Ezechia Marco Lombroso, was born in Verona, Italy and died in Turin, Italy.
He was a criminologist and founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology and became an army surgeon in 1859. In 1862, was appointed professor of diseases of the mind at Pavia, and later took charge of the insane asylum at Pesaro, eventually becoming professor of medical law and psychiatry at Turim.
He popularized the notion of the born criminal through biological determinism, claiming that criminals have particular physiognomic attributes or deformities. If crimilality was inherited, then the born criminal could be distinguished by physical characteristics such as:
- Large jaws, foward projection of the jaw, low sloping foreheads.
- Large cheekbones, flattened or upturned nose.
- Handle-shaped ears.
- Large chins, very proeminent in appearance.
- Hawk-like noses or fleshy lips.
- Hard shifty eyes, scanty beard or baldness.
- Intensivity to plain, long arms.
He attempted to construct a supported scientific methodology in order to predict criminal behavior and isolate individuals capable of the most violent types of criminal activity. He concluded that skull and facial features were clues to genetic crimilality. These features could be measured with craniometers and calipers, and the measurement analysed by quantitative research.
He published "The Man of Genius" in 1889, a book which argued that artistic genius was a form of hereditary insanity. In order to support this assertion, he began assembling a large collection of "psychiatric art". He published an article on the subject in 1880 in which thirteen typical features of "the art of insane". Although his criteria are generally regarded as outdated today and his work inspired late writters on the subject, particulary Hans Prinzhorn.