About one ring

About gold ring “René Descartes” by German artist Manfred Bischoff.

In his work the artist researched parallels, artistic interrelation between language, drawing, sign and jewelry. For me, as a philologist, his art is of great interest.

His pieces are poetic, full of intelligence, cause discussions. They are harmonious both in form and in content.

© Manfred Bischoff

A coral skull on a gold ring base looks at itself in the mirror. Although it is obvious that just a skull cannot admire itself, unlike a person wearing this ring. It’s ironic that in the mirror both the face of the skull and the face of the wearer are visible at the same time.

The skull is not only a symbol of the frailty of being. In ancient times it was interpreted as a sign of immortality, strength of life, knowledge and protection of ancestors. In this ring it represents life, not death.

The ring is accompanied by a watercolor and ink drawing, containig a name of the French philosopher René Descartes.

© Manfred Bischoff

Rene Descartes encouraged to doubt.
Doubt is a property of thought, which means that a person thinks, if they doubt. And since only a real person can think, therefore, thinking is the basis of both being and cognition.
And even after the philosopher’s death, the doubt has still remained.

Portrait Of Rene Descartes By Frans Hals

His body was transported from place to place, held by customs authorities. The skull was separated, signed by different people who was lucky to have it, and even sold in an action. Some rings were created from a part of his bone as a gift for the lovers of the philosophy of that time.
Despite the fact that the skull is now kept in the museum, there are four more skulls, could all theoretically be Descartes’s: one in Stockholm and three in private collections. Although most scientists believe that the skull in the museum is still authentic. This is pretty good thing, I’d say. Cogito, ergo sum or “I think, therefore I am.”

Skull of René Descartes. Musee de l’Homme, Paris


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