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Notes and Discussions A UNIQUE CoPY OF SPINOZA'S Nagelate Schriften In July, 1972, I found a unique copy of Spinoza's NagelateSchriftenin the store of an Amsterdam antiquarian book dealer. 1 It is made unique by the following special features : (1) The printed list of errata has been removed and cut to pieces; the corrections are pasted individually in their appropriate places in the text. (2) The well-known engraving of Spinoza from the OperaPosthuma, which appears in only a few copies of the Nagelate Schriften, does appear in this copy. But the Latin inscription on the engraving has been covered with a slip of paper giving a Dutch version. (3) Attached to the end paper in the front of the book is a drawing of Spinoza, signed "J. Faber 1691." (4) There are three manuscript pages bound into the book. Two of them contain additions to Spinoza's correspondence as printed in the Nagelate Schrilten. Items (2), (3), and (4) deserve some comment. (2) The slip of paper pasted over the Latin inscription on the engraving of Spinoza is fastened on one side only, so that one can still lift it and read the Latin. On it are printed the following verses: Dit is de schaduw van Spinoza's zienlijk beelt, Daar't gladde koper geen sieraat meer aan kon geven; Maar sijn gezegent brein, zoo rijk hem meegedeelt, Doet in zijn schriften hem aanschouwen nar het leven. Wie oit Begeerte tot de wysheit heeft gehad, Flier was die zuiver en op't snedigste gevat. There seems to have been some disagreement among Spinoza's friends about what inscription to put under the portrait, and this Dutch version may have served to satisfy some people who did not like the Latin inscription. One other copy of the Nagelate Schriltenis known in which the Latin inscription under the engraving has been replaced by a Dutch one. That copy is in the Royal Library in the Hague, but in it the Latin is cut out altogether and the Dutch pasted in its place. The Dutch version in the Royal Library copy is the same as the one in the copy I have found. (3) The Faber drawing has been completely unknown and unpublished until now. I have had it reproduced, and it appears as the frontispiece to my book, Spinoza's Theory of. Truth (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972). There is a second drawing of Spinoza by Faber. The other is slightly larger than the one I have found, and it includes some Dutch verses below the drawing. It hangs in the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana in Amsterdam, and has been reproduced in several places (among them the Jiidisches Lexicon [Berlin, c1927--c1930], article "Spinoza"). John Faber was born between 1650 and 1660 in the Hague. He was active in London after 1695 (some authorities give 1687, but the Rosenthal portrait of Spinoza is signed "J. Faber 1692 in Amsterdam"), and he died in Bristol in 1721. He drew portraits of 1 The copyis now part of the private collectionof SalomonS. Meyerof the Pampiere-Wereld Antiquariaat in Amsterdam. [81] 82 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY prominent people of the day, using engravings, or occasionally paintings, by other artists as his models. Both of his drawings of Spinoza are modelled on the engraving from the OperaPosthuma,and, so far as is known, there is no work of Faber's that is not modelled on someone else's. It is characteristic of his drawings to be enclosed in a circle, as we see in both portraits of Spinoza. Neither portrait, of course, counts as a "true" portrait of Spinoza; both were done after his death. Given that Faber was born in the Hague no later than 1660 and that Spinoza lived there from 1670 until his death in 1677, it is conceivable that Faber may have seen Spinoza, but I know of no evidence to establish that he did. (4) The manuscript pages, which were added in the eighteenth century to the book we are discussing, are perhaps its most interesting features. One of them simply gives a list of the names of the people with whom Spinoza corresponded. (In the printed text of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 81-83
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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