Diogenes Asking Alexander to Get Out of His Light
Pierre Brebiette (French, about 1598–1642)
The incident depicted is said to have occurred in Corinth. One morning Diogenes was sunning himself when Alexander the Great happened upon his humble abode. Delighted to meet the renowned philosopher, the powerful ruler asked what he could do for him. Diogenes replied tartly, “Don’t cast a shadow on me.”–or “Get out of my light.” Rather than taking offense Alexander appreciated the wisdom and remarked that were he not Alexander, he would wish to be Diogenes.