebrow is not strong enough. The nose honest and sound. The mouth extremely reflective and tasteful. It’s too bad that the lower part covers the upper part and is much too rounded off. The shape of the head in back is more sensitive than [Sulzer’s]. In the remaining shading I miss coherence and truth—Now isn’t this a cold, ice-cold way to write about the face of a man who is among those I love most? To whom I owe more thanks than to any other mortal? Whom I believe I know through and through; whose writings have the purest character of truth-loving and independent strength and elegance—and who is himself far more excellent than his excellent writings? (Fragmente III: 342)
This commentary, like many others by Lavater, says more about the writer than about his subject. Clearly, no matter how skillfully Chodowiecki may have rendered Spalding’s face from life, nor how accurately Lips copied the face in his engraving, it would have been beyond the power of any artist to capture the idealized mental image that Lavater cherished of begin page 64 | back to top
9. [Spalding], engr.?   Lips (unsigned) after Chodowiecki, Essai sur la physiognomonie I ([1781]) 232; 13.1 × 10.7 cm.; image 8.7 × 5.6 cm; re-engr. for Armbruster’s J. C. Lavaters Physiognomische Fragmente I (1783) following 62; 10.9 × 8.6 cm.; image 8.6 × 5.5 cm. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
his teacher as he had appeared in 1763, still fresh in memory after twelve years of separation.

In Essai sur la physiognomonie I: 231, Lavater revised his commentary on Spalding, severely pruning his remarks on Chodowiecki’s portrait to accommodate a new (bewigged) version of the head by Anton Graff, from a three-quarter perspective, in an outline engraving. Lavater places the two images of Spalding in sequence, greatly to Chodowiecki’s disadvantage. His revised text indicates that he has discovered a new flaw in Chodowiecki’s Spalding, whose nose had been described in Fragmente as “honest and sound.” In Essai I: 231, “the drawing of the nostril is defective: it is too small, and the trait which forms it is indifferently marked” (trans. Hunter, Essays I: 225). Whether this is supposed to be Chodowiecki’s fault or the engraver’s we are not told. More than satisfactory, however, is the nose of Spalding in a silhouette (the technique for recording physiognomical features that Lavater considered most reliable because, if traced from a well-cast shadow, it requires only minimal involvement by the artist): “Thinks clearly: his mind furnishes him with ideas just and pleasing; his actions are like his ideas; he introduces much elegance into his conversation and compositions; he adopts not easily new opinions. The

10. [Spalding], engr.   Heath. Essays, trans. Holcroft, I (1789) following 66: fig. V; 17.5 × 11.2 cm., oval 8.8 × 7.3 cm., head 7.1 × 4.9 cm.; from 2nd ed. (1804). Author’s collection.
drawing of the forehead is not sufficiently characteristic, but the nose expresses the most exquisite taste”; further down the page, Spalding’s mouth is said to be the “most ingenious” of the four silhouettes under review (Essays II: 187).4141. This silhouette, unsigned, and inscribed “Spalding, Probst zu Berlin,” appears as item 1 in Von Chodowiecki bis Liebermann: Katalog der Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, Pastelle und Gouachen des 18. Und 19. Jahrhunderts, comp. Dominik Bartmann and Gert-Dieter Ulferts (Berlin: Berlin Museum, 1990) 41.

Blake’s immediate source, the unsigned engraving of Chodowiecki’s Spalding in Essai I: 232, probably also by Lips (illus. 9), differs from the engraving in Fragmente mainly in representing the theologian alone, without Sulzer or his sons. In Essai, the head is 8.7 × 5.6 cm., virtually the same size as in Fragmente, on a plate measuring 13.1 × 10.7 cm. Because of the optical illusion created by the greater image-to-page ratio in the English Essays, Blake’s copy (illus. 2), transposed from a predominantly stipple to a linear style, appears larger than its actual dimensions of 8.9 × 5.9 cm. on a 13.3 × 10.5 cm. plate; the image area, on the diagonal, is 9.5 × 6.3 cm. (Essick, Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations; see note 35). James Heath’s begin page 65 | back to top

Barlow sculp.
									Spalding, Profile.
									From Lavater.
11. “Spalding. Profile,” engr.   Barlow. Essays, trans. Moore, I (1793) opp. 198; oval 12.6 × 8.8 cm.; head 9.6 × 6.2 cm. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
softer-lined engraving of Spalding’s profile (7.1 × 4.9 cm., in an oval of 8.8 × 7.3 cm.) for the Holcroft edition (I: following 66, illustrating text on I: 62; illus. 10) faithfully copies an unsigned engraving, probably also by Lips, in Armbruster (I: following 62; 8.6 × 5.5 cm. on 10.9 × 8.6 cm. plate, no oval); although the images in Essai (illus. 9) and Armbruster are virtually the same size, they are not identical and are not from the same plate. The resemblance between Blake’s and Heath’s engraved portraits of Spalding, despite their different styles and their use of different but equally skilled intermediary engravings as models, attests both to the strength and clarity of Chodowiecki’s underlying design, the black chalk drawing in Berlin, and to the accuracy and consistency of the Swiss copywork. John Barlow, engraver for the Moore translation, copied almost all his images from Hunter’s Essays rather than directly from Essai; his head of Spalding (9.6 × 6.2 cm., in an oval of 12.6 × 8.8 cm.) is rendered with a drastic coarsening of the linear net (first published Conjuror’s Magazine, Feb. 1793; bound in I [1793] opp. 198; illus. 11); this same plate, somewhat worn, is reused in Grenville’s edition. Furthermore, both Barlow and Heath, who subscribed as well as contributed to the Hunter edition, had ready access to Blake’s engraving of Spalding.

