Rene Descartes, French mathematician

Rene Descartes, French mathematician

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Credit: HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES LIBRARY/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Rene Descartes (1596-1650), French mathematician and philosopher. The French inscription calls him a celebrated mathematician and philosopher, also saying that he was born in La Haye in Touraine (an area of France) in 1596, and that he died in 1650, in Stockholm (in Sweden). Descartes died at the age of 53 from pneumonia, while employed teaching philosophy to Queen Christina of Sweden. Descartes is most famous for the co-ordinate Cartesian geometry that bears his name, and his philosophy, summed up by: "I think, therefore I am". The drawing, signed by the artist Hippolyte-Louis Garnier (1802-1855), is a lithograph printed by Ducarne, and published by Blaisot.

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