Thomas Hobbes was exceptionally interested in the visual representation of philosophical ideas.  His two major works of political theory – his De cive of 1642 and his Leviathan of 1651 – both contain elaborate engraved frontispieces that summarise his arguments.  The lecture traces the visual sources of these two images and illustrates the development of Hobbes’s ideas by comparing them.  With his Leviathan frontispiece, Hobbes finally attempts to picture his distinctive conception of the state both as a fictional person and as a mortal god.

Quentin Skinner gives a Royal Academy Lecture in the Humanities and Social Siciences. After the lecture the audience is invited a reception. Everybody is welcome. The lecture as well as the reception is free of charge but registration below is required. Quentin Robert Duthie Skinner is a British intellectual historian. Regarded as one of the founders of the Cambridge School of the history of political thought, between 1996 and 2008 he was Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge; he is currently the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities and Co-director of The Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London.