The third engraving that bears only Blake’s signature as engraver, an emblem of a hand holding a torch with insects nearby (illus. 3), is unsigned in both Essai and Fragmente. Presumably, like most of the unsigned engravings in these editions, it is the work of either Lips or Schellenberg, the two biggest contributors to both projects, although neither the engraving nor its underlying design is claimed by Joachim Kruse, Lips’s cataloguer, or by Brigitte Thanner, Schellenberg’s cataloguer. (Thanner ascribes many other unsigned engravings to Schellenberg on the basis of documentary evidence.) The designer may never be known, but the occasion for the vignette’s creation has long been hidden in plain sight. The image first appeared at the beginning of the fourth and final volume of Lavater’s Physiognomische Fragmente (1778) and then migrated to volume one in the French Essai ([1781]), where it served as Blake’s model. Thus separated from the (never-translated) German text that it was designed to accompany, it became a puzzlement to Essick as he searched for a connection with something in the English text, possibly “the ability to see things clearly” (Essick, Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations 42, XIX.3). Focusing on the image of “flies hovering around a flame,” without reference to the hand and arm, Essick speculates that the design may “take its cue from the ‘female butterfly and the winged ant’” (Essays I: 202) and “persons who ‘have eyes and the faculty of seeing when they open them to the light’” (Essays I: 203), possibly continuing the thread of an earlier “reference to a time ‘when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light,’” (Essays I: 117). Thus the torch would represent “the truths of physiognomy to which all should be attracted.” Essick cautions, however, that “A traditional emblematic meaning of these motifs—it is unwise to be attracted to that which can destroy you—seems inappropriate, or at least oddly contrary to the thrust of the text, in this context” (Essick, Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations 42).

In its original physical and historical setting in the front matter of Physiognomische Fragmente IV, the image of the hand bearing the insect-surrounded torch aloft is an emblem of Lavater’s resolve in the face of his detractors. By the time this final volume of the Fragmente came out in 1778, Lavater’s physiognomical theories had come under severe attack, even ridicule—most notably by G. C. Lichtenberg—for their utter lack of scientific content.4242. For more on the controversy, which culminated in Lichtenberg’s devastatingly hilarious parody Fragment von Schwänzen [Fragment on Tails] (1783), see Frey 88-103; Ellis Shookman, “Pseudo-Science, Social Fad, Literary Wonder: Johann Caspar Lavater and the Art of Physiognomy,” The Faces of Physiognomy, ed. Shookman, 1-24, esp. 10-12; Carl Brinitzer, A Reasonable Rebel: Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, trans. Bernard Smith (New York: Macmillan, 1960) 111-16; E. H. Gombrich, “On Physiognomic Perception,” Meditations on a Hobby Horse (London and New York: Phaidon, [1963]; 3rd ed. 1978) 45-55; Hannelore Schlaffer, “Physiognomik: Lavater und Lichtenberg,” Klassik und Romantik 1770-1830 (Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner, 1986) 13-25. Lavater’s poem is a preemptive response to Lichtenberg’s Über Physiognomik; wider die Physiognomen [On Physiognomics, against the Physiognomists] (1778), an expanded version of his hastily written article for his popular pocket almanac, Göttinger Taschen-Calender, to which Lavater replied both in Deutsches Museum in April 1778 and in the long “First Fragment” of Physiognomische Fragmente IV: 3-38. In a foreword “written 20 December begin page 66 | back to top

12. [Torch upheld by hand under attack from insects: the Physiognomist upholding the light of Truth despite the ridicule of his enemies], unsigned.   Physiognomische Fragmente IV (1778) opp. 3; 12.2 × 6.0 cm. Orell Füssli facsimile (1968-69). Author’s collection.
13. [Torch upheld by hand under attack from insects], unsigned.   Essai sur la physiognomonie I ([1781]) 213; 14.1 × 10.0 cm.; image 10.9 × 6.0 cm. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
1777” but prepared for press in spring 1778, Lavater proclaims with an air of quiet dignity his undaunted commitment to uphold the “truth” of physiognomy in the face of his critics’ disbelief and scorn. “What is, is,” he writes, and despite personal attacks he refuses to allow physiognomy to become the “butt of jokes.” According to Lavater’s son-in-law and biographer Georg Gessner, “His principle was as stated . . . in a vignette where a hand holds a light firmly, in which several mosquitoes singe themselves in the flame, and one wasp stings his hand, as expressed in a little rhyme.”4343. Johann Kaspar Lavaters Lebensbeschriebung II: 148. In Gessner’s text, the variant spelling “Gehirngen,” is normalized to “Gehirnchen,” or “little brains.” Gessner’s recollection that the poem and emblem appear in volume one is in error. That rhyme appears, several pages before the engraving, at the end of Lavater’s introductory remarks:
And even though the mosquito singes its wing,
Bursts its skull and all its little brains,
Light is still light,
And even though the most severe wasp stings me;
I still won’t let go. (Physiognomische Fragmente IV: viii)
The associated vignette appears at the end of the table of contents (IV: opp. 3; illus. 12), facing the first “Fragment” (or chapter) in the volume: a detailed response to Lichtenberg’s attack in his Göttinger Taschen-Calender for 1778, published at the end of 1777. As indicated in the poem, the torch represents the brilliant truth of physiognomy consuming its weaker antagonists while Lavater the torchbearer, the indefatigable truth-teller, stoically endures the torments of his harshest critic. The stinging wasp, though unnamed, is understood to represent Lichtenberg.

This is the only plate with which Blake—unaware of the image’s original meaning—allowed himself mild liberties in re-design (illus. 3), while remaining well within the constraints of replicative engraving. In Fragmente IV, the designer has made Lavater’s lower forearm clearly masculine, sturdy, almost beefy, begin page 67 | back to top emerging from a loose sleeve. The clenched fist firmly clasps the torch; the stinging wasp is seen from the side as it lights on the fleshy pad under the thumb, while two flying insects (the noun is “Mücke,” meaning fly, mosquito, gnat, or midge, but not moth) approach the flame. For the new location in Essai (I: 213; illus. 13), the engraver, probably the same one responsible for this subject in Fragmente, has kept virtually the same design, reversed so that the torch is held in the left hand. With this design for Essai as a model, Blake feminizes and slenderizes the arm (still a left arm, now shown from the back, bare to the elbow), improves the articulation of the wrist, and breaks up the clenched fist by extending the forefinger along the torch. He also adds an extra insect, gives more variety to the four insects’ shapes, and rearranges them so that one lights on the torchbearer’s third finger (without stinging) as another prepares to land on the forefinger.

In the French and English editions, the section for which this emblem serves as a tailpiece, “XIX Fragment. General Reflections on the Objections against Physiognomy,” touches on some of the same concerns Lavater had expressed in his 1778 introduction to Fragmente IV: the difficulties of the physiognomist’s disinterested regard for truth, as he advances a discipline still in its infancy, beset by self-contradictory and misguided counter-arguments and outright mockery. There being no explanation of the meaning of the design or the difference between the two kinds of stinging insects, however, the vignette is identified in English simply as “A Hand with a Torch, Finished” in the list of plates for the eighth fascicle, published in February 1789 (Bentley, Blake Books 594). In the comprehensive table of contents to Essays I, which replaced the separate contents sheets of the fascicles, a more detailed title specifies the sex of the torchbearer and attempts to relate the image to its new context: “Female Hand and Arm holding a Torch, emblematical of Science dissipating Ignorance. Vignette” (Essays I: iii).

