What We Are Reading Today: The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter

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Updated 20 August 2018

What We Are Reading Today: The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter

In the Louvre museum hangs a portrait that is considered the iconic image of René Descartes, the great 17th-century French philosopher. 

And the painter of the work? The Dutch master Frans Hals — or so it was long believed, until the work was downgraded to a copy of an original. But where is the authentic version, and who painted it? Is the man in the painting — and in its original — really Descartes?

A unique combination of philosophy, biography, and art history, The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter investigates the remarkable individuals and circumstances behind a small portrait.

Through this image — and the intersecting lives of a brilliant philosopher, a Catholic priest, and a gifted painter — Steven Nadler opens a fascinating portal into Descartes’s life and times, skillfully presenting an accessible introduction to Descartes’s philosophical and scientific ideas, and an illuminating tour of the volatile political and religious environment of the Dutch Golden Age.

 As Nadler shows, Descartes’s innovative ideas about the world, about human nature and knowledge, and about philosophy itself, stirred great controversy. Philosophical and theological critics vigorously opposed his views, and civil and ecclesiastic authorities condemned his writings. Nevertheless, Descartes’s thought came to dominate the philosophical world of the period, and can rightly be called the philosophy of the 17th century.

 Shedding light on a well-known image, The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter offers an engaging exploration of a celebrated philosopher’s world and work.

Steven Nadler is the William H. Hay II professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin — Madison. His books include Rembrandt’s Jews, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Spinoza: A Life, which won the Koret Jewish Book Award; and A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age (Princeton).

Negin Mirsalehi takes Vegas awards show by storm

Updated 15 November 2018

Negin Mirsalehi takes Vegas awards show by storm

  • Mirsalehi shared the news with her 5.1 million followers on Instagram
  • The winner of the “Influencer of the Year” award is decided through fan votes

Regional fashion sensation Negin Mirsalehi has been named “Influencer of the Year”at the recently concluded Revolve Awards in Las Vegas — a second for the Amsterdam-based Iranian beauty.

Mirsalehi shared the news with her 5.1 million followers on Instagram, where she posted a picture of herself with Victoria’s Secret Angel Romee Strijd — both carrying the iconic Revolve trophy. Strijd won the “Model of the Year.”

Mirsalehi, who has her own hair care brand, Gisou, wore a floor-length Michael Costello dress to the live audience awards ceremony, complete with a plunging neckline and thigh-high slit.

The winner of the “Influencer of the Year” award is decided through fan votes. When Mirsalehi first won in 2017, she took to her website to thank her fans  and ascribed the award to her “strong relationship” with them.

The star was also named as part of Europe’s 30 Under 30 list by Forbes due to her hair care line, which made $3 million in sales last year.

Many other style icons were present at the glittering awards night held at the Palms Casino Resort last week, including Aimee Song, Camila Coelho, Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner, who took home the “Icon of the Year” plaque.

The influencer is the founder of the brand Gisou Hair. (Getty Images)

The “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star, who has a 98.3-million strong following on Instagram, walked the Revolve Awards red carpet in an eye-catching feathered bandeau dress.

Revolve is multi-brand online shopping site known for its exhaustive use of influencer marketing.

The ceremony came after a successful Victoria’s Secret fashion show in New York, which Mirsalehi attended, where a bevy of models with Middle Eastern roots walked the runway, including Melie Tiacoh, a French-born model of Lebanese heritage; Shanina Shaik, whose father is Saudi-Pakistani; and the US-Palestinian Hadid sisters.

Sixty models put on an Amazonian display of luscious waving locks, slender bodies and sun-kissed makeup for what is considered one of the most competitive gigs in the industry.

Scheduled to be televised on Dec. 2, the 2018 show was distinctive by a collaboration with London-based designer Mary Katrantzou that showcased psychedelic bodysuits.

Negin Mirsalehi won the prize for ‘Influencer of the Year.’ (Instagram)