Tuesday, 24 November 2015


Living the Good Life? This is an example of what I consider a Good Life:

"Cosimo, the head of the family, was particularly fond of living in the country and used his time in his villas to demonstrate to the rest of the world the simplicity of his republican lifestyle. Clad in simple garb of a country dweller, he loved to cultivate his own garden. He would prune the wines while his in-house scholar, Marsilio Ficino, read aloud to him from the works of the Greek philosopher Plato." (page 95)

This is the way Cosimo Medici is described in my book about 15th century paintings by Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen. In all reality, it is more a book about 15th century culture than about art. They describe life from perspective of what you can see in 15th century paintings.

The text on the price tag indicates that the book was bought in Lithuania so I guess I got it in the spring of 1990 when I was in Kaunas at the University. After all the run-ins with the remnants of the Soviet Army (Lithuania was declared independent then by everybody except the Soviet Union so tanks roamed the streets.) I probably needed art to calm me in the evenings. (I also suspect it was the only book I could get hold of written in English. It was common in Eastern Europe before the change to provide only very inconspicuous literature in English.)

Now, the man and I read it out loud while drinking coffee in bed on Saturday mornings.

If I ever get filthily stinking superfluously enormously rich, I will rather have an in-house scholar than a live in maid. Possibly reading Plato, never ever Aristotle, although preferably Epicurus (not to anybody's surprise.)


  1. My oldest friend is Benedictine monk and every lunchtime one of the community reads aloud from a 'secular book' whilst they are eating. They get through quite a few during the year. I quite like that.

    1. I would love to have a peak at their current secular reading list!