How and why did Lavater’s physiognomical work undergo such extensive changes in English as to alter the meaning of some images and render the Continental designers invisible? Only the most cursory answers can be provided here.

The Proliferation of Lavater’s Physiognomical Texts and the Making of the “English Lavater”

The sheer number of editions and translations of Lavater’s physiognomical writings, as reported by Graham, has given rise to the mistaken belief that the work enjoyed phenomenal success in the marketplace. In fact, editions that Lavater himself saw through the press tended to be commercial disasters—partly because of Lavater’s personality and bad business judgment, partly because the project got off on the wrong foot from the start. In 1771, when Lavater suddenly realized that it was his turn to present a paper to the Naturforschende Gesellschaft, the natural philosophy society of Zurich—“and I didn’t know what on”—he recalled having been complimented on his knack for face-reading, a talent he cultivated as a pastor as an aid to recognizing God’s image in humanity. Having no other ideas for a topic of interest to devotees of science, he seized upon “physiognomics” for an exploratory lecture, written “God knows with what haste.”4444. Most translations relating to the early history of Fragmente, as acknowledged parenthetically hereafter, are quoted verbatim from Frey—a superb rendering of the distinctive voices of Lavater and his collaborators into English. This episode, originally recounted in Fragmente I: 10-12, is rendered somewhat less vividly by Hunter in Essays I: 9-12. The true instigator of the work was Lavater’s friend Dr. Johann Georg Zimmermann (1728-95), who—after moving in 1768 from Brugg, Switzerland, to accept an appointment as court physician to the Elector of Hanover, George III of Britain—continued to pester Lavater to develop his physiognomical findings into something publishable. Lavater’s 1771 lecture gave Zimmermann his chance. As Lavater reports in the opening section of Physiognomische Fragmente, “Mr. Klockenbring of Hanover [Friedrich Arnold Klockenbring, editor of Hannoverischen Magazin4545. Ohage 116n12 provides the first name and position of Lavater’s “Herr Klockenbring.” Lavater’s Aussichten in Ewigkeit (1768-72), a series of letters to Zimmermann on eternity, describes unmediated physiognomical communication among risen bodies (16th letter, 30 April 1772, written after the Feb. 1772 publication of Von der Physiognomik). ] asked me for the lecture for Zimmermann” (I: 10), and “I gave him in all their incompleteness the unedited papers,” never suspecting that Zimmermann would quickly edit the material and publish it without the author’s knowledge or permission (as the work of an anonymous “youth”) in Klockenbring’s journal. Horrified to find himself thrust before the world as a “defender of physiognomics” (Fragmente I: 10; trans. Frey 72), Lavater made his own arrangements with his own publisher, Weidmanns Erben and Reich, to publish the lecture under his own name (eliminating Zimmermann’s annotations), along with a second section outlining possible future topics. But Zimmermann’s introduction to the work in book form (20 March 1772) expresses satisfaction with his magazine publishing coup of 3, 7, and 10 February 1772, and accurately predicts that this new publication, Von der Physiognomik, will launch a “Physiognomanie” [craze for physiognomy]. In a panicky response to popular demand for a follow-up, a full-scale illustrated study, Lavater beseeched Zimmermann, Herder, Goethe, and many others to send him ideas, images, citations of authorities, character interpretations, and recommendations for illustrators.

From then on the project became a perpetual work in progress, chronically over budget and over length, always open to change. Physiognomische Fragmente, printed in a press run of 750 copies4646. According to Goldfriedrich 631n8, and Vollert 49; Thanner, Schweizerische Buchillustration (730) gives the print-run number as 700. and sold by subscription, set the pattern: it turned out to be the most expensive book ever published by the Leipzig house of Weidmanns Erben and Reich (co-published by the newly formed Swiss firm Heinrich Steiner in Winterthur), and sales did not cover costs. In his original proposal (1 February 1773) for simultaneous publication of “my physiognomical work” in French and German, Lavater had undertaken to commission all engravings at his own risk begin page 68 | back to top for a minimum of 24 full-page plates and at least 16 sheets of text (128 pages), in return for 600 ducats and 25 free copies, 20 in German, 5 in French (Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Lavater Family Archive, Ms. 578.25; quoted Thanner, Schweizerische Buchillustration 731). Between the first and second volumes, the selling price went up from 18 2/3 to 38 Reichthaler, and at the end of the third volume the publishers noted that all volumes thus far contained at least 47 more sheets, 104 more full-plate engravings, and 127 more vignettes than planned, but they committed themselves to absorbing the loss to avoid reneging on the announced price. Again, at the end of the even larger final volume, they observed that although the price should be higher, they had decided “out of friendship to Mr. Lavater” to honor “a promise once made,” once again sacrificing their expected profits and raising the price only for new purchasers of the last two volumes.4747. For particulars of the per-sheet cost and selling price of the first two volumes, expressed in Thaler and Groschen, in relation to Lavater’s steep honorarium (from which he paid for the engravings) and his “Douceur,” or sweetener, see Goldfriedrich 631n8. For monetary equivalencies, see Franz Pick and René Sédillot, All the Monies of the World: A Chronicle of Currency Values (New York: Pick, 1971), and for other equivalencies and for comparative data on wellknown authors’ honoraria, book prices, and common wages, see Walter Krieg, Materialien zu einer Entwicklungsgeschichte der Bücher-Preise und des Autoren-Honorars vom 15. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (Vienna: Herbert Stubenrauch, 1953) 27-32. There must have been few takers: the number of subscribers began dropping as soon as the first volume appeared (Vollert 39n46; Ohage 118-19n12), as if in response to Lavater’s money-back guarantee (Fragmente I: a3v).

