Mug – legend Aristotle and Phyllis

Faenza, end of sec. 14th century, maiolica


The surface is decorated in manganese brown and copper green with the scene of a woman holding a bird of prey in her hand and riding a man, holding him by the reins. It’s about the medieval legend of Aristotle and Phyllis. The subject is a reference to the courtly theme of the dominance of women over men, while the decoration is surprising for its elaborate narrative and interpretative representation, so much so that it anticipates the “historiated” genre by several centuries.

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