11509

A PAIR OF GLAZED TERRACOTTA BUSTS DEPICTING HERACLITUS AND DEMOCRITUS

Measurements

Democritus: Height: 12 3/4" (32.4 cm); Width: 9 1/4" (23.5 cm); Depth: 8 1/4" (21 cm).
Heraclitus: Height: 13 1/5" (34.3 cm); Width: 10 1/4" (26 cm); Depth: 8 3/4" (22.2 cm).

Research
Of dark glazed terracotta.

This interesting pair of painted terracotta busts represents the two pre-Socratic Greek philosophers Heraclitus of Ephesus (d. circa 475 BC) and Democritus of Abdera (d. circa 370 BC). Although they lived nearly a century apart, the duo are usually presented together for their contrasting emotional interpretations of their closely related philosophies.

Heraclitus believed that everything is in a constant state of flux and ever-changing. He is famous for the notion that “no man ever steps in the same river twice, because neither man nor the river are the same.” He maintained that “the soul is dyed the color of its thoughts…The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.” He is also known for teaching the idea that “Applicants for wisdom do what I have done: inquire within” and “Even sleepers are workers and collaborators in what goes on in the Universe.” Despite these important realizations, he viewed the affairs of man to be tragic, and approached them with pity and compassion. Thus, he is regarded as ‘the Weeping Philosopher’.

Democritus on the other hand was known in antiquity as ‘the Laughing Philosopher’ because of his emphasis on the value of ‘cheerfulness.’

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.