User:Jahsonic/AHE/The Middle Ages/Love is magical
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Superstitious love magic, because that is what is represented in the fascina and amulets, can perhaps be best illustrated by the 15th-century Liebeszauber painting (image) by an anonymous German master, also a tribute to the bulbous beauty ideal of the Middle Ages. We find that same attempt to capture in images the mystery of a love spell in Bewitched Groom (1544) (image), a curious work by Hans Baldung Grien (c. 1484-1545).
Love can be so magical that even an old and wise man such as the famous philosopher Aristotle lets himself be mounted by a wanton young girl as if he were a horse (image). It is a very popular medieval story that demonstrates for once and for all the great power that womenfolk exercise over men. The philosopher Aristotle, on hands and knees and with a bridle in the mouth, rides lady Phyllis on his back. The work warns of the pernicious influence of female beauty and the story is often told in the same breath as the biblical stories of Eve dragging Adam in their ruination by biting the apple, or Samson who loses his strength after Delilah cut his hair. But it is also reminiscent of Virgil, the wise poet who one night lets himself be hoisted in a basket en route to a beautiful woman he is in love with. Sadly, he will never reach her room, since mid tower she lets him dangle, exposed to the ridicule of passers-by the following morning. (image)