ARTS & CULTURE

10 Unexpected Philosopher Portraits In The Styles Of Famous Artists

09/04/2013 10:52 am ET | Updated Sep 04, 2013

Style and substance come together in the imaginative paintings of Renee Bolinger, a student of both art and philosophy.

In an effort to combine her two passions, Bolinger embarked upon a series of portraits that pair a great thinker with a great creative talent, illuminating unexpected links between them along the way. We never, for example, would have connected Elizabeth Anscombe, a philosopher of action, with Jackson Pollock, the visionary behind action painting, although now it all seems so clear!

Behold, 10 unexpected pairings of art and philosophy. Learn more about the project below.

1.) G.E.M. Anscombe in the style of Jackson Pollock

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2.) Kurt Gödel rendered in the Art Nouveau style

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3.) Immanuel Kant in the style of Pablo Picasso

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4.) Ruth Barcan Marcus in the style of Roy Lichtenstein

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5.) Soren Kierkegaard in the style of Roy Lichtenstein

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6.) Ludwig Wittgenstein in the style of Piet Mondrian

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7.) Gottlob Frege in the style of Vincent Van Gogh

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8.) Bertrand Russell rendered in an Art Deco style

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9.) W.V.O. Quine in the style of Salvador Dalí

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10.) Philippa Foot in the style of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

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Bolinger developed an interest in both art and philosophy during her undergraduate education. In an email to the Huffington Post, Bolinger explained how a professor and mentor "urged me not to see the two fields as competitive and exclusive, but as complementary, and in a way, this painting series is the natural result."

The unconventional series pairs decorative visuals with the stark ideologies normally associated with philosophical thought. "These paintings are a whimsical riff on traditional portraiture," Bolinger wrote. "Typically the sitter would pose with objects that represented their accomplishments. A philosopher's greatest accomplishments are her ideas, her contribution to the field. In these portraits, the painting style itself is the symbol -- in some more literally than others -- of the subject's ideas, mantra, or main contribution."

Do you have the philosophical chops to understand the connection between thinker and artist? Let us know if you come up with any inspired pairings of your own in the comments.

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