This recently rediscovered painting by Claude Vignon is an autograph replica of a signed and dated canvas, formerly in the Château de Sanssouci in Potsdam and destroyed in 1945 during World War II.1
At the center of the composition is Diogenes, the Greek Cynic philosopher (4th century B.C) who despised worldly possessions. Surrounded by various figures, he is shown here with his traditional lantern in search of an honest man. This theme, which symbolized one's pursuit for truth and virtue, was popular among artists of the seventeenth century.
We are grateful to Madame Paola Bassani Pacht for endorsing the attribution of the present lot on the basis of photographs.
1. Oil on canvas, 63 by 116 cm, signed and dated lower center: Vignon inv. f. 1637. See P.P. Bassani, Claude Vignon: 1593-1670, Paris 1992, pp. 334-335, cat. no. 253, reproduced.