Philosophy and Satire Back to Back: On Edouard Manet's Philosopher With Oysters and other "beggar-philosohers"
Lomshakova, Olga Sergeevna
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This thesis explores two genres of visual representation, philosophy and satire, as interconnected emanations of visuality/discourse conundrum and as related to art historical interpretations of the modern painter Edouard Manet. Particular attention is given to his painting called "Philosopher With Oysters" among a small series of works called "beggar-philosophers" and the numerous single-figure portraits that Manet painted. The iconography of sources, technical specifications and aesthetic intentions of Manet's works are discussed with reference to an old and rich tradition of depicting the ancient philosophers Democritus and Heraclitus, known as "the laughing and crying couple." Ultimately, this thesis aims to disclose the literary and visual connections between the figure of philosopher and the oyster as a central trope of philosophical satire, pertinent to emergence of the modern discourse on art.