Museoteca - Fortune-telling tracts, Unknown artist
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Work information

Title: Fortune-telling tracts
Artist: Unknown artist

The drawing of Plato and Socrates in this manuscript of fortune-telling texts is curious in that the artist has reversed their roles: Socrates, who famously wrote nothing, is shown holding a pen; while Plato, whose beautifully written dialogues are the primary source for Socrates? life and thought, seems to be dictating to him. The similarity the drawing bears to the engraving in Bocchi?s engraving on the left is superficial but nevertheless striking. In the latter Socrates?s daimon provides artistic inspiration; here, Socrates is an intermediary between divine fortune and the textual prophecies contained in the manuscript.

MS. Ashmole 304, fols. 31v?32r

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