Voltaire (1694-1778) was one of the most important philosophers of the Enlightenment in France.
His most important work, Candide, is a satire about Leibniz’s optimistic life philosophy, an ironic attack of the optimistic world view of the Age of Reason. The satire ‘Candide’ grapples with faith, disaster, fanaticism and nationalism: optimism can only coincide with pessimism.
The taboo, feeling and expressing pessimism, is still accurate. The painting deals with the importance of optimism and pessimism. In this portrait of a young Voltaire, I allow life and death to tenderly coexist.