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Diogenes

John William Waterhouse1882

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Waterhouse’s early success of the 1880s was based on classical subjects such as this which show a strong debt to Alma-Tadema. The most famous of the Cynic philosophers, Diogenes (412?-323 BC) pursued the ideal of eliminating non-essential luxuries, thus choosing to live not in a house but in a large tub. Supposedly he would stalk the streets of Athens with the lantern (here shown at his feet) vainly searching for an honest man.

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  • Title: Diogenes
  • Creator: John William Waterhouse
  • Date Created: 1882
  • Physical Dimensions: 208.3 x 134.6 cm stretcher; 249.0 x 177.4 x 17.0 cm frame
  • Provenance: R.J. Jeffray, pre Apr 1886, Australia, Sold April 1886 through Messrs. Gemmell, Tucket and Co., at Devoirgilla, Toorak, Melbourne. Henry Wallis, Apr 1886, Purchased by the AGNSW from Henry Wallis 1886
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Purchased 1886
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Signature & Date: Signed and dated l.r., brown paint "J W Waterhouse 1882" .
  • Artist Country: England

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