Jerry Brotton

Pictures of Thought

The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes

By

Princeton University Press 230pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

This book offers a portrait of the philosopher Descartes in every sense of the word. Its author, Steven Nadler, is himself a distinguished philosopher specialising in the radical, dissenting tradition of late Renaissance and early Enlightenment philosophy and art. His previous works on Rembrandt’s depiction of Jews and Spinoza’s secular philosophy have centred on the political, religious and intellectual world of the Low Countries in the 17th century, and he has sought to understand how this region played such a decisive role in bringing to an end the artistic and philosophical outlook of the Renaissance. How, asks Nadler in much of his published work, do we get from Titian and Erasmus to Rembrandt and Descartes? 

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