Johann Kaspar Lavater

Biography of Johann Kaspar Lavater

Johann Kaspar (or Caspar) Lavater (15 November 1741 – 2 January 1801) was a Swiss poet and physiognomist.

Lavater was born at Zürich, and educated at the Gymnasium there, where J. J. Bodmer and J. J. Breitinger were among his teachers.


As a poet, Lavater published Christliche Lieder (1776–1780) and two epics, Jesus Messias (1780) and Joseph von Arimathia (1794), in the style of Klopstock. More relevant to the religious temperament of Lavater's times are his introspective Aussichten in die Ewigkeit (4 vols. 1768-1778), Geheimes Tagebuch von einem Beobachter seiner selbst (2 vols., 1772–1773), and Pontius Pilatus, oder der Mensch in allen Gestalten (4 vols., 1782–1785).

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