Aquamanile in the Form of Aristotle and Phyllis [unknown artist], late 14th/early 15th century, Netherlands, bronze, 32.5 x 17.9 x 39.3 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
An aquamanile is a type of vessel used for pouring water onto the hands before a meal - or before Mass in a religious context. I’m not totally sure where exactly the water flows from, but I’m guessing it has something to do with Aristotle’s head or neck. Phyllis, the daughter of a Thracian king in Greek mythology, is perched on the back of the philosopher. The story goes that Aristotle wanted to prove to young men that a seductive woman will even work her magic on the elderly. Here, he is shown in a humiliating pose that would have been highly amusing to guests observing the object at a dinner table.