COORNHERT, Dirck Volkertsz.
(b. 1522, Amsterdam, d. 1590, Gouda)

Democritus and Heraclitus

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

This engraving by the Haarlem humanist was made after Maerten van Heemskerck. In the print, the two philosophers stand in a 'world landscape' with, between them, a translucent orb draped with a foolscap. At top centre, flanked by putti holding hourglasses and resting on skulls, a plaque bears the legend REMPUS RIDENDI TEMPUS FLENDI (A time to laugh and a time to weep). Democritus (c. 460 - c. 370 B.C.) and Heraclitus (c. 540 - c. 475 B.C.) are known as the 'laughing and crying philosophers.'

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.