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Writing Tablet with Scenes from the Lives of  Virgil and Aristotle
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Writing Tablet with Scenes from the Lives of Virgil and Aristotle


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This writing tablet has a depression for wax on the underside, but the lid that protected the wax is missing. Legends about wily women making fools of intelligent men from classical times were very popular in the late Middle Ages. The relief on this writing tablet contains two such episodes. In the upper register, the Roman writer Virgil, who thought that he was being drawn up in a basket for a secret rendezvous with a beautiful woman, was left suspended in midair for all to laugh at. Below, on the left, Alexander asks his lover Campaspe (also known as Phyllis) to ensnare the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Her success is depicted on the right.
Exhibitions
  • The International Style: The Arts in Europe Around 1400. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1962.
Provenance John Lumsden Propert, London [1834-1902]; Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael, London; Thomas Gibson-Carmichael Sale, London, May 12, 1902, no. 2; H. Wareham Harding, New York; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1902

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Creator
Period
1340-1360 (Medieval)
Medium
ivory
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
71.267
Measurements
3 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 3/16 in. (9.5 x 5.2 x 0.6 cm)
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