Aristotle and Phyllis

A work made of engraving in black on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on cream laid paper.

Date:

c. 1500

Artist:

Master M.Z.
German, active 1500-1550

About this artwork

According to legend, Alexander the Great’s tutor, Aristotle, counseled him to resist the seductions of Phyllis, the king’s mistress, and focus on his royal duties. But Aristotle ignored his own advice, and with her promise of sexual favors, let Phyllis mount him like a horse. Forewarned by Phyllis, Alexander was able to secretly observe his tutor’s humiliation. Brandishing a riding crop, here Phyllis amply demonstrates the power of feminine wiles over masculine intellect. Indeed, the philosopher’s sunken eyes and compromising position indicate his smitten blindness to his lust, as he is almost completely eclipsed by her voluminous skirts.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Master M.Z.

Title

Aristotle and Phyllis

Origin

Germany

Date

1495–1505

Medium

Engraving in black on cream laid paper

Inscriptions

Signed in plate, in image, lower center: "MZ"

Dimensions

182 x 131 mm (sheet trimmed within plate mark)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1935.10

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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