And so it continued. For Lavater personally, the greatest financial loss resulted from the French edition, an ill-conceived venture in self-publishing. Intending to save money—but without considering transportation costs and delays—Lavater had his reworked and expanded German manuscript translated and printed by members of the Huguenot community in The Hague, with Heinrich Steiner of Winterthur serving as distributor, and new engravings executed under his own eye in Zurich, partly to provide “work and with it, food” for the artists in his retinue whose fortunes “weighed on his soul” (Gessner II: 284n43). But as Gessner laments (II: 282-86), fewer subscriptions were sold than expected; the price of the book, at nine louis d’or for subscribers and twelve for new purchasers, was both too low to cover costs and too high for any but the largest libraries; a very considerable shipment to England sank in transit; and the fourth volume, just on the point of publication, was stalled by revolutions in both France and Holland. At the end of the third volume Steiner appended a public announcement (bound into some extant copies) dated 1 August 1787: instead of being complete in three volumes, as promised in the 1 October 1781 prospectus, six sections that had appeared in Fragmente will have to be carried over (gratis to subscribers) to a fourth volume, which (at a price) will be filled out by additional materials from Lavater (Essai III, unnumbered endsheet). The Dutch edition, Lavater’s four-volume octavo abridgment Over die Physiognomie, translated by Johann Wilhelm van Haar (Amsterdam: Johannes Allert, 1781-84), had unforeseen expenses of a different sort: at Lavater’s request, the publisher reissued volume one on better paper, at his own expense, to do justice to the engravings. Finally, the abridged three-volume octavo redaction by Armbruster (drawing from both Fragmente and Essai, which was coming out at the same time) ends by noting the need for a fourth volume (not issued until 1830; see note 9) that would, among other things, include more female faces. According to Gessner’s biography, “a considerably large quantity of copies of this work,” remained available for purchase in 1802 (II: 334n44).

On to Britain. As early as 1773, Lavater had included in his initial contract a provision for an English translation, at the discretion of his co-publishers Reich and Steiner (Thanner, Schweizerische Buchillustration 761). But when his plan for simultaneous publication of Fragmente in French and German fell through and he took over as self-publisher of the French edition, he soon realized that he should try to broaden its market to England. On 6 February 1782, as the first volume of Essai reached Switzerland, Lavater asked the help of his friend Johann Gottlieb Burckhardt (1756-1800), minister of the Marienkirche in the Savoy area of London, in checking for errors, in collaboration with Lavater’s (recently widowed) friend and translator Madame La Fite (1737?-94), who now had a position reading aloud to Queen Charlotte of England. He also enclosed a letter for Fuseli, presumably on the same subject, In reply (13 March 1782), Burckhardt assured Lavater that La Fite had found no conspicuous errors and would promote the book at court, but he advised against Lavater’s plan to handle sales himself to avoid paying commissions. By the spring of 1784, the first two volumes of Essai had attracted attention in Critical Review, Burckhardt was preparing to show them to Benjamin West, and the book importer Peter Elmsley, as Lavater’s agent, had sold 37 copies of each volume. Only Fuseli, appalled by the quality of engravings after his work in Essai, continued to insist on a new and corrected edition in English (5 April 1784; 4 May 1784), and in the end he had his way.4848. Before I had access to the microfiche archive of Lavater’s unpublished correspondence in the Zentralbibliothek Zürich (see note 58), I worked from abstracts and quotations generously e-mailed to me by Ingrid Goritschnig from her own research notes. By the time the third volume of Essai (dated 1786 but delayed until 1787) came out, two English translations were in prospect: an abridged one by Wollstonecraft (from Johnson, with Fuseli as intermediary), and an expansive one by Hunter (from Murray, also with Fuseli’s help).

John Murray (the first), who took on the risk of producing the large-quarto lavishly illustrated edition, ran into financial complications so intricately convoluted that his first biographer, Samuel Smiles, and his second, William Zachs, writing more than a century later, reached opposite conclusions.4949. Smiles 26-28; Zachs 69-70, 83, 239, 358-59. Zachs mentions Smiles’s biography of the second John Murray (1) but not the fact that the first chapter deals with the first Murray. Either begin page 69 | back to top “The Publication of ‘Lavater on Physiognomy’ in parts, a costly work, largely illustrated, resulted in a heavy loss” (Smiles 26) or it was “his most profitable publication” (Zachs 69). According to the 1789 title page, the book’s “upwards of 800 engravings” (actually fewer than 600)5050. The 800 figure is retracted in “Errata” at the end of “Directions to the Binder,” which was issued with the final fascicle, No. 41, in March 1799. were “executed by, or under the inspection of Thomas Holloway,” the master engraver who receives top billing on the page; the text was “translated from the French by Henry Hunter, D.D.,” and the work was “printed for John Murray . . .; H. Hunter . . .; and T. Holloway.” In June 1787, a prospectus promised the first of an expected 40 fascicles on January 1, 17885151. For the full text, see Weinglass, Fuseli: Catalogue Raisonné 97-98. (delayed in a later prospectus to January 215252. For the full text, see J[ohn] P. Feather, Book Prospectuses Before 1801 in the John Johnson Collection: A Catalogue with Microfiches (Oxford: Oxford Microform Publications for the Bodleian Library, 1976) 14-E09; among other changes, the author’s middle name becomes “Caspar,” not “Gaspard,” and “new dress” becomes “English dress.” The added claim that “British characters make a distinguished appearance” among illustrious personages of Europe is repeated in a prospectus known only from a review in Monthly Magazine 7 (Dec. 1799): 903; excerpted in Weinglass, Fuseli: Catalogue Raisonné 98. ); the set, when completed, was to have made up “four magnificent Volumes in Quarto.” But when publication ceased with the third volume in 1799, the work had spilled over into 41 fascicles and bulked so large that the three volumes had to be bound in five physical volumes. The announced price was 12 shillings per fascicle to subscribers, 15 to non-subscribers; one-guinea deposits were acknowledged by a receipt from the “Proprietors,” who would appear to be the three gentlemen leading the list of those taking in subscriptions: Murray, Hunter, and Holloway.

But there were more participants than meet the eye, and their respective contributions and contractual obligations add to the difficulty of arriving at a bottom line. According to the anonymous memoirist who prefixed a “Biographical Sketch” to a posthumous collection of Hunter’s sermons published by the Murray firm in 1804, it was Hunter who 53. [“Biographical Sketch”] in SERMONS, and other MISCELLANEOUS PIECES. . ./To which are prefixed, A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF HIS LIFE, and/A Critical Account of his Writings (London: J. Murray et al., 1804) I: xix.

endeavoured in all companies to make converts to translate the work into English; and having communicated his ideas and his enthusiasm to Mr. Thomas Holloway, an eminent engraver of his acquaintance, that gentleman readily undertook to provide the necessary plates. Mr. John Murray, bookseller, had the care of the printing, and the work thus allotted, was begun by all parties with great ardour.53
But according to a memoir of Holloway published anonymously in 1827 “by one of his Executors,” the graphic artist took the lead: after “a great lover of the arts” suggested the project as a showcase for engravings, Holloway “in consequence engaged the Rev. Dr. Hunter in the translation; and forming a connexion with two publishers, had the courage to embark in a work containing seven hundred plates, and extending to five volumes imperial quarto.”5454. Memoir of the Late Mr. Thomas Holloway 17-18. (The reference to “two” publishers will shortly become clear.) In the end, writes Holloway’s executor, “[S]o balanced was the public favour between the translator and the artist, that some called the work Hunter’s, and some Holloway’s Lavater, which is the case to the present day” (20). Or perhaps, as claimed by Fuseli’s biographer John Knowles, the real driving force was the “great lover of the arts” who put the bug in Holloway’s ear: “Fuseli wrote the preface, or, as he modestly called it, the ‘advertisement;’ corrected the translation by Hunter; made several drawings to illustrate the work; and superintended the execution of the engravings.”5555. Life and Writings of Henry Fuseli I: 79.

