In the Nineteenth century, the members of the Italian scientific community would rarely miss an opportunity to study the bodies of the "great" men of the peninsula: after their death, during the transferal of their cadavers, or at the exhibition of their remains during anniversaries and celebrations. It was especially the skull that attracted the attention of most scholars, as it was believed that from the skull’s conformation it was possible to infer the revealing sign of the greatness and genius of its original owner. This paper attempts to offer a reconstruction of the story of these craniological analyses, focusing on one event: the discovery of the "authentic" skull of Raffaello Sanzio, in Rome, 1833. This event, which attracted the attention of the international scientific community, illustrates a number of themes and issues (from the role of physicians as experts to the clash between different institutions over the control of the exhibition of "secular relics") that would recur in the second half of the century, around the exhibition of other skulls of illustrious Italians.
Keywords: Phrenology, Skulls, Men of genious firstname.lastname@example.org