Johann Kaspar Lavater

(redirected from Johann Lavater)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lavater, Johann Kaspar


Born Nov. 15, 1741, in Zürich; died there Jan. 2, 1801. Swiss writer. Wrote in German.

Lavater studied theology and was a minister in Zürich. He is the author of the collection of verses Swiss Songs (1767) and of many works of a religious nature, including the novel Pontius Pilate, or The Small Bible (1782–85), the drama Abraham and Isaac (1776), and the collections of verse Two Hundred Christian Songs (1780) and Poetry (1781). His work, only superficially related to Sturm und Drang, was full of superstitions and irrational tendencies. In the philosophical work Physiognomical Fragments for Encouraging Knowledge and Love of Man (1775–78), Lavater tried to establish a connection between the spiritual nature of man and the structure and outlines of his skull and face.


Sämtliche Werke, vols. 1–6. Augsburg-Lindau, 1834–38.
Ausgewählte Schriften, vols. 1–8. Zürich, 1841–44.
In Russian translation:
Nastavleniia (nravouchitel’nye) slugam. St. Petersburg, 1799.


Muncker, F. J. K. Lavater. Stuttgart, 1883.
Funck, H. J. W. Goethe und Lavater. Weimar, 1907.
Vömel, A. J. K. Lavater, 1741–1801: Ein Lebensbild, 2nd ed. Neukirchen, 1927.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The first chapter, "'Discerning Characters," focuses on physiognomy (particularly the work of Johann Lavater) and its reception in early America.
2), Johann Lavater, whose name was 'a household word' (p.
Gallen clergyman and professor, Peter Scheitlin (1779-1848); the naturalist Karl Ulysses von Salis-Marschlins (1760-1818) in Chur; the ornithologist and mineral collector Daniel Sprungli (1721-1801) in Stettlen; the mineralogist Johann Ammann (1724-1811) in Schauffenhausen; Johann Lavater (1711-1795) in Zurich; Peter Paul Scali in Geneva; and the Geneva chemist and naturalist Henri Gosse (1753-1816).