Meanwhile, Fuseli’s friend Joseph Johnson was planning an edition of his own, a modest octavo aimed at less affluent readers, to be translated by Mary Wollstonecraft. According to William Godwin’s 1798 memoir of his wife, Wollstonecraft “improved herself in her French” in 1787, and in 1788 she “made an abridgment of Lavater’s Physiognomy, from the French, which has never been published.” A memorandum by Johnson confirms that her translation, made after “she entered upon her house in George Street at Michaelmas [late September] 1787,” was “from the French.”5656. Memoirs of Mary Wollstonecraft, with a supplement by W. Clark Durant (1927; rpt. New York: Haskell House, 1969) 45, 202. But about this time, Johnson’s and Murray’s projects became entangled. As Bentley has reported, Johnson’s recently discovered office letter-book reveals that Johnson eventually became a silent backer of Murray’s edition,5757. G. E. Bentley, Jr., “William Blake and His Circle: A Checklist of Publications and Discoveries in 1995,” Blake 29.4 (1996): 143n51, 144-45. Claire Tomalin, “Publisher in Prison: Joseph Johnson and the Book Trade,” TLS 2 Dec. 1994: 15-16, revealed the existence of this letter-book, now in the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations; see Bentley’s checklist for 1994, Blake 28.4 (1995): 144. and William Zachs’s biography of Murray provides further details. From my own examination of the unpublished documents in the Murray Archive on which Zachs relies (correcting some of his transcriptions, especially on 246n52, and taking into account other documents Zachs does not cite), and from my interweaving of these materials with key letters from the still-unpublished bulk of Lavater’s vast correspondence in the Zentralbibliothek Zürich,58 58. More than 21,000 letters in the Zentralbibliothek Zürich (9,000 letters from Lavater and 12,000 to him) have recently become available on 1,843 microfiche in Lavater Correspondence, ed. Eggenberger and Stähli; see <>. According to Eggenberger’s online note, [A]n actual complete edition of Lavater’s correspondence is not anticipated in the foreseeable future, if ever. Academic efforts are currently focused on the edition which is being supervised by the Johann Caspar Lavater Research Institute and the NZZ Publishing House in Zurich, “Johann Caspar Lavater, Selected Works in a Historico-Critical Edition” (“Johann Caspar Lavater, Ausgewählte Werke in historisch-kritischer Ausgabe”). The publishers make use of the correspondence and refer to it; however, even they do not know about all of the letters. I have pieced together a loosely begin page 70 | back to top sequential narrative of Murray’s and Johnson’s dealings with Lavater from June 1787 to May 1788.

According to the Hunter-Holloway-Murray prospectus of June 1787, “The Translator and the Artist have already made considerable Progress in the Work,” as confirmed by Hunter’s memoirist:

Having translated sufficient to occupy the Printer and the Engraver for some time, Dr. Hunter determined upon paying a visit to Lavater at Zurich. . . . In August, 1787, he accordingly repaired to Zurich; but it does not appear that Lavater received his visit with that frankness and cordiality with which it was made. . . . [Lavater] considered this English translation as likely to injure the sale of the French edition in which he was concerned, and scarcely knew how to act. ([“Biographical Sketch”] xx-xxi [see note 53])
The memoirist reiterates that Hunter, who had made the visit solely to “prevent mistakes” and “to render the English translation as complete as possible,” was shocked to find that “the pressure of indigence” had reduced “poor Lavater” to hear “with chagrin of an undertaking which might possibly diminish his profits from the sale of the French edition” (lxxiii-lxxiv). As previously noted, August 1787 was also the month in which Lavater’s distributor Heinrich Steiner announced that Essai would not, after all, be complete in three volumes; to accommodate the six remaining sections from Fragmente, a fourth volume would be necessary. On 8 October 1787—that is, shortly after Michaelmas 1787, when Johnson’s memorandum states that Wollstonecraft moved into the home where she prepared her abridged translation—Murray urged Johnson, with whom he had a long history of co-publication and collaboration (Zachs 82-84), to join him in order to head off competition between their contemporaneous but dissimilar projects. After informing Johnson that Mrs. Hunter anticipated her husband’s return (from abroad?) very soon, Murray urged a meeting:
It is therefore submitted whether in this stage you should take the steps you threaten. If you have patience, a meeting shall take place immediately upon the Doctor’s Arrival. A coalition is what I have cordially wished for, if it can be accomplished upon principles of reciprocity. For it is no matter whose scheme here is the best; a public competition will infallibly hurt both. Obstinacy therefore should be avoided on both sides, & all of us should keep steadily in our Eye, what will tend most to the general interest. (Murray Archive, Box M 10)

The “steps” Johnson threatened might have included a public announcement that it was his project, not Murray’s, that had Lavater’s approval. But Murray’s letter, probably followed by the proposed meeting with Hunter, appears to have nipped Johnson’s plan in the bud, probably by the end of 1787. On 15 January 1788, only days before the first fascicle appeared, Johnson entered into an agreement with Murray, Hunter, and Holloway to produce “a Translation and Embellishments of Lavaters Essays of Physiognomy” for “equal Shares and Proportions both for Profit and Loss”—a one-quarter stake for each partner. The roles of Hunter as translator, Holloway as graphics director (compensated separately for the costs of the engravings), and Murray as publisher are spelled out in the Articles of Agreement; Johnson’s quarter share of responsibilities (unspecified) must have included his services as point person (with Fuseli’s help) in correspondence with Lavater and the provision of additional capital. The partners were to meet quarterly to estimate the value of the work and their quarter shares; if one partner should die before completion of the project, the surviving partners were to buy out the deceased partner after settling accounts up until the time of that partner’s death, and the property was to be divided equally among the surviving partners. In case of a dispute with representatives of the deceased partner, the outcome was to be settled by arbitrators chosen by each party, who in turn would name a third arbitrator.5959. Although the agreement itself is not present in the Murray Archive, its date and terms are reiterated in the arbitrators’ ruling of 11 January 1802 that settled John Murray’s estate.

