This research aims to focus on one of many interpretations and applications of the images of Aristotle ridden. This iconography, that was born in the Eastside of the world and spreads in the West around the XIII century, shows a man on all fours with a woman on this back, and assumes completely different meanings depending on the context. In fact, according to the different points of views, the context where the image appears changes: if it appears in a Church, it will assume a meaning of denigration of the woman, otherwise in a private building/residence the same image will assume the meaning of admonition of a king (if you need information about this point you can read the article in the 22 number on this journal), if it appears in a nuptial gift, like an ivory casket, it will be a representation of the true power of Love; but when you find this iconography in an illuminated manuscript it will be a problem. The image in medieval illuminated manuscript is not always connected to the text, for example the images at the margins (in French “drôlerie”) often take place there as a simple ornamentation, and that ornament must have been regarded as a work having no connection with the character of the book itself, otherwise, when the picture is the image of the text, the use of the iconography changes. For this reason we can find the iconography of Aristotle and Phyllis in an devotional manuscript as the Biblie of the Angiò and at the same time it appears in a full page in the Petrarch’s Triumphs. As it was for the iconography in an istitutional context the “container” changes the meaning of the image. Some examples will help us to understand the different uses of this picture in the history of art.
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