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J.H.W. Tischbein | Diogenes looking for an Honest Man, 1780


"Diogenes Looking for an Honest Man" is a painting attributed to German painter Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1829).
It depicts Diogenes of Sinope with a lantern searching for an honest man.
Diogenes of Sinope used to stroll about in full daylight with a lamp; when asked what he was doing, he would answer, "I am just looking for an honest man".

Gaetano Gandolfi (Italian painter, 1734-1802) | Alexander and Diogenes

Modern sources often say that Diogenes was looking for an "honest man", but in ancient sources he is simply looking for a "human" (anthrôpos).
The unreasoning behavior of the people around him means that they do not qualify as human. Diogenes looked for a human being but reputedly found nothing but rascals and scoundrels.

Statue of Diogenes at Sinop, Turkey

Diogenes /Διογένης, was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy.
He was born in Sinope, an Ionian colony on the Black Sea, in 412 or 404 BC and died at Corinth in 323 BC.
Diogenes was a controversial figure. His father minted coins for a living, and Diogenes was banished from Sinope when he took to debasement of currency.
After being exiled, he moved to Athens and criticized many cultural conventions of the city.
He modelled himself on the example of Heracles, and believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory.
He used his simple lifestyle and behaviour to criticize the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt, confused society. He had a reputation for sleeping and eating wherever he chose in a highly non-traditional fashion, and took to toughening himself against nature.
He became notorious for his philosophical stunts, such as carrying a lamp during the day, claiming to be looking for an honest man.

Johann Carl Loth (German Baroque Era painter, 1632-1698) | Diogenes | Minneapolis Institute of Arts

He criticized Plato, disputed his interpretation of Socrates, and sabotaged his lectures, sometimes distracting listeners by bringing food and eating during the discussions.
Diogenes was also noted for having mocked Alexander the Great, both in public and to his face when he visited Corinth in 336 BC.
Diogenes was captured by pirates and sold into slavery, eventually settling in Corinth. There he passed his philosophy of Cynicism to Crates, who taught it to Zeno of Citium, who fashioned it into the school of Stoicism, one of the most enduring schools of Greek philosophy.
The famous story of Diogenes searching for an "honest man" has been depicted by Jordaens, van Everdingen, van der Werff, Pannini, and Corinth. Others who have painted him with his famous lantern include de Ribera, Castiglione, Petrini, Gérôme, Bastien-Lepage, and Waterhouse.

Jean-Léon Gérôme🎨 (French Academic Painter and Sculptor, 1824-1904) | Diogenes sitting in his Tub, 1860

"Diogenes Looking for an Honest" è un dipinto attribuito a Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (Pittore tedesco, 1751-1829).
Raffigura Diogene di Sinope con una lanterna alla ricerca di un uomo onesto.
Diogene di Sinope passeggiava in pieno giorno con una lampada; quando gli veniva chiesto cosa stesse facendo, rispondeva: "Sto solo cercando un uomo onesto".
Fonti moderne affermano spesso che Diogene stava cercando un "uomo onesto", ma in fonti antiche sta semplicemente cercando un "umano" (anthrôpos).
Il comportamento irragionevole delle persone che lo circondano significa che non si qualificano come umani.
Diogene cercava un essere umano, ma si dice che non trovasse altro che mascalzoni e furfanti.

Mattia Preti (Italian Baroque painter, 1613-1699) Diogenes and Plato, | Pinacoteca of the Capitoline Museum in Rome, Italy

Diogene / Διογένης, era un filosofo greco e uno dei fondatori della filosofia cinica. Nacque a Sinope, una colonia ionica sul Mar Nero, nel 412 o 404 a.C. e morì a Corinto nel 323 a.C. Diogene era una figura controversa. Suo padre coniava monete per guadagnarsi da vivere, e Diogene fu bandito da Sinope quando prese a declassare la valuta.
Dopo essere stato esiliato, si è trasferito ad Atene e ha criticato molte convenzioni culturali della città. Si è modellato sull'esempio di Eracle e ha creduto che la virtù fosse meglio rivelata nell'azione che in teoria.

Jules Bastien-Lepage (French Realist painter, 1848-1884) | Diogene, 1873 | Musee Marmottan Monet

Ha usato il suo stile di vita e il suo comportamento semplici per criticare i valori e le istituzioni sociali di quella che vedeva come una società corrotta e confusa. Aveva la reputazione di dormire e mangiare ovunque scegliesse in modo non tradizionale, e si impegnò a rafforzarsi contro la natura.
Divenne famoso per le sue acrobazie filosofiche, come portare una lampada durante il giorno, affermando di cercare un uomo onesto.
Diogene fu anche notato per aver deriso Alessandro Magno, sia in pubblico che in faccia quando visitò Corinto nel 336 a.C. Diogene fu catturato dai pirati e venduto in schiavitù, stabilendosi infine a Corinto.
Lì passò la sua filosofia del cinismo a Casse, che la insegnò a Zenone di Citium, che la modellò nella scuola di stoicismo, una delle scuole più durature della filosofia greca.
La famosa storia di Diogene alla ricerca di un "uomo onesto" è stata rappresentata da Jordaens, van Everdingen, van der Werff, Pannini e Corinth.
Altri che lo hanno dipinto con la sua famosa lanterna includono de Ribera, Castiglione, Petrini, Gérôme, Bastien-Lepage e Waterhouse.

John William Waterhouse (English Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1849-1917) | Diogenes, 1882 | Art Gallery of New South Wales

John William Waterhouse (English Pre-Raphaelite Painter, 1849-1917) | Diogenes, 1882 (detail) | Art Gallery of New South Wales

Jacob Jordaens (Flemish Baroque Era painter, 1593-1678) Diogenes with his Lantern in the Market Place
Raphael (Italian High Renaissance painter, 1483-1520) | The School of Athens (Diogene detail), 1511
Raphael (Italian High Renaissance painter, 1483-1520)| The School of Athens (Diogene detail), 1511
Raphael (Italian High Renaissance painter, 1483-1520) | The School of Athens, 1511
Statue of Diogenes with Alexander the Great in Corinth, Greece

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