Unfortunately, Lavater did not date his copy of his own proposal to Johnson, which begins: “My esteemed Mr. Johnson, I have the honor to offer the English nation, through you, a work upon which I am willing to expend all my mental powers, and toward which I have already in stock a wealth of materials, before which I am often horrified” (Lavater Family Archive, Ms. 567.130; see notes 48 and 58).6060. This document must have been sent before 27 July 1787, when Lavater’s friend Luder Hoffham, a merchant in London, informed Lavater about Hunter’s translation and his desire to visit Zurich, with the warning that “this will certainly do harm to Johnson” when he publishes the physiognomical work (Lavater Family Archive, Ms. 513.287). This sounds like yet another version of his text, with additional illustrations. Referring to previous communications through Fuseli, Lavater goes on to ask Johnson “once again” if the large folio format might not be “more excellent” than quarto—a sign, probably, that Johnson has abandoned the octavo idea and is now committed to the quarto edition. According to Knowles, Fuseli engaged in an “animated correspondence” opposing Lavater’s desire for a folio edition and explaining “that the quarto size best pleased the British public.” After Lavater reluctantly agreed, expecting his images to be “rather traced than imitated by the engraver,” he insisted on “mak[ing] his drawings anew to suit the quarto size” (79). His price, according to the undated letter to Johnson, would be three guineas per sheet of text (each making eight pages in quarto format), one and a half guineas for each large outline drawing, one-half guinea for each small outline drawing, one guinea for each “shaded drawing” (not a silhouette but a more fully rendered portrait), and two and a half guineas for each full-page shaded drawing. The grand total—not counting “20 or 28 free copies,” would be 1,060 (a mistranscription of 1,050) guineas for 800 pages of text, 400 outlines (200 large, 200 small), and 200 shaded begin page 71 | back to top drawings (100 large, 100 small), with all originals to remain in Lavater’s possession. It appears that Lavater never quite understood that Johnson had teamed up with Murray and that a folio edition was out of the question. Even after the first few fascicles (in quarto) had rolled off the press, Lavater’s Alsatian friend Gottfried Heisch, then living in London, wrote on 16 May 1788:

Between you, Fuessli and Johnson there are the most dreadful misunderstandings. God knows how they arose—I won’t and can’t investigate. You think Johnson will use English money and expend English generosity for your Physiognomy? [I]t doesn’t seem so to me. From the first word, which has been continuously repeated up till now, this is what I heard: Lavater runs up a quantity of expenses, outlays, which we don’t know anything about. We don’t want anything except two sections of outline images and his text. What’s the purpose of all the rest of this, all these drawings, etc.? [W]ho has ordered them? By the way, every day he changes his opinion, starts new projects that we simply can’t accommodate, and if we write to him about it, he doesn’t answer, never stays on the point that we want to hold him to, and always gives answers that we don’t want to know.
Here Lavater notes in the bottom margin, “This, by God, is not true.” Heisch continues: 61. Quoted by Finsler. The full nine-page text is of great interest, and I hope, in collaboration with Sibylle Erle, to publish a transcription, translation, and annotation as a separate piece or as an appendix to a larger study (see note 4), The “outline images” may have led to Lavater’s 1797 annotations (in French) of faces in outline, published as Physiognomical Sketches, engr. J. Luffman (London: R. H. Westley, J. Luffman, Murray & Highley, n.d. [50 plates, each dated 1802]).
I must make two remarks to you from my heart. First: Don’t make any more contracts by yourself . . . . You are not at all able to manage making a contract. You don’t know the world, because you judge and believe that everybody is like you and will do what is promised. What’s the result? You’re left sitting in excrement. . . . Second: Be on your guard, even more than against Satan himself, from any thought that you might possibly publish the book yourself! You have been burned enough to fear the fire! You let something of these thoughts be glimpsed in your last letter to Johnson, and it made me very uneasy on your account.61
Lavater continued at least until August 1788 to allude to his initial offer, and as late as 29 November 1788 he wrote to a Mr. Tighe that he still hoped Johnson would produce a “larger work,” for which purpose he was enclosing each month additional images for engraving.6262. Letter in French, in the handwriting of one of Lavater’s secretaries, Misc. Swiss, Dept. of Literary and Historical Manuscripts, Pierpont Morgan Library. An “S. Tighe” ordered a book from Cadell on 4 July 1786 (Beinecke). Johnson had already invested in Wollstonecraft’s translation and owned both a large drawing of Lavater in profile and the engraving of it by Blake, first dated 26 December 1787 (possibly ordered with the Hunter translation in mind, but before Johnson quite realized that Holloway alone was in charge of all engravings and engravers). Whatever the timing may have been, after Johnson was actively allied with the other “Proprietors of the English Lavater” as a co-publisher of Hunter’s translation of Essai, the only new material that he would have accepted from Lavater for possible inclusion in the English edition would have been whatever text and outlines may have already been under contract before he gave up his plan for an edition under his own imprint.

Despite all the misunderstandings, Fuseli continued to labor on Lavater’s (and his own) behalf by writing a scathing two-part review of Holcroft’s translation for Joseph Johnson’s Analytical Review (5 [Dec. 1789]: 454-62; 6 [Apr. 1790]: 426-31). Dismissing Holcroft’s reply (6 [Jan. 1790]: 110-12), Fuseli mercilessly exposed Holcroft’s copy-text as Armbruster’s abridged redaction, ridiculed his laments about the difficulties of the German language and Lavater’s new coinages, and displayed Holcroft’s most egregious blunders side by side with “our own” expert translations. Readers of this anonymous review of course had no way of knowing that it was the work of a native Swiss, a lifelong friend of the author, and a sponsor of a rival edition. Nor could they have known that the publisher of this hostile critique also had a financial stake in the project.

