quote by Paracelsus

If we want to make a statement about a man's nature on the basis of his physiognomy, we must take everything into account; it is in his distress that a man is tested, for then his nature is revealed.

— Paracelsus

Famous Physiognomy quotations

A strange and somewhat impassive physiognomy is often, perhaps, an advantage to an orator, or leader of any sort, because it helps to fix the eye and fascinate the mind.

Physiognomy is often a great falsifier, though as a rule it is honest enough.

A wise man will find us to be rogues by our faces.

PHYSIOGNOMY, n. The art of determining the character of another by the resemblances and differences between his face and our own, which is the standard of excellence.


You're either sexy or you're not. I'm very self-conscious about my physiognomy.

The tongue is more easily controlled than the features of the face;

and though the heart may be secret, the face is transparent.

What knowledge is there of which man is capable that is not founded on the exterior,--the relation that exists between visible and invisible, the perceptible and the imperceptible?

There is nothing truer than physiognomy, taken in connection with manner.

Every passion gives a particular cast to the countenance, and is apt to discover itself in some feature or other. I have seen an eye curse for half an hour together, and an eyebrow call a man a scoundrel.


We are all of us more or less active physiognomists.

The scope of an intellect is not to be measured with a tape-string, or a character deciphered from the shape or length of a nose.

These flattering mirrors reflect imperfectly what is within;

the countenance is often a gay deceiver. What defects of mind lie hidden under its beauty! What fair exteriors conceal base souls!

People's opinions of themselves are legible in their countenances.

The language of the face is not taught by the schools;

it is intuitive, and to the observant is always legible.


Nature never writes a blind hand.

There is a certain physiognomy in manners.

There are mystically in our faces certain characters which carry in them the motto of our souls, wherein he that cannot read may read our natures.

No language on earth speaks as comprehensively as photography, always providing that we follow the chemical and optic and physical path to demonstrable truth, and understand physiognomy.

Women and men are constructed differently, cosmically differently, never mind the physiognomy, but the cosmic memory we carry within us. The purposes we serve, the things that drive us, the things that are important to us are basically different.


Style is the physiognomy of the mind.

It is more infallible than that of the body. To imitate the style of another is said to be wearing a mask. However beautiful it may be, it is through its lifelessness insipid and intolerable, so that even the most ugly living face is more engaging.

There is no Champollion to decipher the Egypt of every man's and every being's face. Physiognomy, like every other human science,is but a passing fable.

When I paint a portrait I want to know more than just the looks of the person.

I want to know how they live and what their feelings are... It then becomes more than just physiognomy, but the feel of the person.

Style! style! why, all writers will tell you that it is the very thing which can least of all be changed. A man's style is nearly as much a part of him as his physiognomy, his figure, the throbbing of this pulse,--in short, as any part of his being is at least subjected to the action of the will.

That the public can grow accustomed to any face is proved by the increasing prevalence of Keith's ruined physiognomy on TV documentaries and chat shows, as familiar and homely a horror as Grandpa in The Munsters.


I had not seen Pride and Prejudice, till I read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? An accurate daguerreotyped portrait of a common-place face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses.

Their elegant shape, showy colours, and slow, sailing mode of flight, make them very attractive objects, and their numbers are so great that they form quite a feature in the physiognomy of the forest, compensating for the scarcity of flowers.

What is love at first sight but a proof of the powerful but silent language of physiognomy?

Children are marvelously and intuitively correct physiognomists.

The youngest of them exhibit this trait.

Each religious sect has its own physiognomy.

The Methodists have acquired a face; the Quakers, a face; the nuns, a face. An Englishman will pick out a dissenter by his manners.


Poetry interprets in two ways: it interprets by expressing, with magical felicity, the physiognomy and movements of the outward world; and it interprets by expressing, with inspired conviction, the ideas and laws of the inward world of man's moral and spiritual nature. In other words, poetry is interpretative both by having natural magic in it, and by having moral profundity.

The expressive word "quiet" defines the dress, manners, bow, and even physiognomy of every true denizen of St. James and Bond street.

Physiognomy is not a guide that has been given us by which to judge of the character of men: it may only serve us for conjecture. [Fr., La physionomie n'est pas une regle qui nous soit donnee pour juger des hommes; elle nous peut servir de conjecture.]

I'm a modern mountebank - I believe in Physiognomy - after all, we are in control of our face - it's the map of where we've been.

Of whatever class or nation, however, all successful participants in the repetitive and unrelenting stress of aerial fighting came eventually to display its characteristic physiognomy: skeletal hands, sharpened noses, tight-drawn cheek bones, the bared teeth of a rictus smile and the fixed, narrowed gaze of men in a state of controlled fear.

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