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In this small but exquisite oil painting, with its characteristic dramatic, towering architecture, Martin depicts the legendary meeting of the Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes, who taught that the virtuous life is the simple life and dramatically discarded conventional comforts and the all-conquering Alexander the Great. After being questioned by the philosopher on his ambition, the impressed Alexander asked what he might do for him, Diogenes said, ‘If you can just stand a little to the side, because you are preventing the sun.
oil on board
H 22 x W 33.5 cm
bequeathed by Sir Steven Runciman, 2000