17th C, Baroque, Genre Scene, Circle of Gerard Thomas (Antwerp, 1663 – Antwerp, 1720), The Sholar and his Student, Oil on Canvas, 34 x 46 cm, Framed
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Baroque; Circle of Gerard Thomas (Antwerp, 1663 – Antwerp, 1720); We are witnesses of a scholar who wants to impart knowledge to a young student. The objects in the study room refer to all kinds of research areas. On the table we find a copy of Willem Jansz. Blaeu’s famous celestial globe with the signs of the Zodiac. Such globes were not taken by sea captains on their ships to calculate their routes, but were usually in the possession of scholars or wealthy people. On the floor near the table is a bust of the Greek philosopher Plato and a painting, depicting the God Dionysius. The bust resembles the sculpture that is now preserved in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Plato was important because of his mathematical and philosophical insights. Some passages in his writing “Symposium” relate to the Dionysian rituals. Participants of these orgiastic events assumed that their actions would facilitate the god’s entry into their souls. They hoped that they would become immortal or divine by performing the rituals. A plinth to the left of the room bears the bust of Plato’s pupil, Socrates. He is known to this day for his “Socratic Method” in educating young people. By asking countless questions he wanted to bring his pupils to fundamental insights.