Renaissance masters meet ancient philosophers

NANAIMO – Presentation combines Renaissance art and philosophy.

By Marilyn Assaf

Philosophy meets art with Vancouver Island University professor John Lepage’s presentation Renaissance Art and the Ancient Philosophers: A Study in the Representation of Ideas.

This free event, sponsored by VIU’s arts and humanities Colloquium Series, takes place March 22 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Malaspina Theatre (Bldg. 310).

Lepage explores, through a number of paintings some of the mysterious but meaningful ways in which the ancient philosophers were adapted to fit the age of the Renaissance.

He considers why certain painters painted what they did, when they did, in the way they did.

This colloquium grows out of long study by Lepage of the faces of ancient philosophy in Renaissance literature and the visual arts. It draws on research he undertook for his 2012 book, The Revival of Antique Philosophy in the Renaissance, which explores the puzzling role of the pre-Socratic philosophers Democritus and Heraclitus in Renaissance literature.

His presentation surveys paintings of these philosophers by Renaissance masters. More broadly, works by Bramante, Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Velasquez, among many others will be examined in the discussion.

For more information, please contact Daniel Burgoyne at 250-753-3245, local 2126 or e-mail