This original painting is by Tennessee based artist Kristin Llamas. "Who is Socrates?" is oil and acrylic on canvas. Scroll down for more information about shipping and our list of design services. Detailed images of the painting and framing available upon request. If you'd like exclusive access to new artwork, sign up for our 1st Dibs List.
Approx. 36" x 44" x 2.5"
Socrates (470 – 399 BCE) was the earliest of the great Greek philosophers whose work is still studied today. He wrote nothing himself, but two of his pupils, Plato and Xenophon, recorded both his style of teaching and his thoughts. The Socratic Method of teaching is to ask questions, requiring students to think for themselves.
Socrates questioned everything, including the government of Athens, and referred to himself, according to Plato, as a gadfly, a stinging fly that annoys livestock. The word has come to mean someone who persistently challenges people in power, the status quo, or a popular position. His activities as an uncomfortable goad to the Athenian authorities ultimately cost him his life. He was accused of impiety—for not worshipping the gods appropriately—and the corruption of youth—for infusing his students with the spirit of criticism of Athenian society. Rather than escaping from Athens Socrates chose to stand trial and drink the hemlock that was his death sentence.
In this work, the sponge represents Socrates’ constant thirst for knowledge, to the point where it begins to puddle around for others to soak up. The flower growing out of the sponge is a hemlock stalk, which we know was the poison that Socrates drank as his death sentence.