Portrait of Francis Bacon in sixteenth-century armor.

Francis Bacon

(1561 - 1626)

Galileo Galilei

(1564 - 1642)

Frances Hodgson Burnett

(1849 - 1924)

French writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

Louis-Ferdinand Céline

(1894 - 1961)

Bessie Head

(1937 - 1986)

Loren Eiseley

(1907 - 1977)

John Banville

Black and white photograph of Emily Dickinson sitting next to a desk.

Emily Dickinson

(1830 - 1886)

Andrea Barrett

Robert Moor

Jacques Marquette

(1637 - 1675)

Ross Andersen

Nicolás Monardes

(1493 - 1588)

Maria Sabina

(1894 - 1985)

Black and white photograph of Friedrich Nietzsche with a huge mustache.

Friedrich Nietzsche

(1844 - 1900)

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier

(1743 - 1794)

Satyajit Ray

(1921 - 1992)

Black and white photograph of French mystic, philosopher, and activist Simone Weil.

Simone Weil

(1909 - 1943)

Edna St. Vincent Millay

(1892 - 1950)

Curtis White

Roger Bacon

(c. 1220 - c. 1292)

Leon Battista Alberti

(1404 - 1472)

American author Steven Millhauser.

Steven Millhauser

Thomas Pynchon

Kea Krause

Painted portrait of German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Alexander von Humboldt

(1769 - 1859)

Hugo Ball

(1886 - 1927)

Abu Hatim al-Razi

(c. 850 - c. 950)

Engraving of Pliny the Elder.

Pliny the Elder

(23 - 79)

Ted Chiang

Vitruvius

(c. 80 BC - 15 BC)

Portrait of English lyrical poet and critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772 - 1834)

Vera Rubin

(1928 - 2016)

Photograph of Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges

(1899 - 1986)

French poet and author Christine de Pisan.

Christine de Pisan

(1364 - c. 1430)

Lewis Lapham at his desk

Lewis H. Lapham

Photograph of American novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler.

Raymond Chandler

(1888 - 1959)

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift

(1667 - 1745)

Hermann von Helmholtz

(1821 - 1894)

Ève Curie

(1904 - 2007)

Alberto Manguel

Image of English naturalist Charles Darwin.

Charles Darwin

(1809 - 1882)

Claude Lévi-Strauss

(1908 - 2009)

Colorized engraving of Voltaire wearing a wig.

Voltaire

(1694 - 1778)

Muriel Rukeyser

(1913 - 1980)

Alfred Döblin

(1878 - 1957)

Joseph Priestley

(1733 - 1804)

Leszek Kolakowski

(1927 - 2009)

Photograph of New Yorker staff writer Burkhard Bilger.

Burkhard Bilger

Robert Hooke

(1635 - 1703)

Painting of William Wordsworth.

William Wordsworth

(1770 - 1850)

Abraham Flexner

(1866 - 1959)

Ernst Jünger

(1895 - 1998)

Sima Qian

(c. 145 BC - c. 87 BC)

Photo of stone Aristotle statue face

Aristotle

(384 BC - 322 BC)

American author Evan S. Connell.

Evan S. Connell

(1924 - 2013)

Horace Walpole

(1717 - 1797)

Sam Kean

Albert Einstein in a suit and tie standing in front of a chalkboard

Albert Einstein

(1879 - 1955)

Yukichi Fukuzawa

(1835 - 1901)

Portrait of English physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton.

Isaac Newton

(1643 - 1727)

Thomas S. Kuhn

(1922 - 1996)

Austro-German poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

Rainer Maria Rilke

(1875 - 1926)

Diodorus Siculus

(c. 90 BC - c. 20 BC)

Sextus Empiricus

(c. 200 - c. 300)

William Beebe

(1877 - 1962)

Black and white photograph of French aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

(1900 - 1944)

Bust of Hesiod

Hesiod

(c. 700 BC - c. 750 BC)

Saint Teresa of Ávila.

Saint Teresa of Ávila

(1515 - 1582)

Greek geographer and historian Strabo.

Strabo

(c. 64 BC - c. 25)

Portrait of English poet John Keats.

John Keats

(1795 - 1821)

Polydore Vergil

(c. 1470 - 1555)

János Bolyai

(1802 - 1860)

Samantha Hunt

Susan Brind Morrow

George S. Schuyler

(1895 - 1977)

Black and white image of Roman philosopher and statesman Seneca the Younger.

Seneca the Younger

(4 BC - 65)

Margaret Cavendish

(1623 - 1673)

Nikola Tesla

(1856 - 1943)

Frontispiece for 1612-13 King James Bible.

The Bible

(c. 1300 BC - c. 100)