The mysterious Lavater skull in 3D

A demo version of the InnoTeq DIVIT 3D terminal, showcasing the city’s collections, will be on display in the temporary exhibition hall of the Kisfaludy Sándor Memorial House in Sumeg. The interactive device displays the Lavater skull in 3D against a dark background with perspective distortion.

The preserved human skull was once brought to Sümeg from Zurich by Sándor Kisfaludy. According to family legend, it was the property of Lavater, the physiognomist, who drew it with his own hands, marking on it the location of all the inclinations and senses. In the late 1700s, the physiognomic work of Lavater, a humble parish priest in Zurich, caused a sensation throughout Europe. It was one of the most interesting theories of the 18th century, that all human passions, dispositions and qualities are conspicuously manifested in the human face. For many years, this particular object was an integral part of the poet’s office, or more precisely, of his desk with its beautiful inlay.

The much-rotated skull is now available to visitors in a virtual form, as a model that can be rotated around the touch screen, examined from all angles and enlarged. Areas marked with dashed lines can be highlighted with dark-toned highlights, and text content can be retrieved by touching a touch button. The 35 surface points are described in detail in the book by Victor Szokoly, Arcisme and phrenology, for readers of all ages, published in 1864.