As it happened, Murray died on 6 November 1793, with three fascicles (39-41) still to be published and accounts among partners still up in the air, except for the 1788-93 quarterly share-value estimates based on each period’s cash expenditures and sales. Of the 1000 copies printed (Zachs 359), the published list of subscribers (Essays I, front matter) accounts for 809 copies under 795 names,6363. By my tally; Zachs (359) counts 758 copies under 748 names. but not all subscribers completed their orders. And Holloway’s out-of-pocket engraving expenses had to be subtracted before accrued profits and losses could be calculated. On 12 June 1795 Samuel Highley, the elder Murray’s shopman and the younger Murray’s partner, requested Holloway’s account for engravings for fascicles 25-37, as well as a complete accounting for all numbers to date, along with the remaining prints needed to make up 1000 copies of fascicles 35-37 (Murray Archive, Box M 10), but Holloway did not present his comprehensive account—for the staggering sum of £2331-12-0—until sometime in 1800. By way of justification, Holloway noted that in addition to the time and expense necessary to do such things as oversee the work of in-house engravers (Holloway’s students and assistants) and outside professionals, buy supplies, board visiting artists, make shipments, and arrange for printing and hot-pressing, he had more hands-on work than expected: 64. From an undated four-page document, “Observations submitted to the Consideration of Doct. Hunter[,] Mr. Johnson—two of the proprietors of Lavater—and the Execs of the late Mr Murray.” Holloway also notes that Copying is the most arduous as well as the most tedious of Engraving—but Copying from indifferent Engravings—incorrect in outline as well as in execution[—]requires double the time to execute . . . Also Considerable time was taken up in consulting the text & comparing the French & German Editions to see which Engravings were the most accurate & in making the necessary alterations. (Murray Archive, Box M 10) It has not been known, until now, that Holloway worked from Fragmente as well as Essai. For a sampling of Holloway’s drawings for the Physiognomy, see the Wellcome Library’s online photo archive at <>.

In spite of all his care & even expostulations with most of the Artists—the work they brought home was distressingly inaccurate—many plates were destroyd totally—and those which were the best executed were frequently so erroneous both in outline & expression that many parts were oblig’d to be hammerd begin page 72 | back to top
Expences Attending the Engravings of Lavater as well
									as Sundry other Engravings herein specified A during the
									years 1787 to 1799—Inclusive
									Paid to Artists out of Doors
									Mistr Auderick 97.9.-
									Brumby 111.8[.-]
									Blake 39.19.6
									Barlow 12.1.6
									Beuge 10.10.-
									Corner 71.18.6
									Corbould 5.15.6
									Cauldwell 21.-[.-]
									Grignion 77.14.-
									Gillray 6.6.-
									Hall 183.15.-
									How 55.9.6
									Heath 26.5.-
									Hogg 25.4[.-]
									Neagle 80.11.6
									Noble 14.13.6
									Rhodes 99.2.-
									Sharp 79.16[.-]
									Smith 96.12[.-]
									Ham 13.19.8
									Sundries Kells &c 51.7.8
									Tagg 16.16.-
									Thornthwaite 108.14.8
									Taylor 65.2.-
									Turner & Gillray 244.17.6
									Vivaro 54.1.6
									Paid to Artists in Doors
									Mistr Toohey 280.3.6
									Malpas 116.9.6
									Meagle 39.7.6
									Warren 98.15.6
									Thompson & Bn 309.15.6
									Board 106
14. “Expences [sic] Attending the Engravings of Lavater . . . Paid to Artists out of Doors” (c. 1800), prepared by Holloway for settlement of Murray’s estate.   Published by permission of John Murray (Publishers), 50 Albermarle Street, London WIX 4BD.
begin page 73 | back to top out & reproduced—a piece of work this the most painful & the most mortifying imaginable to TH.64
Johnson reiterated in a letter to Highley of 19 December 1800 that Holloway “could not get a facsimile from any one of them, he told us he was obliged to work himself on every plate to make it what it should be . . . .”6565. Letter-book; quoted in G. E. Bentley, Jr.’s checklist, Blake 29.4 (1996): 145. (Johnson spelled Highley’s name without an e.)

Murray’s executors objected to Holloway’s bill, especially to the interest added to outright expenses from the time of Murray’s death, and the case went to arbitration on 24 April 1800. On 12 August 1800, the arbitrators agreed that Murray’s estate was entitled to £150 for his “fourth share” of the copper plates remaining “and all subsequent Interest.” A comprehensive decision, which the arbitrator chosen by the executors refused to sign, was reached on 11 January 1802. The award was for £3571-8-5 to the surviving partners, with £943-8-5 to Hunter, £958-15-9 to Holloway, and the remaining £1669-4-8 to Johnson, plus “the further and additional” sum of £460 to Johnson for principal and interest on cash “advanced to John Murray in his lifetime” for production expenses. As none of these figures matches those in Holloway’s request, and the three surviving partners were entitled to equal one-third shares, I cannot explain why Hunter and Holloway received different amounts. But the payment to Johnson, not counting the reimbursement of his cash advances, indicates that he was the main financial backer.

Here, in this truncated account, we must leave matters. But one last factual tidbit offers insight into Blake’s relative professional standing in 1788-89. For all four of his engravings for Essays in Physiognomy, Blake received £39-19-6 from Holloway (illus. 14).6666. Thomas Holloway, “Expences Attending the Engravings of Lavater as well as Sundry other Engravings herein specified A during the years 1787 to 1799—Inclusive”; half-sheet as page 1 of “Case of Mr T. Holloway” (written sideways at bottom of folded large sheet; four pages in all). Holloway’s section A refers to a deduction for (nonspecified) engravings for other purposes during the period. There is also a section B, referring to Holloway’s payments for “Numbers” and subscription deposits. Many other calculations and occasional errors in carryover to different pages make the reckoning extremely hard to follow (Murray Archive, Box M 10). It seems unlikely that Blake could have commanded a higher per-vignette price than Gillray, who was paid 6 guineas (6 pounds and 6 shillings) for his fine vignette after Fuseli (II: 291; reproduced Weinglass, Fuseli: Catalogue Raisonné 108). At this rate, Blake would have received 18 guineas, or £18-18-0 for his three vignettes, leaving the odd figure of £21-1-6. Perhaps for the full plate of Democritus, highly finished, Blake was able to charge as much as 20 guineas, or £21. But I still have no idea how he earned that last one-and-six!

Selected Sources

Primary texts

[Chodowiecki, Daniel Nikolaus]. Daniel Chodowiecki. Briefwechsel zwischen ihm und seinen Zeitgenossen [Correspondence between Him and His Contemporaries]. Ed. Charlotte Steinbrucker. Volume 1, 1726-86 [no vol. 2]. Berlin: Carol Duncker, 1919.

