Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)
“Countess Alexander Nikolaevitch Lamsdorff” (1859)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York, United States

The twenty-four-year-old countess depicted here was the wife of Alexander Nikolaevitch Lamsdorff, a Russian aristocrat and Francophile. The book of English poetry in her lap is thought to be a reference to her father, Ivan Alexandrovitch Beck, a poet and translator. Her choice of a fashionable day dress may have been suggested by Winterhalter, who is known to have advised his sitters on their wardrobe and posed them to their best advantage in his studio.

John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)
“Diogenes” (1882)
Oil on canvas
Pre-Raphaelite
Located in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Domain, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Diogenes was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy, he was known as Diogenes the Cynic.

Diogenes is also known for an interaction he had with Alexander the Great. Alexander, upon meeting Diogenes while he was relaxing in the morning sun, asked if there was any favour he might do for him. Diogenes replied, “Yes, stand out of my sunlight.” Alexander then declared, “If I were not Alexander, then I should wish to be Diogenes.”