Disputa (diptych)


Oil on Belgian linen, 168 x 61 each cm

The music

Composer: Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)
Works: Synphonia Serena (1946)
Suggested performance: Paul Hindemith conducting the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (recording label: Mediaphon)

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We have here two philosophers: one an Aristotelian - pointing to the Earth; the other - a Platonist, pointing to the Heavens. The Aristotelian philosopher is young, because he symbolises the Earthly wisdom which is very, very young when compared with the Heavenly wisdom. The Platonist, on the other hand, is an old man, precisely because he symbolises the latter - the Heavenly Wisdom. The painting can be seen to represent a dispute between these two types of wisdom, which is not necessarily a contention - many have claimed that Aristotelianism and Platonism can be reconciled - but how? Each philosophy contains within itself a certain beauty and hides many interesting secrets.