German School circa 1700 - Alexander the Great Discovers Diogenes in the Barrel
German School circa 1700
Alexander the Great Discovers Diogenes in the Barrel
Oil on copper. 9.8 x 14.8 cm.
This finely painted work by an anonymous master depicts a legend establishing the authority of philosophy in the face of political power. Philosophy is represented as a radical way of life, based on Plutarch's narrative. Faced with Diogene's disinterest and disregard, Alexander is said to have exclaimed: "If I were not Alexander the Great, I would like to be Diogenes."