ARE FACES SYMMETRICAL? I remember being told by a young lawyer that there was a period in art history when it was believed that all faces were symmetrical—even though every face they encountered should have refuted the notion. I asked Annalisa about faces being thought of as asymmetrical, and she said that was long known. Yet, I have rarely seen asymmetries being discussed in writings about portraits (with Empson being the exception).
Kevin Jackson cites Empson as discussing asymmetry in actual faces and not just in portrayals of faces in art: “He also applies his asymmetry theory to public figures, dead and living. Of Winston Churchill’s face, he says: ‘The administrator is on the right … and on the left are the petulance, the rancour, the romanticism, the gloomy moral strength and the range of imaginative power.'”