Diogenes, 17th century


Oil on canvasexpand_more

The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  67.50

A Greek philosopher of the 4th century BCE, Diogenes was a founder of Cynicism, which scorned social norms and polite behavior, advocated an austere and simple life, and held self-control and virtue to be the most important human traits.

Diogenes is depicted with his lantern, a reference to the story that he carried a lamp around in daylight hours as he searched for an honest man in a society of scoundrels. The owls (birds associated with the goddess Athena) likely allude to the city of Athens, where Diogenes lived for a time.


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