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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.


c. 1500


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.


On View, Gallery 202


Prints and Drawings


Master M.Z.


Aristotle and Phyllis


Germany (Object made in)




Engraving in black on cream laid paper


182 × 131 mm (sheet trimmed within platemark)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


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