[Fuseli, J. H.] Heinrich Füsslis Briefe [Letters]. Ed. Walter Muscg. Basel: Benno Schwabe & Co., 1942.

Gessner, Georg. Johann Kaspar Lavaters Lebensbeschriebung [Biography]. 3 vols. Winterthur: Steiner, 1802-03.

Hunter, Henry. Sermons, and other Miscellaneous Pieces . . . / To which are prefixed, A Biographical Sketch of his Life, and / A Critical Account of his Writings. London: J. Murray et al., 1804.

Knowles, John. The Life and Writings of Henry Fuseli, Esq. M.A., R.A. 3 vols. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1831.

Lavater Correspondence [microfiche]. Ed. Christoph Eggenberger and Marlis Stähli. Leiden: IDC Publishers, 2002.

Lavater, Jean Gaspard. Essai sur la Physiognomonie: Destiné à faire connoître l’homme & à le faire aimer [Intended to Promote the Knowledge and the Love of Mankind]. [Trans. Henri Renfner, Marie Elisabeth Boué de La Fite, Jean Daniel de La Fite, and {Antoine Bernard?} Caillard.] 4 vols. La Haye [The Hague]: I. Van Cleef [and Winterthur: Heinrich Steiner & Co.], [1781]-83-86[87]-1803.

Lavater, Johann Caspar. Essays on Physiognomy: Calculated to Extend the Knowledge and Love of Mankind . . . Translated from the last Paris edition. Trans. [from Essai, via Hunter’s trans.] C. Moore. 3 vols. London: W[illiam] Locke, 1793-94-94. Rpt. London, H[enry] D[elahoy] Symonds, 1797. From serial publication in The Conjuror’s Magazine (Aug. 1791-June 1793), continued as The Astrologer’s Magazine (July 1793-Jan. 1794).

Lavater, Johann Caspar. Essays on Physiognomy: Designed to Promote the Knowledge and the Love of Mankind. Trans. [from Essai] Henry Hunter. 3 vols. in 5. London: John Murray, 1789-92-98. First published in fascicles, Jan. 1788-March 1799.

Lavater, Johann Caspar. Essays on Physiognomy: For the Promotion of the Knowledge and the Love of Mankind. Trans. [from Armbruster’s abridgment] Thomas Holcroft. 3 vols. London: G[eorge], G[eorge], J[ohn] and J[ames] Robinson, 1789. 2nd ed. [with “One Hundred Physiognomical Rules” and “Memoirs of the Life of the Author”]. 4 vols. London: H. D. Symonds [and others], 1804.

[Lavater, Johann Caspar]. J. C. Lavaters Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung von Menschenkenntniss und Menschenliebe [J. C. Lavater’s Physiognomical Fragments for Promotion of the Knowledge and Love of Humankind]. Verkürzt herausgegeben [abridged edition]. Ed. Johann Michael Armbruster. 3 vols. Winterthur: Heinrich Steiner, 1783-84-87; vol. 4, 1830.

Lavater, Johann Caspar. Physiognomische Fragmente: Zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntnis und Menschenliebe. 4 vols. Leipzig: begin page 74 | back to top Weidmanns Erben und Reich; Winterthur: Heinrich Steiner und Compagnie, 1775-78. Facsimile of the same title, Nachwort von Walter Brednow, Zurich: Orell Füssli, 1968-69.

Lavater, Johann Caspar. Physiognomy: Or the Corresponding Analogy between the Conformation of the Features and the Ruling Passions of the Mind. Trans. Samuel Shaw. London: H. D. Symonds, [1792].

Lavater, J. C. Von der Physiognomik [On Physiognomics]. Leipzig: Weidmanns Erben und Reich, 1772. Modern text of Part I: 9-62 of Von der Physiognomik, [replacing Part II (Lavater’s lists of topics for future development) with] Hundert physiognomische Regeln. Ed. Karl Riha and Carsten Zelle. Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig: Insel Verlag, 1991.

[Lavater, Johann Caspar]. The Whole Works of Lavater on Physiognomy. Trans. George Grenville [rpt. of Moore]. London: Butters, 1797.

Memoir of the Late Mr. Thomas Holloway; by one of his Executors. London: Printed for the Author, sold by Samuel Bagster, 1827.

Other key citations

Allentuck, Marcia. “Fuseli and Lavater: Physiognomical Theory and the Enlightenment.” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 55 (1967): 89-112.

Bauer, Jens-Heiner. Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki: Das druckgraphische Werke. Hannover: Verlag Galerie J. H. Bauer, 1982. [Supplement to Engelmann.]

Bentley, G. E., Jr. Blake Books. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1977.

Bentley, G. E., Jr. Blake Books Supplement. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1995.

Bentley, G. E., Jr. “A ‘New’ Blake Engraving in Lavater’s Physiognomy.Blake Newsletter 6 (1972): 48-49.

Bentley, G. E., Jr. “The Physiognomy of Lavater’s Essays: False Imprints ‘1792’ and ‘1798.’” Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly 29.1 (1995): 16-23.

Engelmann, Wilhelm. Daniel Chodowiecki’s [sic] Sämmtliche Kupferstiche [Complete Engravings]. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann, 1857; rev. Robert Hirsch, Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann, 1906.

Essick, Robert N. “The Figure in the Carpet: Blake’s Engravings in Salzmann’s Elements of Morality.Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly 12.1 (1978): 10-14.

Essick, Robert N. William Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations: A Catalogue and Study of the Plates Engraved by Blake after Designs by Other Artists. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1991.

Essick, Robert N. William Blake Printmaker. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1980.

Finsler, Georg. “Lavater in Amt und Privatleben [Lavater in Professional and Private Life].” Johann Caspar Lavater 1741-1801: Denkschrift zur hundertsten Wiederkehr seines Todestages [Memorial Volume for the Centennial of His Death]. Zurich: Stiftung von Schnyder von Wartensee, 1902, 1-56.

Frey, Siegfried. “Lavater, Lichtenberg, and the Suggestive Power of the Human Face.” Shookman 64-103.

Goldfriedrich, Johann. Beginn der Klassischen Litteraturperiode bis zum Beginn der Fremdherrschaft 1740-1804 [From the Beginning of the Classical Period to the Beginning of the Period of Foreign Domination, 1740-1804]. Vol. 3 of Geschichte des Deutschen Buchhandels [History of the German Book Trade]. Leipzig: Verlag des Börsenvereins der Deutschen Buchhandler, 1909.

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