Piet Mondrian, posing for the phrenologist Alfred Waldenburg, 1909.
"This striking portrait photograph of 1909 is a document that Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) kept all his life. The picture was long thought to show Mondrian meditating or practising yoga, and to reflect his interest in theosophy. However, recent research by Lien Heyting has revealed that there is a different explanation for the artist’s bizarre stance: Mondrian was in fact posing for the phrenologist (‘skull measurer’) Alfred Waldenburg (1873-1942). Waldenburg believed that a person’s character and natural abilities were determined by the relative size of certain areas of the brain. According to him, there was a link between the length of the hands and the shape and size of the cranium; this photograph therefore seems to make some kind of point about Mondrian’s artistic talent." (source)