BetaThis search tool is in development. Find out more.
Digital Images

Skeleton with phrenological skull, Europe, 1801-1900

Science Museum, London


Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Science Museum, London
Can I use this?

About this work


In the 1800s, phrenology became popular with large numbers of people but soon became controversial within medical circles. Phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. Phrenologists also disagreed among themselves, as is demonstrated by this skull. One half of the head shows the system according to Franz Joseph Gall (1758 –1828), a German physician and founder of phrenology, and the other half shows the system favoured by his colleague, Johann Gaspar Spurzheim (1776-1832). The labels are written in French.


License information

License information

You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions


Skeleton with phrenological skull, Europe, 1801-1900. Credit: Science Museum, London. CC BY

We’re improving the information on this page. Find out more.